With a perfect record at the Sussex track MOUNT LOGAN (Best price 7-2) will be popular for the opener. Roger Varian’s son of New Approach is unbeaten in three starts at today’s venue and was a winner at this meeting last year when obliging over a mile and a quarter. His critics may suggest he didn’t pull up any trees when fourth to Dartmouth in the Hardwicke, but that race featured a different level of opposition with the race producing emphatic King George winner Highland Reel. The selection has a string of excellent speed figures which entitle him to take high rank in this Group 3 and he can repel a live challenge from Kings Fete who was unlucky in a Royal Ascot handicap last time.
The tastier prices about the chance of THIKRIYAAT (Best price 11-4) disappeared quicker than the Goodwood sun yesterday, but it is entirely understandable the son of Azamour would have his friends in the market. He was arguably one of the premier Royal Ascot eyecatchers given the manner of his finishing effort in the Jersey Stakes where he charged home to take the runners-up berth behind impressive scorer Ribchester. His Ascot conqueror posted a blinding effort to take third in the Sussex Stakes earlier this week and, if Thikriyaat handles the track, he will take some beating.
It takes a little faith to back THIRD TIME LUCKY (Best price 16-1) after he was seemingly disappointing on his York comeback, however he did plenty wrong that day and could prove a different proposition today. Although he can often race freely, the son of Clodovil took that freshness to a new level on the Knavesmire, pulling hard early on before fading to be beaten by five lengths. In the circumstances it wasn’t a bad effort as Richard Fahey’s grey was still there on the bridle in the straight before his exertions took their toll late on. Third Time Lucky, who made virtually all to win the Cambridgeshire, also cruised to the front in a competitive handicap at this meeting 12 months before fading on soft ground so I’m hoping Paul Hanagan can hold him together today for as long as possible before committing.
Prior to yesterday’s action, stall 17 looked a tough berth for CELESTIAL PATH (Best price 12-1) to overcome but, with some runners charting a course down the middle of the track by close of play, his chance may not be hopeless from a wide stall. An honourable fifth in the 2015 2000 Guineas, Sir Mark Prescott’s four-year-old looked to be approaching his peak at York last time and he is worth a wager to confirm that impression.
Seamus Buckley, clerk of the course at Goodwood, assures us that there was only a millimetre of rain at the track yesterday – despite everyone looking soaked to the skin! If that is the case then the appraisal will be music to the ears of William Haggas who is praying for genuine fast ground for MUTHMIR (Best price 7-1). Last year’s winner of the King George has yet to see rattling fast ground since his cosy win 12 months ago and Haggas will be hopeful of a clear day and a drying sun to ensure the Invincible Spirit gelding has the optimum chance to defend his crown.
Read Sam Turner's tips in the Daily Mail every day or at www.dailymail.co.uk/racing