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Glorious Goodwood and Ebor Festival

Lennox Stakes – 26th July

I think William Haggas has got this race well and truly covered from all angles. He has two entries, Aldaary and Sacred, but in truth I'd be a little surprised if both ran. Jim Crowley's comments about Aldaary suggests he really needs cut in the ground, and his form backs that up as well. When there has been any firm in the going description, he hasn't produced his best form. However, when he does get his ground, he's a very good horse.

A runaway winner of the Balmoral Handicap at the end of last season, he returned in 2022 with an easy Listed success. If it rains enough for Goodwood, I can't see connections turning this opportunity down for this highly progressive gelding.

If it doesn't rain and the ground is quick, then that'll be ideal for Haggas' other entry, Sacred. She thrives on a fast surface and 7f looks her optimum trip, having won both starts at the distance, including her best RPR. She also beat Saffron Beach on the first occasion, the subsequent Group 1 winner.

Sacred just found things happening a little too sharply in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, but she finished strongly in a more than respectable fifth. That's strong form and if it's quick ground, I can't see her stablemate running and she'll be tough to beat.

It would be surprising to see both Aldaary and Sacred run. But hopefully one of them does, and that'll mean they've got their ideal conditions.

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Recommended Bets

Back Aldaary @ 5/1

Back Sacred @ 10/1

Nassau Stakes – 28th July

Nashwa heads the betting for the Nassau and it’s fairly easy to see why following her Prix de Diane victory.

Three-year-olds have won seven of the last ten renewals, so classy youngsters tend to get the job done here over their elders. But Nashwa was put in her place in the Oaks by Tuesday, and even though the mile and a quarter trip is probably better for Nashwa, I think she’ll struggle to reverse the Epsom form with Tuesday.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly didn’t take in the Irish Oaks and hopefully that’s because they’ve got one eye on the Nassau, which he won in 2016 with Tuesday’s sister, Minding. He is not averse to running a good one here, as shown with Minding and Winter. I believe Tuesday to be pretty versatile trip wise and I can’t see this drop in distance being an issue.

She wasn’t well-positioned in the Irish Derby so I’m easily willing to forgive her that run. If she’s back to her Epsom form she’ll take a fair bit of stopping in here. I’ve not heard if she's definitely going to run, but there is some serious juice in the price at the moment as if she runs she’ll be close to favourite I’d say.

Recommended Bet

Back Tuesday @ 8/1

Nunthorpe Stakes – 19th August

This is a very intriguing contest this season I feel.

The favourite is a three-year-old filly that has had just three runs and won a Listed race over course and distance last time. Granted, Royal Aclaim was pretty impressive last time, but she still has plenty to prove to be as short as 5/2 for the Nunthorpe.

Golden Pal is an interesting one if he runs, given how good Wesley Ward believes he is. But he's just not produced on a straight track (even though the Kings Stand was a throw out run), so for that reason I can't have him.

The one lingering at a price that keeps catching my eye here is Romantic Proposal.

Despite her finishing position, I think she ran well in the July Cup when last seen, having travelled best into the contest, she was just found wanting towards the business end, so a return to the minimum trip should see her in a better light. She's primarily been campaigned over further than 5f, but from her five runs at the trip, she's only been out of the places once. Gaining her first top level win in the Flying Five at the Curragh in September last year, she has her training dreaming of more Group 1 success. Edward Lynam trained the terrific Sole Power to win the Nunthorpe in 2014, so hopefully he can repeat the feat!

Recommended Bet

Back Romantic Proposal @ 16/1 Each Way

Ebor – 20th August

There's a couple in here that I think are worth a bet and the first of them is Gaassee.

A highly progressive four-year-old, he won four races in a row before finishing an arguably unlucky third in the Old Newton Cup. Having to wait for room when the race began to heat up, that certainly cost him sound ground, but how much is down to opinion.

He doesn't do anything quickly, so I think it cost him enough as because it takes him a bit to get going, he wasn't hitting top gear until too late. I don't have too much doubt about his stamina even though it'll be his first try over 1m6f, as he hits the line strongly and his pedigree gives plenty of encouragement being by Sea The Stars and out of a Monsun mare that is a sister to a multiple-winning two mile hurdler. He's a horse going the right way that I want on side.

My second play is Raise You for Joseph O'Brien.

He moved to the yard having made a promising start for Andrew Balding, winning a Listed race easily at Newmarket as a three-year-old. Never properly kicking on from there, he looked a reformed character when trying 1m4f for the first time in October last year, powering home in an amateur race.

Proving that no fluke, he duly hacked up over the same trip in May when beating stablemate Okita Soushi before being a bit unlucky at Limerick when he was slow out of the gates then got trapped for room, so conceded first run to the winner before running on.

I love the way he travels into races over this new trip, and he then finds for pressure and hits the line well. I'm adamant there's still more to come over these sorts of trips and he could be even better over the Ebor trip of 1m6f, so even though he'll have a big weight to carry, I really want to see him have a go at this.

Recommended Bets

Back Gaassee @ 10/1 Each Way

Back Raise You @ 25/1 Each Way

Alex Peperell

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