Fresh from his first Group One winner on the Flat with Trueshan, Alan King is chasing more Pattern-race glory as Asymmetric lines up in the Unibet Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.
Winner of his first two starts at Goodwood and Newmarket, he returned to HQ for the Group Two July Stakes last time out, just failing by a head to catch Lusail.
While the first day of Goodwood took place on testing ground, it is continuing to dry out. However, there are showers forecast and King is hoping they continue to miss the course.
“We’ve declared and we’ll see how things pan out,” said King.
“He has handled good to soft ground and he showed he was pretty smart in the July Stakes.
“Whether he wants heavy ground, I’m not sure.”
Royal Ascot winner Perfect Power must shoulder a 3lb penalty.
Richard Fahey’s Ardad colt got home by a head in the Norfolk Stakes from Go Bears Go, who franked the form in no uncertain terms when winning the Railway Stakes next time out.
“I’ve ridden him at home since Ascot and he’s in great form,” said former champion jockey Paul Hanagan who is back on board.
“He might have to race on different ground, but no one knows how he’ll go on it until he tries.”
Fahey also runs Khunan, ridden by Hollie Doyle, who was just over a length behind his stablemate at Ascot.
Richard Hannon’s Gubbass defied inexperience to win the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury when last seen.
He has plenty to find on the figures, but remains an unexposed colt.
Hugo Palmer’s Ebro River is undoubtedly talented, as he showed when winning the National Stakes at Sandown – despite showing wayward tendencies.
Since then, however, they have prevented him from showing his true ability at Ascot and Newmarket, where he was behind Asymmetric.
Clive Cox’s Caturra, winner of the Rose Bowl at Newbury recently, and Kevin Ryan’s Gis A Sub complete the seven-runner field.
Charlie Appleby is looking to continue his domination of the three-year-old mile-and-a-half division with Yibir in the John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes.
With Adayar winning the Derby and King George and Hurricane Lane successful in the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris, Appleby has a very good line into what it takes to win these races.
Yibir advertised his credentials when winning the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket, and class horses like Crystal Ocean, Ulysses and Highland Reel have won the Gordon Stakes recently.
“We were delighted to see Yibir get his head back in front in the Bahrain Trophy, when he travelled and stayed very well,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com
“He also ran a decent race to finish second to Lone Eagle at Goodwood earlier in the season and a repeat of his last couple of runs should make him very competitive.”
His main rival may well be Aidan O’Brien’s Wordsworth, behind Hurricane Lane the last twice and second at Royal Ascot.
The likes of Derby fifth Third Realm, O’Brien’s Sir Lucan and Johnny Murtagh’s Ottoman Emperor all hold claims.
“I don’t think you can readily rule out any of these, so it’s a competitive Group Three, albeit one lacking a stand-out,” Ryan Moore told Betfair.
“That said, I think my mount Wordsworth is the one to beat in here, even if Sir Lucan got the better of him the last time they met at Navan back in May.
“But Wordsworth has clearly improved since then, being placed in Group One company on his last two starts, and his Grand Prix de Paris second last time came in testing ground. Yes, looking at the race, I do think he is the most likely winner.”