There was something deeply unsatisfactory about KING OF ROOKS’s defeat in the Norfolk Stakes last month and I’ve got a feeling that Richard Hannon’s colt can get back to winning ways in this afternoon’s Fairmont Molecomb Stakes (3.45pm).
The son of Acclamation lined up at Royal Ascot on the back of a devastatingly impressive win in Sandown’s National Stakes, where he had Coventry Stakes winner Buratino labouring five lengths behind back in second.
Sadly, he got involved in a desperate speed duel early on with stablemate Log Out Island and the pair gave way in the closing stages to Aidan O’Brien’s Waterloo Bridge. It was hard not to conclude that the best two horses had somewhat cut each other’s throats and there would have been a different result if either were ridden with more constraint.
Frankie Dettori has a chance to right a wrong this afternoon and I expect him to hold onto his mount just a little bit longer to come out on top at 7/4 with Betway.
His biggest danger may well come from Ballydoyle once again, as the Irish power-house saddle Windsor Castle Stakes winner Washington Dc against my selection. He battled away well to land a bunch finish, but takes on a far better stamp of juvenile this afternoon.
O’Brien may have a better chance of landing the Gordon Stakes (2.35pm) with Highland Reel, who has yet to fully recapture the best of his two-year-old form. Last season’s Vintage Stakes winner, at this very meeting, has failed to win in three starts so far this campaign and was bitterly disappointing in the Irish Derby last time.
Admittedly, he is hunting in far shallower waters this afternoon. But he still looks pretty skinny to me at around 2/1.
If I knew for certain that rain was on its way I’d side with Medrano, who caught the eye on a soft surface at Hamilton last term. However, with the ground currently drying all the time, I’m prepared to take a chance on Andrew Balding’s SCOTTISH at 9/1 with Betway.
He relished the step up to 12 furlongs when second at Royal Ascot, and can handle the step up in class to play a part in a far more wide-open contest than the betting suggests.
SCOTTISH e/w 2.35pm Goodwood
KING OF ROOKS 3.45pm Goodwood