It is impossible to look beyond Ribchester in the Qatar Sussex Stakes on the second afternoon of Glorious Goodwood.
Richard Fahey’s pride and joy has done nothing but progress since winning the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot 12 months ago, running a big race to be a strong-finishing third to The Gurkha in this Group-One affair before striking gold in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.
He was just beaten by Minding in the QEII on his final outing of 2016, returning in the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March and showing his class on his latest two starts in winning the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the Queen Anne back at the Royal meeting.
Ground conditions are not an issue for the Iffraaj colt and he has reportedly done nothing but please his trainer since Ascot.
Happy Like A Fool, meanwhile, will be fancied to recoup Ascot losses in the Bombay Sapphire Molecomb Stakes.
The American raider was all the rage for the Queen Mary Stakes but came unstuck at the hands of Heartache, who has been beaten since but had an excuse and looked the real deal on the day.
Wesley Ward is always to be respected on his British forays and his filly has apparently thrived in Newmarket of late.
Trained by the bang-in-form Joseph O’Brien, the six-year-old takes a big hike up in trip but was not far away off his current mark last time out at the Curragh and is clearly much happier on the level than he was in an aborted hurdling campaign.
Mark Johnston is rightly followed in Goodwood handicaps and can bag a winner with Sofia’s Rock in the Better Odds With Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap.
The three-year-old disappointed at Ascot but bounced back with a plucky effort from the front when third in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.
TURF TALK TIPS
GOODWOOD: 1.50 Star Rider, 2.25 Sofia’s Rock, 3.00 Happy Like A Fool, 3.35 RIBCHESTER (NAP), 4.10 Mushahadaat (next best), 4.45 Titi Makfi, 5.50 Sun Lover.
LEICESTER: 5.55 Ghayadh, 6.30 Akamanto, 7.05 Italian Heiress, 7.40 Chickpea, 8.10 Gaval, 8.40 Mark Of Excellence.
PERTH: 2.15 What Happens Now, 2.50 Argentix, 3.25 Curious Carlos, 4.00 Indian Temple, 4.35 Thorpe, 5.10 Guerrilla Tactics, 5.40 Handy Hollow.
REDCAR: 2.00 Albert Street, 2.35 Supreme Power, 3.10 Chant, 3.45 Satish, 4.20 Heir Of Excitement, 4.55 Be Bold, 5.30 Searanger, 6.05 Tellovoi.
SANDOWN: 5.45 Sandy Shores, 6.20 Milton Road, 6.55 Westerland, 7.25 Maths Prize, 7.55 Gilded Reflection, 8.25 Precision.