Soldier In Action is well worth a little interest in the Royal Sussex Regiment Handicap at Goodwood.
The five-year-old stayer has been highly tried this season, but, maddeningly for trainer Mark Johnston, he has not yet got his nose in front. That does, of course, mean he is now weighted accordingly and is 12lb lower than when he last won at Kempton in November 2017.
Soldier In Action largely struggled in good company during the summer, but the proverbial green shoots of recovery were evident on his last two outings.
The son of Soldier Of Fortune was not beaten too far in the stayers’ race on Shergar Cup day at Ascot, after which he was sent into battle in a valuable handicap at York a fortnight ago.
Johnston’s inmate finished fifth and some distance behind Here And Now, but he made encouraging late gains once the game was up to suggest he is coming to hand.
Soldier In Action won a soft-ground handicap over a mile and three-quarters at Goodwood last August, so punters will be reassured that he acts at the track when there is cut in the ground.
Add to the melting point the fact Johnston has such a good record on the West Sussex Downs and the stage looks set for a decent spin.
Princess Power can get back into the winning groove in the six-furlong fillies’ nursery.
Nigel Tinkler’s youngster has had a fine season, claiming three races on the bounce – including a valuable prize at Newmarket in which she chinned Weatherbys Super Sprint winner Ginger Nut.
Her winning run came to an end at Beverley last time, but that was a muddling encounter in which she was carried out wide inside the last 100 yards. She only went down by a head, though, so it was another tell-tale sign that she is still on top of her form.
Tinkler has long had this race in mind for Princess Power, who remains quite an exciting filly.
Goodwood Showman should perhaps be running on the same card, but instead takes aim at a one-mile handicap at Kempton.
Trainer William Knight ought to be brimming with brio, too, as he caught the eye over course and distance on August 15, when second to Extra Large.
That was Goodwood Showman’s first start since May – and also a first outing since wind surgery, which looks to have done its job.
There are small races to be won with this lightly-raced son of Showcasing, who ought to be able to exploit a mark of 69.
Tahreek is an interesting runner in the Cadeby Homes Handicap at Leicester.
Sir Michael Stoute’s three-year-old colt was a game winner at Nottingham in June, but has not necessarily kicked on after a rise in the weights.
That said, he was a little unfortunate at Salisbury three weeks ago, when trapped for room inside the penultimate furlong, and should not be dismissed lightly in a race of this nature.
GOODWOOD: 2.00 Zoffany Bay, 2.35 Bella Vita, 3.05 Line of Duty, 3.40 Princess Power (next best), 4.10 SOLDIER IN ACTION (NAP), 4.45 Incentive, 5.20 Autumn War.
KEMPTON: 5.45 Thegreyvtrain, 6.15 Crash Helmet, 6.45 Saryshagann, 7.15 Goodwood Showman (treble), 7.45 Velvet Revolution, 8.15 Robero, 8.45 Allofmelovesallofu.
LEICESTER: 4.55 Herringswell, 5.25 Harperelle, 5.55 Tahreek, 6.25 Ski Blast, 6.55 Bella Ferrari, 7.25 Sexy Secret.
STRATFORD: 2.15 Go Another One, 2.50 Apachee Prince, 3.20 Beach Break, 3.55 Comanche Chieftain, 4.30 Danceintothelight, 5.05 Versifier.