BONHAMS THOROUGHBRED STAKES – 2.15pm – 1m 3yo Group 3
Potential dominates the betting in this Group 3 contest, with the two Stakes winners priced as the outsiders of this 5-strong field at the time of writing. Not since Adilabad (Gulch x Adaiyka (Doyoun)) saw off four rivals, including subsequent Group 1 winner Summoner (Inchinor x Sumoto (Mtoto)), in this race back in 2000 has such a small field assembled for the Thoroughbred Stakes.
Two sons of Dubawi (Dubai Milennium x Zomaradah (Deploy)) look set to dominate proceedings, headed by Khaloosy (Dubawi x Elshaadin (Storm Cat)), who rewarded late market support when putting in an eyewatering performance to win this year’s Britannia Handicap, pulling some 4½ lengths clear of the well-handicapped runner-up Finest Sound (Exceed And Excel x Amplifier (Dubawi)) with a further 4 lengths back to the 3rd, in the process running a figure on the clock that arguably puts him in the top 5 performances seen amongst the 3 year old colts this year. Not only did he run a time of a Group-class colt but he also travelled and quickened like one, with that ability to travel and quicken sure to stand him in good stead around a track like Goodwood. There are several niggles regarding Khaloosy’s chances today, including the prospect of fast ground, a surface he has yet to prove himself on. Moreover, energetically-speaking, Khaloosy’s Britannia win on his reappearance was such a big effort that it would not be a surprise to see him ‘bounce’ from it (to a degree), despite being given 43 days between the two runs. Essentially, Khaloosy is not likely to match his Ascot performance today, but he may not need to reach those heights to be successful here; he looks a Group-class colt all over, and has a very strong chance of proving that today.
Heading up the opposition is My Oberon (Dubawi x My Titania (Sea The Stars)), the 1st foal of Group 3 winner My Titania (Sea The Stars x Fairy Of The Night (Danehill)), who was unraced at two but has been quickly making up for time in two novice starts this year, most recently when slamming 7 rivals by upwards of six lengths in a 1m novice at York, needing only hands-and-heels riding to storm clear, in the process running a time verging on Group class, a most commendable effort for a horse having just his 2nd career start. My Oberon was still green that day, initially a little keen through the early stages prior to not running entirely straight under pressure; he will need to raise his game if he is to feature in the finish today. Having said that, even a small improvement on his York effort should see My Oberon firmly in the mix and he can prove himself a Group-class colt with a big run today.
Tilsit (First Defence x Multilingual (Dansili)) looks too short here having his first start on turf. He has had two starts so far, both in median auction novices on Newcastle’s tapeta surface and on both occasions he has proven coltish in the preliminaries. Narrowly denied by the OR88-rated Al Salt (Mukhadram x Estedaama (Marju)) first time, Tilsit made amends on his 2nd start to the tune of 19 lengths, with a useful time to back it up. Whilst Tilsit may have been impressive last time out, he has looked very much a work-in-progress through the preliminaries of each of his two starts and looks to be flying too high in this race. If he is to stand any sort of chance, Tilsit will likely need to smarten up pre-race; with that in mind, and on his first try on grass, he has to be taken on today at around the 5/1 mark.
Mystery Power (No Nay Never x Gems (Haafhd)) ran to a very smart level for one having just his 2nd start when winning last year’s Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket over 7 furlongs. In 5 subsequent starts, Mystery Power has been a touch ‘hit and miss’, but the ‘misses’ can all be put down to ground to a large degree, with his best effort since the Superlative coming when runner-up to Pierre Lapin (Capella Sansevero x Beatrix Potter (Cadeaux Genereux)) in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes on fast ground, giving the winner 3lb to boot. Mystery Power’s latest start came in the Listed Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting, where he look flattered by the way the race panned out (held up last off a strong gallop) but nevertheless ran well to finish 2nd on ground that once again would have been softer than ideal. Provided the weather sticks to the script, Mystery Power should get his ground again today, which entitles him to a good chance; having said that, he will need to settle better than he did at Newmarket (with a strong gallop looking far from assured this afternoon), and looks a place chance at best.
The field is completed by Repartee (Invincible Spirit x Pleasantry (Johannesburg)), who did not go a yard in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury 13 days ago and can certainly be given a chance to redeem himself from that effort. Repartee has raced exclusively at 6 furlongs for his 6-start career and would have tackled 7 furlongs in last month’s Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot but for soft ground ruling him out of the race. He therefore steps up a full two furlongs in distance this afternoon, a move that does not look screamingly-obvious in unlocking further improvement. Not only does Repartee have to bounce back from finishing last at Newbury, but he also has to step up on his best form to take a hand here, and is a watching brief this afternoon.
The Dubawi colts look to hold the aces this afternoon, with Khaloosy sure to take plenty of beating; he would not have looked out of place in the Sussex Stakes were it not for the same owners having the eventual winner in Mohaather (Showcasing x Roodeye (Inchinor)) and, though this race presents a different set of variables to the Britannia (faster ground, smaller field, less guarantee of a stronger pace, very different course topographically-speaking), he will still take plenty of stopping. My Oberon is deservedly being fast-tracked into Group company following his York win and can give the favourite something to think about. Of the remainder, Mystery Power is not the most reliable in terms of getting his head in front but, back on firmer ground, he can fill the frame without winning.