1m3f TDN Australia Handicap (Class 3)
Lots of well-bred improving middle-distance types compete in the opener on Day 4 of Glorious Goodwood.
The favourite Al Qaqaa put in a much improved performance last time out over this trip and has been given a 9lbs rise in the process. However, this doesn’t necessarily look like it was against the strongest of opposition and although he’s entitled to improve further Al Qaqaa looks too short at 7/4.
I’m arguably more interested in the second to Al Qaqaa at Newmarket in Moomba who’s definitley open to improvement on his third start and carries a featherweight off a mark of 79.
Another who took a big step forward on his last start was the Brian Meehan trained CEPHEUS, who went very close over the all-weather at Kempton a fortnight ago.
That race was run at a rapid pace and he was up there the whole way before staying on very nicely over this trip to just be denied in a three-way finish. That could be very strong form on the face of it, but the handicapper has only given Cepheus 3lbs more for that run taking him to a mark of 89.
Cepheus once had entries in the Vertem Futurity Group 1 as a juvenile after claiming a win over Volkan Star; now rated over 100. However Cepheus scoped dirty and finished the campaign with just the one start.
His seasonal opener was 12th in the 2,000 Guineas when sent off at odds of 150/1 before running a pretty solid race 6/12 on day 1 of Royal Ascot this year against mush stiffer opposition. I’m not sure this son of Sea The Stars particularly enjoyed the rain-softened ground that day and he looked much improved on his last start at Kempton.
Cepheus looks like a genuine colt and this track could see him progress with a decent draw in five.
1pt win Cepheus @6/1, 13:10 Goodwood, Friday