The feature race on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood, the Goodwood Cup, looked like a cracking race on paper and it was a contest that fully lived up to its promise as Kyprios, Stradivarius and Trueshan - the three best stayers on the scene in the continued absence of Subjectivist - locked horns up the home straight.
It was Kyprios (126 from 125), the Gold Cup winner at Royal Ascot, who emerged narrowly on top, showing a willing attitude to prevail by a neck in a race that perhaps didn't provide as stern a test of stamina as ideal for such a strong stayer.
Stradivarius (124 from 121) got closer to Kyprios than he had at Royal Ascot, when much of the post-race debate revolved around the owner and trainer's dissatisfaction with the ride he had been given by Frankie Dettori who was replaced by Andrea Atzeni at Goodwood. Things again didn't go perfectly for Stradivarius as he was short of room at a crucial stage just as the race was starting to develop, but the winner, who is now unbeaten in four starts this season, is the type to keep pulling out extra and would have been hard to pass even had the runner-up enjoyed better luck.
Last year's Goodwood Cup winner Trueshan (remains on 130) had missed the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot - as well as other engagements over the last couple of seasons - due to the going being deemed unsuitably fast, but was allowed to take his chance here despite conditions again being on the quick side. He played his part in a magnificent race and held every chance when upsides over a furlong out, but ultimately had to settle for third, finishing a length and a quarter behind the runner-up.
Trueshan wasn't at his very best on Tuesday, perhaps due to the firmer ground, but he had posted a historic weight-carrying performance in the Northumberland Plate on his penultimate start, while it's also worth remembering he handed Stradivarius a comprehensive four-and-a-half-length beating in the Prix du Cadran last season, so the pick of his form is just about the best on offer and he will remain a big threat in the top staying prizes.
🥊 A glorious @Goodwood_Races Cup!!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 26, 2022
The three big guns fight out a thriller with Kyprios seeing off the gallant Stradivarius & Trueshan for @Ballydoyle & Ryan Moore
🏆 G1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup
🏆 G1 Ascot Gold Cup
🏆 G3 Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes
🏆 Listed Vintage Crop Stakes pic.twitter.com/iZJ3yTUwrO
The first Group race of the meeting was the Vintage Stakes and was won by Marbaan (107p from 90p), who showed much-improved form to beat Holloway Boy (106p from 103p), the winner of the Chesham Stakes on his debut at Royal Ascot.
Marbaan had only a couple of novice wins to his name but raised his game under a well-judged, patient ride to edge ahead inside the final 50 yards. The form he showed is a shade below a typical winner of the Vintage Stakes, but his rating of 107p does place him among the ten highest-rated juveniles we've seen so far this season. However, he'll need to find further improvement if he is to stay towards the top of the pecking order or make a big impact in Group 1s.
The other Group race on Tuesday, the Lennox Stakes, was won by Sandrine (115 from 109) who proved better than ever on her first attempt at seven furlongs. A dual Group-race winner over six furlongs last season, Sandrine had performed creditably in three attemps over a mile this season but raised her game in the Lennox, finally putting together the sort of performance she had hinted at.
Baaeed (remains on 134) is Timeform's highest-rated horse in training and the joint-highest-rated miler (along with Kingman) since the days of Frankel, so it's no surprise that he didn't have to run to his best to land the Sussex Stakes and take his record to nine from nine.
This had promised to be Baaeed's stiffest test, but in the absence of Coroebus he was left with a straightforward task and it was one he completed without any alarm, quickening a length and three-quarters clear of Modern Games (122 from 115) who raised his level without posing the winner a serious threat. The Juddmonte International, in which Baaeed will step up to beyond a mile for the first time and clash with last year's top-class winner Mishriff, will provide Baaeed with a better opportunity to stamp his class and advance his Timeform rating.
🔵⚪️ Baaeed - he remains unbeaten with Sussex Stakes glory @Goodwood_Races— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 27, 2022
🏇 9 races
🥇 9 wins
🏆 G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes
🏆 G1 Queen Anne Stakes
🏆 G1 Lockinge Stakes
🏆 G1 QEII Stakes
🏆 G1 Prix du Moulin
⭐️ Superstar for William Haggas, @JimCrowley1978 & @ShadwellStud pic.twitter.com/w8hW5RJPTB
There were two significant performances from two-year-old fillies on Wednesday afternoon as Trillium (104p from 87p) deployed a striking turn of foot to beat the boys in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes before The Platinum Queen (104 from 98) scorched clear of her rivals in the fillies' conditions stakes.
The victories may have been achieved in contrasting fashion, but they were of similar merit according to Timeform and are among the best performances seen in the juvenile fillies' division so far this season, with only Dramatised (110p), Meditate (106), Mawj (105) and Statuette (105p) rated higher.
Trillium arrived at Goodwood on the back of a maiden win at Newbury but she showed she was well at home in a higher grade of race, readily quickening a length and a quarter clear of Windsor Castle Stakes runner-up Rocket Rodney.
On a day when conditions were riding fast at Goodwood, Trillium set a new juvenile track record, but that time was soon bettered by The Platinum Queen who showed she would have been well worth her place in the Molecomb.
The Platinum Queen had sparkled at York on her previous outing and, at another speed-favouring track, she proved far too fast for her rivals, scoring by four lengths after taking her rivals out of their comfort zone and looking in control at halfway. The Nunthorpe could be next for The Platinum Queen, who would have around half a stone to find on weight-adjusted ratings.
