This is a tough Listed race to work on with so many out of form contenders but we can always start our race preview using the handicappers’ official ratings, and that leads us straight to John Gosden’s Mr Singh (5/1) who was once a St Leger hope but has failed to live up to those lofty aspirations. Injury forced connections to abandon any thought of the last Classic at Doncaster in 2015 and he was put away for the winter, but it is his form this season that causes more concern and we have to wonder if they can get him back to the same horse that won the Group Three Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket under a hands and heels ride. In 2016 he returned to action here at Goodwood when last of eight to Mount Logan but we can forgive him that after such a long lay-off, yet he followed that run with an eighth of ten to Paloma when trying to set the pace in first time blinkers before weakening to be beaten over six lengths at the line. It may be that he went off too fast for his own good, or even that he needed a second run to put him straight, or he may simply never be the same horse again (sadly), and that is a decision his supporters need to make before deciding whether to have a bet on him or not (we don’t think it’s worth the risk)
Hughie Morrison’s Sweeping Up (5/1) is our idea of the winner as the five-year-old Sea The Stars mare looks to end a frustrating period of four good places since his last win in a Class Four handicap over a year ago. Since that day he has stepped up in class with some superb places in Listed and Group class and includes a second to Journey at Haydock in the Group Three Pinnacle Stakes in May, and if he can repeat that today he has a superb chance. Trip and track look just about perfect, and he is one of only two distance winners in the field, leaving his main rivals with stamina questions that jockey Jimmy Fortune will look to exploit as much as possible.
At the weights this afternoon Sir Michael Stoute’s Platitude (5/2) has a good chance thanks to his three-year-old allowance and has a bit more room to improve as well after just the eight career starts. His only win so far was first time out in a Doncaster maiden in June 2015, but he has placed four times since and was runner up to Aidan O’Brien’s Housesofparliament in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy last month, and a repeat of that run would see him go close to winning his second ever race here. Sadly, he has since finished eighth of nine at Goodwood in the Gordon Stakes with no obvious excuses and he needs to bounce back from that to have any chance now but we think this is the horse to beat if at it’s best today!
As things stand the score between Platitude and David Simcock’s Goldmember (10/3) sits at one all as the son of New Approach was one place ahead of his rival last time at Goodwood, but four places behind him at Newmarket the race before. His one and only win so far was a mile and a half maiden at Thirsk which he took by an easy five lengths and he could go well again today, though surely a victory is beyond him assuming the principles bring their “A” game, of course.
Lastly we can all see why Flambeuse (50/1) is a big price but as the only other distance winner her other than our selection he deserves his five minutes of fame. Harry Dunlop is slowly making a name for himself as a trainer and although the son of Cape Cross only won a Class Five handicap last time, he does have stamina and if this turns in to a battle he could even place at massive odds.