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Glorious Goodwood Turf Talk: Battaash bidding for back-to-back King George wins

Dane O'Neil and Battaash in the winners circle after the Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes (Class 1) at Haydock Park in May this year. PIC: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Dane O'Neil and Battaash in the winners circle after the Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes (Class 1) at Haydock Park in May this year. PIC: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
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Battaash can repeat his victory of last year in the Qatar King George Stakes on day four at Goodwood tomorrow.

It was in this five-furlong heat 12 months ago that Charlie Hills’ charge really marked himself out as a horse on the up, and although his progress was subsequently checked next time, his Abbaye win at the end of the year showed he is truly top rank.

The four-year-old has certainly not done anything this term to disprove that opinion, winning the Temple Stakes at Haydock before having to settle for second in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. While that run might be disappointing on the face of it, Battaash was prominent throughout and those early exertions possibly just told as Blue Point had more in reserve on the run to the line.

Hills is always slightly fighting against Battaash’s rather highly-strung temperament, but Goodwood’s atmosphere is decidedly less high octane than Ascot and it will be a surprise if he cannot regain the winning thread.

It would similarly be a shock if Mirage Dancer cannot prevail in the Bombay Sapphire Glorious Stakes. Sir Michael Stoute’s runner had to settle for second behind Best Solution at Newmarket on his most recent outing, when the adoption of front-running tactics did not bring out the very best in him.

Nevertheless it was a decent effort and, having already won over a mile and a half at this track back in May, the Sussex Downs holds no fears for this son of Frankel. Stoute should also be in the mix with Regal Reality in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes.

The three-year-old won on his only juvenile start last year and deserves a fair bit of credit for his performance on his only start so far this term.

Contesting the Heron Stakes at Sandown, he looked as though he might stay on from the back of the field to take a hand in the finish, but ultimately a lack of race fitness told and he faded back into sixth.

The exploits of the winner Without Parole are well known, so to finish just four lengths adrift reads very well indeed.

One-time Classic hope South Seas can finally enjoy a substantial pay day in the Unibet Golden Mile Handicap.

Group One-placed as a juvenile, he had only two outings last year and has seemingly taken a bit of time to really get rolling this term.

However, his recent fourth in a competitive event at Sandown caught the eye, trying to come from last place before suffering a bit of trouble in running and eventually finishing sixth.

He remains on a rating of 105 and could have been well placed here by Andrew Balding.

Betty F could be something of a dark horse in the L’Ormarins Queens Plate Oak Tree Stakes.

Jeremy Noseda felt her good enough to be pitched into Group One company as a juvenile and while she ultimately fell short, it does at least give an indication of the regard in which she is held.

A recent novice victory at Doncaster might not stack up to much, but it should see this daughter of Frankel line up here with her confidence riding high.

Raydiance is an intriguing runner in the British EBF Conditions Stakes at Thirsk.

Karl Burke’s three-year-old was last seen when landing a Listed heat at Ascot last July and the fact he holds a Group Two entry for next month suggests that he has lost none of his ability.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

GOODWOOD: 1.50 Mirage Dancer, 2.25 Regal Reality, 3.00 South Seas (next best), 3.35 BATTAASH (NAP), 4.10 Leading Spirit, 4.40 Betty F (treble), 5.15 Celestial Force.

THIRSK: 1.40 Lady Lavinia, 2.10 Diviner, 2.45 Liamba, 3.20 Donny Belle, 3.55 Raydiance, 4.30 Victors Lady, 5.00 Airplane, 5.35 Etienne Gerard.

BANGOR: 1.30 Cosette, 2.00 The Jam Man, 2.35 Lofgren, 3.10 Clemento, 3.45 Saffron Prince, 4.20 Sense Of Urgency, 4.50 Kingston.

MUSSELBURGH: 5.40 Luv U Whatever, 6.10 Flint Hill, 6.45 Pepys, 7.20 Dapper Man, 7.50 Tick Tock Croc, 8.20 Surrender, 8.50 Arnold.

NEWMARKET: 5.20 Lalania, 5.50 Born To Spend, 6.25 Garrus, 7.00 Garbanzo, 7.30 Big Storm Coming, 8.00 Rawdaa, 8.30 Zeyzoun.