Day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival is already upon us and what a week it has been so far!
Battaash will bid for his fourth King George Qatar Stakes victory on Friday, live on Racing TV at 3.15pm.
Don’t forget to tune in from 11am for Mark Your Card where the Racing TV team will be previewing all the action and revealing their best bets.
I have three selections for Friday’s racing action at Goodwood, with the first one in the Saint Clair Oak Tree Stakes at 1.45pm. Best of luck.
Jim Crowley discusses Battaash ahead of the King George Qatar Stakes
Her last seven starts have been in Group One contests and, with one exception - over six furlongs on ground a little quicker than she ideally prefers - she has been within a length and a half of the winner at the winning post, so she has been most consistent.
She has won the same Group One race twice - the Prix De La Foret at Longchamp - which is over this trip here of seven furlongs, but because she hasn’t recorded a victory so far this year, she avoids a penalty in this Group Three contest, and on the form she has shown, she surely must be able to win this.
I don’t think being drawn one will do her any harm either as I expect Invitational to get across from stall three and lead at a good pace which will hopefully mean One Master will be able to adopt her characteristic position and race near the pace on the rail.
Hopefully she will therefore avoid trouble, as I believe the dreaded Goodwood factor is the only thing that will stop her winning this en-route to her bid for a third Prix De La Foret success.
I bang on often about the class difference and how I often believe that it favours the horses carrying a couple of pounds more than the ceiling rating of a handicap.
That was a large part of my argument for Prompting last weekend at York and it proved to be right in a big field, 0-80 handicap, as he won it as a very-well backed favourite in impressive style.
This is the complete other side of the coin as Prompting has crept into the bottom of this field off a rating of just 89 which, if he wins, will make him the lowest-rated winner of this race for a number of years.
Certainly, in the last five renewals, the winner has been rated either side of 100, but my own view is that Prompting is heading towards that mark and this is a very opportune bit of placing in a strange year.
Sir Busker is rated much higher than when he won the Silver Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot. Instead, off a mark only 4lb higher than last time's Sandown success, Montatham looks the obvious one to beat here.
Communique looks another good bet on Friday to gain a well-deserved first win of the season. He has worked his way through the ranks and has a course handicap win under his belt, as you would probably expect given his trainer, but he is now a genuine Group Two performer in this country, as he has shown on several occasions.
Some of these rivals might have Group One victories on their CVs, but I do not believe the form shown by the like of Desert Encounter overseas matches the Johnston runner’s efforts over here and I am confident he will fend off all his rivals in the typical way a Mark Johnston-trained horse does.
I fully expect Communique to get the lead from Alounak and this track can suit those tactics.Get your free Racing TV fleece - the latest in our range of high-class Racing TV merchandise! Click here for more details.
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