Timeform assess the runners in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup on Thursday...
"Preference is for Mount Athos, who's fancied to prove too classy for his rivals..."
Ahzeemah is a reliable sort, and better than ever at Meydan in the spring, winning Nad Al Sheba Trophy and second to Cavalryman in Dubai Gold Cup. Respectable second in Group 2 (1½m) at Newmarket last time.
Altano is a smart German stayer who has 4 pattern wins on his record, and made successful return in 2m Group 3 at Hoppegarten. Shaped well when fifth in Ascot Gold Cup and can't rule out.
Askar Tau is a quirky sort but still smart on his day, as he showed when second in this race and Ascot Group 3 last year. Poor efforts both starts this year, though, and percentage call is to look elsewhere.
Brown Panther's last 2 wins have come in the Pontefract Castle Stakes, including on return. Some good placed efforts in defeat last term, placed in Geoffrey Freer and Irish St Leger, and capable of being involved.
Caucus made up for lost time when winning 2m Newmarket listed race in September, and better than ever this term, showing good attitude to win at Sandown last month. Not to be underestimated.
Cavalryman looked as good as ever when beating Ahzeemah in Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March, and excuses both starts in this country since. Has things in his favour this time and one to consider.
Colour Vision was a determined winner of Ascot Gold Cup last year, and put 2 poor efforts behind him when fourth in that race last time. Finished third in this race 12 months ago.
Glen's Diamond is a smart stayer who bounced back to very best when edging out Top Trip in Yorkshire Cup on return. Merely underlined his inconsistency next time, however, and others more solid.
Mount Athos continued progress since joining this yard, completing hat-trick in Group 3 at Newbury before fifth in Melbourne Cup. Easy win in Group 3 at Chester on return and Royal Ascot run easily excused.
No Heretic is a lightly-raced gelding who took another step forward when winning 1½m Newmarket handicap on return. Good third back there next time but only sixth in Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot since.
Number Theory is a tough and consistent performer who made great strides in handicaps last year, winning 3 on the bounce at Haydock. Good efforts in defeat last 3 starts but likely to find a few too good.
Repeater looked much improved for step up in trip when fourth in Doncaster Cup last term, though possibly flattered there. Not disgraced both starts this term but plenty to find on balance.
Saddler's Rock won this race last year but hasn't gone on as perhaps expected, fading into eighth from a good position in Ascot Gold Cup last time. Bit to prove on balance now.
Mister Impatience made progress in maidens at 2, and hammered rivals in Doncaster handicap on return. Some good efforts in defeat since, fourth in Queen's Vase on penultimate start, but more needed up against his elders.
1. Mount Athos
2. Brown Panther
Timeform Verdict: The established stayers look much of a muchness, leaving the way open for the up and comers or those new to the staying scene. Brown Panther remains unexposed at this distance and has the form to go close, while Caucus looked better than ever when winning at Sandown last time. However, preference is for Mount Athos, who's fancied to prove too classy for his rivals.
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