The draw at Goodwood can be crucial and so it proved in the Oak Tree Stakes, in which those drawn 1-5 filled five of the first six places. The winner Oscula (107 from 105) was well drawn to strike from stall 2 and she showed a really willing attitude to prevail by a head, only four days after missing out by just a nose in a Group 3 at Ascot.
The unlucky one in the race was third-placed Samahram (108+ from 105) as she met trouble but finished really powerfully when in the clear, leaving the impression she would have won with better luck.
Nashwa (119p from 112p) had to settle for third behind Tuesday (118) and Emily Upjohn (118) in the Oaks at Epsom but she is now rated higher than both of those fillies after following up her victory in the Prix de Diane with a smooth success in the Nassau Stakes.
Nashwa performed creditably when third at Epsom, finishing around three and a quarter lengths behind the principals, but she left the impression that her stamina was just being stretched, and she has duly improved for dropping back in trip. Nashwa had to dig deep to win the Prix de Diane but she produced a much more authoritative display at Goodwood, scoring with more in hand than the margin of a length and three-quarters would suggest.
The Nassau was run at a steady gallop and only started to take shape from halfway, so Nashwa's position at the rear of the field placed her at a disadvantage. However, she deployed an excellent turn of foot to readily quicken past the entire field and she can have her performance upgraded based on that fast closing sectional time.
Nashwa lands the Nassau & records her second G1 victory for team Gosden & @HollieDoyle1 @Goodwood_Races— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 28, 2022
🏇 Six runs
🥇 Four wins
🏆 G1 Qatar Nassau Stakes
🏆 G1 Prix de Diane
🏆 Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies' Trial Stakes
🚀 Brilliant filly pic.twitter.com/n2RSDYqSQ4
New London (122p from 115p) failed to handle the track when flopping in the Chester Vase, leading connections to conclude the Derby would come too soon in his development, but he showed how much he has matured when handling Goodwood well enough to win the Gordon Stakes with a bit up his sleeve.
New London had bounced back from his Chester flop with a decisive success in handicap company at Newmarket's July meeting and he raised his game again to win a strong renewal of this Group 3, beating the Bahrain Trophy winner, Deauville Legend, by a length and three-quarters with the Derby runner-up, Hoo Ya Mal, a neck back in third.
The Gordon Stakes has a rich roll of honour with the likes of Highland Reel, Ulysses and Crystal Ocean among the recent winners, and New London also looks set to make his mark at Group 1 level. A rating of 122p makes New London a leading player for the St Leger, with only Irish Derby winner Westover, whose suitability for the race is surely in question after racing far too keenly in the King George, ahead of him on Timeform's figures.
Royal Scotsman (110 from 107) did his bit for the Coventry Stakes form, as well as underlining his status as a smart juvenile, when winning the Richmond Stakes in clearcut style.
The heavily-backed favourite wouldn't have given his backers many worries as he travelled smoothly and quickly assumed control when sent into the lead under two furlongs out, eventually passing the post a length and a half clear and well on top of his rivals.
Royal Scotsman's victory means the second (Persian Force), third (Royal Scotsman) and fourth (Blackbeard) from the Coventry have all won at Group 2 level since Royal Ascot, so a more positive view should be taken about the winner Bradsell's performance. Reflecting the strength of that form, Bradsell's rating has been increased to 114p, identifying him as the standard-setter in the juvenile division.
There's not a lot between the best five-furlong sprinters in Britain, and there was little more than a length separating the first four home in the King George Stakes.
The field was led home by Khaadem (119 from 113), who had won the Palace House Stakes earlier in the season but left his rider in the stalls at Royal Ascot last time. Everything went smoothly here and, in beating the progressive Raasel (118 from 116) by a neck, Khaadem proved better than ever to establish himself as a big player for the Nunthorpe in an open year. Only Highfield Princess, Dramatised and Royal Aclaim are coming out ahead of Khaadem on weight-adjusted ratings for the Nunthorpe.
The Thoroughbred Stakes had been won by Baaeed last year, and while there was nothing of his class in the contest this time around German raider Rocchigiani (113 from 110) showed a likeable attitude to come out on top, putting in his third smart effort in a row.
Rebel's Romance (remains on 120) got the better of Kemari (118 to 113) in a Glorious Stakes finish dominated by Godolphin. Rebel's Romance, the odds-on favourite, left the impression that he'll be seen to better effect back on a more conventional track and perhaps over further, with the Irish St Leger looking a suitable target.
Commanche Falls (117 from 111) became the first horse since Sky Diver in 1968 to win back-to-back editions of the Stewards' Cup, showing a very good attitude under pressure to prevail. Conditions were testing when Commanche Falls won last year's Stewards' Cup so this victory on much faster ground highlighted his admirable versatility.
This was a career-best effort from Commanche Falls, from a 2 lb higher mark than last year, but his draw in stall 19 was an advantage in a race dominated by those who raced towards the stands' rail. With that in mind, Great Ambassador (118 from 114), who finished sixth but fared best of those who raced towards the far side, can have his effort marked up. He was an unlucky third in this race last season, when also faring best in his group, and he can win a big prize when getting some overdue good fortune.
It was not a high-quality renewal of the Lillie Langtry but an attacking ride on eventual runner-up Urban Artist (110 from 108) helped produce an exciting finish. Tom Marquand didn't panic aboard Sea La Rosa (remains on 112) and delivered the Lancashire Oaks runner-up with a well-timed challenger to overhaul the pace-setter inside the final furlong to win by a length.