Glorious Goodwood Turf Talk: Urban Fox bidding for back-to-back Group One wins

Urban Fox (centre). PIC: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Urban Fox (centre). PIC: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
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URBAN Fox will face five rivals as she bids for back-to-back Group One victories in Thursday’s Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Newmarket-based Yorkshireman William Haggas’ charge was a surprise winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on her most recent outing, but she heads the market for this 10-furlong heat on the back of her cosy triumph in the Irish feature.

Trainer William Haggas. PIC: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Trainer William Haggas. PIC: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

She is one of three older horses in the mix for the highlight on day three at Goodwood, with Aidan O’Brien’s Rhododendron another four-year-old challenger, although she must bounce back from a disappointing run in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.

Martyn Meade’s Wilamina is the only five-year-old in the field, with three-year-olds Veracious, Billesdon Brook and Wild Illusion completing the field.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Veracious was last seen finishing third in the Coronation Stakes, a race in which 1000 Guineas victor Billesdon Brook was fourth.

Charlie Appleby’s Wild Illusion also ran at the Royal meeting, finishing second in the Ribblesdale after filling the same place in the Oaks at Epsom on her penultimate start.

n Exciting star juvenile Calyx has been ruled out for the season after suffering an injury.

Following a runaway victory on his racecourse debut at Newmarket, the Kingman colt was a decisive winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

That triumph saw him promoted to ante-post favouritism for next year’s 2000 Guineas, but John Gosden’s charge will not be seen again in 2018.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, said in a statement: “Calyx has had a setback in training which will rule him out from running for the rest of this season.

“He is expected to make a full recovery and we will look forward to his three-year-old year.”

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

GOODWOOD: 1.50 Rock Eagle, 2.25 Precious Ramotswe (treble), 3.00 Sabre (next best), 3.35 URBAN FOX (NAP), 4.10 Cupboard Love, 4.45 Summer Skies, 5.20 Count Otto.

NOTTINGHAM: 2.10 Be Like Me, 2.45 Regular, 3.20 Chippie Hill, 3.55 Thundercloud, 4.30 Jack Regan, 5.05 Tallinski, 5.35 Methag.

EPSOM: 5.45 Top Beak, 6.20 Amanto, 6.55 Mendoza, 7.30 Toy Theatre, 8.00 Arigato, 8.30 Port Of Call.

STRATFORD: 1.30 High Jinx, 2.00 Royal Plaza, 2.35 Cafe Au Lait, 3.10 Celestial Path, 3.45 Simply Lucky, 4.20 Jonagold, 4.55 Seven Nation Army.