The Saturday sweep: Tom Thurgood's five horses to keep a close eye on

By Tom Thurgood@tdthurgood
Fri 7 Jun 2019

We can look forward to a host of promising performers and intriguing action on Saturday with 36 races from Haydock, Beverley, Newmarket, Chelmsford and Navan being shown live on Racing TV.

Here are five interesting contenders to keep in mind.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Race: 5.45 Navan. Odds: --

 Goddess, leading, makes a belated return (PA)
Goddess, leading, makes a belated return (PA)

A daughter of Camelot out of a half-sister to Galileo, Goddess looked an outstanding prospect last year when breaking her maiden by 10 lengths at Leopardstown and it’s good to see her back after 317 days off the track. A short-priced favourite for the Listed Silver Flash Stakes after that striking success, she was very disappointing in last place behind Skitter Scatter and hasn’t run since, while another setback this year shelved potential Classic plans.

It’s fair to say the form of her maiden win has taken some knocks with the passing of time, yet not many from Ballydoyle get off the mark in such fashion and she still rates an exciting prospect, even given the fact that she’s likely to need this run to some degree.

Aidan O’Brien has won the Silver Flash in recent seasons with future Group One scorers Happily, Promise To Be True and Maybe and it’s telling the trainer sent Goddess back to Leopardstown to contest the same race last year.

Let’s hope this filly can make up for lost time this term.


Trainer: John Quinn. Race 3.35 Haydock. Odds: 11-4

The six-year-old has suffered niggly problems throughout his career and is lightly-raced, but he’s in the form of his life as he attempts his toughest task at Group Three level.

Safe Voyage is unbeaten in three starts at Haydock, including a career-best last time in the Listed Spring Trophy when showing a smart turn of foot inside the final furlong and ultimately landing the prize in cosy fashion.

Mankib and Suedois, who reoppose, were behind him on that occasion and this looks an obvious and suitable next step now.

Sir Dancealot has several strands of Group Oneform in the book, has won twice at Group Two level and is down in class after his Lockinge tilt last time where he shaped well. He could prove a tough but to crack but Safe Voyage can give him something to ponder in a good heat with the soft ground promising to suit.


Trainer: Dean Ivory. Race 4.15 Chelmsford. Odds: 14-1

 Tropucs is building an enviable record at Chelmsford (PA)
Tropucs is building an enviable record at Chelmsford (PA)

You would not mind owning one like this lad, would you?

Tropics is 11 years young and still loving the game. Victory at the track earlier this year added another chapter to his love affair with Chelmsford.

The gelding has four wins from seven starts at the Essex venue and has three wins from five starts over this course and distance.

Tropics landed this contest last year and has won twice and placed once from four tries in Class Two handicaps over the five furlongs here.

While 3lb higher for last year’s success and not getting any younger, he would certainly prove one of the more popular winners of the day and can still put up his customary bold show under first-time partner Joey Haynes.


Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute. Race 4.50 Chelmsford. Odds: 5-4

This three-year-old handicap looks a good opportunity for this potentially exciting filly to continue her progression under the flying Oisin Murphy.

Her victory at Goodwood looked good last time, travelling easily in front as rivals toiled in behind and picking up nicely for one flick of the stick, looking strongest at the finish.

The Qatar Racing-owned filly shaped well late in the day on her quiet reappearance run, a race which has worked out well with the first, second and sixth all subsequently winning.

This compact filly has course form at Chelmsford and looks suited physically to the tight turns of the track, while she should not have much pressure for the lead. The Sir Michael Stoute yard continues in excellent form and the trainer has sent out several promising winners of fillies’ handicaps in the past fortnight, including Mulan, Layaleena and Vivionn.


Trainer: John Gosden. Race 5.25 Chelmsford. Odds: 6-4

 Eagle Top is pipped by Postponed in the King George
Eagle Top is pipped by Postponed in the King George

By Pivotal out of Gull Wing, this colt is one bloodstock fans being a brother to Group two winners Eagle Top and Wings Of Desire – both placed at the highest level - and Group Two scorer The Lark.

This is a family trainer John Gosden knows well and they are 1m4f performers. Swift Wing made his debut over the same trip at Ascot last time and, while shaken up with half a mile to run, travelled nicely to the line under tentative handling.

From his direct relations, only Eagle Top won on debut and Swift Wing will come on for his first day at school, though the drop back here to 1m2f looks surprising on paper and this big, strong-bodied type might not find Chelmsford completely to his liking.

The choice of target looks interesting and we could learn plenty about his future prospects by Saturday evening. He is entered in the King Edward VII Stakes, won five years ago by Eagle Top.

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