AFTER the razzmatazz of York’s Ebor Festival last week, it’s unsurprising the action this weekend is of a slightly lesser note.
There’s still a decent card at Goodwood, though, with the Group Two Celebration Mile (3:35pm) the standout contest.
All eyes will be on Benbatl who makes an eagerly-anticipated return having been off the track for over 180 days since last running in the Saudi Cup.
The multiple Group-winning six-year-old has been a fantastic servant for connections and if he’s anywhere near top-form on his comeback, he’ll prove tough to beat at 9/4.
However, there is plenty of rain forecast and I can see this turning into a real slog which might not play to the son of Dubawi’s strengths.
If he does put in a below-par performance it’s usually when the ground is soft, as shown when he finished last in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day last season.
His main rival, as far as the betting is concerned, is Regal Reality who was last seen when bolting up at Salisbury.
That was much more like it from the Sir Michael Stoute representative, but he’s another who will surely prefer better ground.
With doubts about the front two in the market, CENTURY DREAM looks a real player at 6/1.
Simon and Ed Crisford’s inmate is known to be effective when the mud flies, so he’ll have no issues if it gets really testing.
He ran a fine race in the aforementioned QEII at Ascot last season and he looked very much the force of old when taking the Diomed Stakes for a second time on his seasonal reappearance.
Things didn’t go right in the Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly last time, but with the ground in his favour he looks a value alternative to the top two in the betting.
Over at Windsor, FOX CHAIRMAN looks to have found an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways in the Winter Hill Stakes (3.15pm).
The son of Kingman was a good second to Aspetar in the Group Two York Stakes when last seen and, back down in class, he looks to hold leading claims of notching a first win of the season.
He was a Listed winner on soft ground at the back-end of the last campaign, so he shouldn’t have any problems if the rain comes and he can take this on the road to bigger and better things at 6/4.
Fox Chairman 6/4 3.15pm Windsor
Century Dream 6/1 3.35pm Goodwood