The Gurkha can avenge his Royal Ascot defeat by seeing off Galileo Gold in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, the feature event on day two of Glorious Goodwood.
Galileo Gold emerged a length and a quarter to the good in the St James’s Palace Stakes last month, with the reopposing Awtaad a further half a length back in third and a rematch here is a thoroughly intriguing prospect.
However, The Gurkha certainly had his excuses that day as Ryan Moore had him settled well off the pace in the early stages and when he did feel the time was right to launch a run, he could not find a clear passage through.
The Gurkha was flying at the finish, though, and looked as if he would have claimed the honours, granted a clean run.
He has since been tried over 10 furlongs in the Eclipse and while he was beaten at odds-on, he only went down by half a length to Hawkbill on ground that maybe was not totally ideal for a step up in trip.
Quicker conditions await at Goodwood and while The Gurkha has won on testing ground, you cannot help but feel he won in spite of conditions rather than because of them.
No doubt this is a tight test to call, but Aidan O’Brien would surely not drop back to a mile against old rivals unless he felt his charge would have a fine chance of turning the form around.
O’Brien can also land the Group Three Beringice Gordon Stakes courtesy of Shogun.
The Fastnet Rock colt is perhaps not the most obvious choice here as he has not actually won a race in over a year now, but one must remember that he has been tried at the very highest level on more than one occasion.
Third in the Craven Stakes at the start of the year, Shogun then finished second in the Derrinstown Derby Trial and fifth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.
* Selections -
Goodwood: 2.00 Star Rider, 2.35 Shogun, 3.10 THE GURKHA (NAP), 3.45 Global Applause, 4.20 Perfect Angel, 4.55 Shaan, 5.25 Afjaan.
Sandown: 5.55 Ost Wind, 6.25 Van Huysen, 7.00 Max Zorin, 7.35 Sky Ship, 8.10 Kath’s Legacy, 8.40 Blakeney Point.
Leicester: 6.15 Muthmira, 6.50 Zabdi, 7.20 Brief Visit, 7.50 Midaawi, 8.20 Soaring Spirits, 8.50 Patanjali.
Perth: 2.10 John Monash, 2.45 Cool Macavity, 3.20 Play The Ace, 3.55 Nicolas Chauvin, 4.30 Bentons Lad, 5.05 Wyfield Rose, 5.40 As The Crow Flies.
Redcar: 1.50 Double Touch, 2.20 Wrapped, 2.55 Our Boy Jack, 3.30 Jan De Heem, 4.05 Planetaria, 4.40 Spirit Of Zebedee, 5.15 Run Rio Run, 5.50 Lucky Violet.
Double: The Gurkha and Global Applause.