Goodwood Cup 2016: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

The Group 2 Goodwood Cup is the feature race at Goodwood on Thursday
The Group 2 Goodwood Cup is the feature race at Goodwood on Thursday
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Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to the Goodwood Cup, a Group 2 race taking place on the third day of Glorious Goodwood 2016.

"Looks to be on a similar path this year, better than ever when winning Princess of Wales's last time by 2½ lengths from The Grey Gatsby, having benefit of enterprising ride but well on top at the finish anyway."

Goodwood Cup runner by runner

Goodwood Cup
Goodwood
Thursday July 28, 15:10


1. Astronereus (Amanda Perrett) Smart performer who won Group 3 at Newbury in May and, following a flop in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot, shaped well under hold-up tactics when 2½ lengths fifth to Sandro Botticelli in a listed race at Sandown last time. That was his first attempt over two miles and should run well here now proven over the distance.

2. Big Orange (Michael Bell) Won Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket and this race in 2015, as well as finishing fifth in the Melbourne Cup. Looks to be on a similar path this year, better than ever when winning Princess of Wales's last time by 2½ lengths from The Grey Gatsby, having benefit of enterprising ride but well on top at the finish anyway. The one to beat.

3. Commissioned (Gordon Elliott) Well held in Coral Cup at Cheltenham on final hurdles start for John Ferguson, but wasted no time in getting off the mark on the Flat for new connections in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot last month. Quirky sort (has looked awkward off bridle) but remains open to improvement in this sphere, for all that this race looks a tougher assignment.

4. Curbyourenthusiasm (David Simcock) Progressed well in handicaps in 2015, winning three times. Picked up where he left off last season, improving again in the Yorkshire Cup to prove himself at Group level, arguably shaping best when a half-length second of five to Clever Cookie. Would have benefited from a stronger gallop that day and looks sure to be suited by the step up in trip here.

5. Glaring (Amanda Perrett) Maiden win at Saint-Cloud still his only success, however shaped well on debut for yard when seventh in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot (7½ lengths behind Mizzou) in April. Below form when 14¾ lengths last in Yorkshire Cup last time, folding tamely, and plenty to prove here.

6. Kinema (Ralph Beckett) Former Alan Swinbank inmate who has been turned inside out in double-quick time by Ralph Beckett, thriving and two from two for him after wins here and in the Duke of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot. First attempt at two miles here and more on his plate stepping out of handicaps but has earned his step up in grade.

7. Oriental Fox (Mark Johnston) Won Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot (by seven lengths) in 2015 but only fourth in that race this year. That just one in a series of respectable efforts, including when 2½ lengths sixth to Sandro Botticelli at Sandown last time. Needs to pull out a bit more here and was only seventh in this race last season.

8. Pallasator (Sir Mark Prescott) Won Henry II Stakes at Sandown (by 2¼ lengths from Suegioo) in May and better than result when 1¼ lengths fourth to Sandro Botticelli at Sandown last time, keeping on well after being held up but hampered over 1f out and rallying again at the finish. Tends to prove troublesome in preliminaries/on way to post. Fourth in this race last season.

9. Quest for More (Roger Charlton) Won handicap here and Northumberland Plate at Newcastle in 2015, before finishing a neck-second to Big Orange in this race last season. Good effort when filling the same position in listed race at York in May but below form when four lengths third to Pamona at same track last time, looking less interested than usual. Needs to bounce back here.

10. Sandro Botticelli (John Ryan) Lightly-raced former Aidan O'Brien inmate who won minor event at Doncaster in April and matched that form in rearranged John Porter Stakes at Chelmsford and Sagaro Stakes at Ascot on next two starts. Not so good in Queen Alexandra but back on form when beating several of these rivals at Sandown last time.

11. Sheikhzayedoad (David Simcock) Won Nad Al Sheba Trophy at Meydan in March and ran right up to best when a good 5¼ lengths third to Order of St George in Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on his first start since the Carnival. Ridden to pick up the pieces there, his quirks all fully on show as well as his ability, and will need everything to drop right in order to feature highly here.

12. Suegioo (Richard Fahey) No win since May 2014 and unlikely to buck that trend here, though has run creditably on several occasions, including when a career-best fourth in Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March. Unsuited by way race developed when 6¼ lengths seventh to Pamona at York last time.

13. The Twisler (Jane Chapple-Hyam) Won handicap at Salisbury and listed race here in 2015. No surprise to see him well below form last time in the ascot Gold Cup, flying too high in grade, but this still looks too tough a task.

14. Willie Mullins (Willie Mullins) Very smart hurdler (won 2015 County Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival) and nearly as good on the Flat, third in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October. Clearly primed for Ormonde Stakes when only beaten a neck by the better-positioned Dartmouth, though not so good when below form in the Hardwick Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. Step back up in trip in his favour here.

15. Sword Fighter (Aidan O'Brien) Has made quick progress this season, winning maiden at Sligo in May and Queen's Vase in June. Followed up in four-runner Curragh Cup at the Curragh last time by two lengths from stablemate Landofhopeandglory, making all and holding on gamely. Gets weight from all his rivals as the sole three-year-old in the line-up and respected, for all he is yet to race on quick ground.

Timeform Goodwood Cup 1-2-3
1. Big Orange
2. Sword Fighter
3. Curbyourenthusiasm

Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
BIG ORANGE arrives on the back of an emphatic win in the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket and he's taken to follow up in this, just like he did 12 months ago. Improving 3-y-o Sword Fighter may emerge as the biggest threat with his handy weight-for-age allowance, while Curbyourenthusiasm and Sheikhzayedroad are also likely players if not getting too far back.

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