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Timeform notes and horses to follow

Timeform’s David Cleary looks back on the 2022 Qatar Goodwood Festival and pores through his notes for points of interest.

Goodwood week passes at Trillium miles an hour

Strikes have been much in the news this summer, and racing hasn’t been immune to that, Brother Beckett getting the lads to boycott a three-year-old race at Newbury in the middle of last month due to what was considered poor prize money .

There may be a point to be made, but it seemed an odd target, a couple of grand more not the main point, compared to the enhancement in value to the winner in breeding terms from being transformed from a maiden to a winner.

The irony is that trainers, both on the flat and over jumps, love Newbury as a track for inexperienced horses, and would usually rather run there for less prize money than somewhere else for more.

The day before the boycott, Richard Hannon (who didn’t have an entry in the three-year-old race) had won a two-year-old maiden with one of the best-looking fillies I’ve seen this year, Trillium. A well-made sort, she looked a potential Group horse in the making that afternoon and duly proved it on the second day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival (replay below).

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It was bold that she was asked to take on colts and geldings in the Molcomb Stakes, rather than run in the Alice Keppel Stakes later on the same card, but oddly enough she would probably have had more to do in the latter than the former.

The reason: the performance of Platinum Queen. Two races over five furlongs, two races with different make-ups and run in slightly different fashion.

Trillium, the only filly in the Molecomb, was taking on several that had run well at Royal Ascot; The Platinum Queen, a revelation switched to front running the time before, had clearly the best form chance in the Alice Keppel (replay below).

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Trillium, coping well with the drop from six, traveled well and picked off the pacemakers in some style; The Platinum Queen blazed the trail and saw the five out strongly, in command at the line. Trillium lowered the two-year-old course record; The Platinum Queen lowered it further.

My Timeform handicapping colleagues have found it hard to split the performances. In terms of form ratings, Trillium is 104p, The Platinum Queen 104+; on time figures they returned 95 and 102 respectively. They may never meet, though, for what it’s worth, I think The Platinum Queen might well have pulled Trillium to an even better performance, rather than beaten her.

Trillium’s likely to be at least as effective back at six furlongs and a route to the Cheveley Park seems likely. Judged on physique, she’s the type to train on for next year.

Queen flying up the juvenile charts

The Platinum Queen is more a ‘now’ horse, as the horrible phrase is. Her progress since the Queen Mary is something to note, though. She was sent off at 66/1 that day and finished nineteen.

After last week, on Timeform, she is rated behind only the winner Dramatized out of the entire Royal Ascot field.

It’s possible The Platinum Queen could get a chance to take on Dramatised next time out, with her trainer Richard Fahey floating the idea in his Sporting Life column of supplementing his filly for the Nunthorpe. It’s a lot of money to stump up, but the age and sex allowances that The Platinum Queen (and Dramatized) get brings her right into the reckoning. York’s flat five might just suit her better than it would Dramatized as well. Perhaps it isn’t only John Gosden who rolls the big dice.

Classic case of plenty more to come

Two more two-year-olds that made their debuts at Newbury fought out the valuable maiden at Goodwood on Saturday. These were The Foxes and classical. Although the run of the race meant that they couldn’t show their superiority to the full extent, they both looked like potential pattern horses in the making.

The Foxes, with a lot about him physically, hadn’t done himself justice in the Chesham, but looked every inch the promising sort he had first time out. He’s not in the Champagne Stakes, but the Acomb or the Solario would be options.

Classic, a compact sort, had been a real eyecatcher in another maiden at the boycott meeting at Newbury and was one again in defeat here.

It wasn’t quite the tortoise and the hare, but Classic loomed up full of running two furlongs out, only to take a while to quicken after the harder-working The Foxes came past him (replay below).

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Classic is really bred to come into his own over a bit further than seven furlongs and to make an even-better three-year-old. He’s by Dubawi and out of Date With Destiny, the only foal by George Washington, and remains very much one to keep on side for some time to come.

Progressive Legend has Cup potential

Mentioning Dubawi, his son london landed a strong renewal of the Gordon Stakes. He’d looked a Derby candidate back in the spring before being Chestered, and has shown in two starts off a break that he’s potentially one of the best three-year-old colts around, saving the sadly-sidelined Desert Crown.

Whether that means St Leger is another matter. It’s true he’s out of a half-sister to the St Leger winner Masked Marvel, but he doesn’t scream that he needs in excess of an extra quarter mile and as favorite he looks pretty short for Doncaster. An alternative plan might be the Arc, for which he’s entered.

The Gordon runner-up Deauville Legend will definitely be suited by the Leger trip; Unfortunately, as a gelding he isn’t able to run in the race. He would be a really interesting candidate for the Long Distance Cup at Ascot, though. Thrilling as the Goodwood Cup was, the level of form shown by the principals isn’t out of the park, by any means, and a three year old of Deauville Legend’s quality and potential to improve at two miles would have serious claims against them.

As an aside, Deauville Legend’s pedigree offers a fascinating view of how a family can be upgraded over just two generations. His grandam Russian Rose had a pretty mediocre pedigree herself (described physically as ‘smallish’ in Timeform, which sounds like one of mine), but she showed abundant stamina, winning over two miles plus at Bath.

Russian Rose proved even better at stud, with two useful winners among her scorers. That pair, both by Hernando, were Hamani, who herself has produced numerous winners, and Deauville Legend’s dam Solo Rose. Another of her daughters, Dubai Rose, is the dam of a Prix de Royallieu winner.

Scotsman stars for Cole team

To end back with the two-year-old pattern races at Goodwood, the best performance came from Paul and Oliver Cole’s Royal Scotsman, who gave yet another boost to the form of the Coventry Stakes in winning the Richmond. The Coventry runner-up Persian Force missed the race, which helped, but this was still a taking effort, kept to six furlongs.

Obviously, the return of the Coventry winner Bradsell is eagerly awaited, given how the form is working out, but there have been a couple of winners in blue silks over the last week or so that have suggested there are threats to him on the horizon.

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Royal Scotsman had made his debut behind Noble Style at Ascot in the spring. Noble Style might well have gone off favorite for the Coventry, but had been forced to miss Royal Ascot and didn’t reappear until Newmarket on Friday night. He won only narrowly but showed a good turn of foot in a tactical race to prevail after running green. He’s a good colt in the making.

The previous weekend at Ascot saw another potentially top two-year-old for Godolphin in the shape of Naval Powerwho won the Pat Eddery in clear-cut fashion.

He looked a bit excitable beforehand, but he’s a lovely scopey sort and it was no great surprise to see him touted afterwards on bookmaakers’ slips for the Guineas.


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