Dutch Connection can take a starring role on the first of five days of top-notch action at Goodwood by landing the Qatar Lennox Stakes.
The race sponsors are gunning to have this Group Two seven-furlong contest upgraded to Group One status in due course and the £300,000 prize fund has certainly tempted a handful of decent horses into running.
This intermediate distant can be a bit tricky to read sometimes as you have sprinters trying to eke out their stamina, while the mile horses try to find that extra stride, but in Dutch Connection you have a horse who has proved more than capable over seven furlongs.
He won the Group Three Jersey Stakes over the distance at Ascot last year before heading here for this very event, although he had to settle for second on the day.
Dutch Connection found Toormore too good on that occasion but the good to soft ground would hardly have been ideal as he went down by three-quarters of a length.
Charlie Hills then stepped him up to a mile at Keeneland last October but again the ground was not ideal as he disappointed and he has since failed to make his mark on three outings over eight furlongs.
He appeared to be outstayed when second in the Summer Mile last time so this switch back to seven furlongs seems to make sense and while he is not the pick of the three Godolphin runners judged on jockey bookings, he has triumphed at a track where previous course experience is a huge plus.
Isomer made it third time lucky at a very skinny price at Salisbury earlier this month, but he can handle a big step back up in class in the Qatar Vintage Stakes.
This Group Two represents his first assignment at this kind of level, but Isomer has some strong form in the book and it is easy to see why Andrew Balding thinks his runner deserves a shot at the prize.
At Beverley, Bond Bombshell is the choice of two runners for David O’Meara in the Roberta Marshall Memorial Handicap.
Josh Doyle takes a handy 5lb off and having partnered the three-year-old to victory at the track earlier in the season, the duo must be leading candidates to add to their success.
* Selections -
Goodwood: 2.00 Balmoral Castle, 2.35 Isomer, 3.10 DUTCH CONNECTION (NAP), 3.45 Arch Villain, 4.20 Blithe Spirit, 4.55 Harry Angel, 5.30 Inke.
Beverley: 2.10 Monopoli, 2.45 Quiet Moment, 3.20 Bond Bombshell, 3.55 Final, 4.30 Laureate, 5.05 Dasheen, 5.35 San Cassiano.
Perth: 6.00 Red Hammer, 6.30 Hostile Fire, 7.00 Tajseer, 7.30 Russian Regent, 8.00 Sweet Holly, 8.30 Nefyn Bay, 9.00 Huehuecoytle.
Worcester: 5.40 Court Of Law, 6.10 In The Rough, 6.40 Casino Markets, 7.10 Minella Treasure, 7.40 Listen And Learn, 8.10 Washed Ashore, 8.40 Maid Of Tuscany.
Yarmouth: 1.50 Marilyn, 2.20 What A Party, 2.55 Captain Gerald, 3.30 Elronaq, 4.05 Takatul, 4.40 Honey Badger, 5.10 Archimedes.
Double: Dutch Connection and Isomer.