CHARLIE Hills enjoyed many good days at Goodwood with Battaash and was again successful in the King George Stakes on Friday with Khaadem (118) who found enough in the dying strides to stave off the late surge of the vastly improved Raasel (118).

The winner initially displayed the superior speed as Ryan Moore gained a positive position courtesy of successive sub-10sec furlongs. Leading entering the final furlong, a closing furlong of 12.33secs was just enough to hold Raasel who was by far the fastest of the field through the closing stages, clocking 11.86secs for his final furlong.

A comparison of the closing sectionals shows Raasel’s 32.91secs to be slightly faster than Khaadem, who covered the same ground in 32.98secs.


Khaadem has the speed to be competitive in the Nunthorpe and could reward each-way support on the Knavesmire, while Raasel’s entry in the Group 1 Flying Five at the Curragh over Champions Weekend would look an ideal opportunity for the Showcasing gelding to test himself at the highest level.

Rebel’s Romance (115) led home a Charlie Appleby one-two in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes posting a time-figure which suggests he can step up in grade.

Rider William Buick needed to cajole the odds-on favourite into contention although the aspiring champion jockey only resorted to the ProCush to ensure his mount kept focus when hitting the front. A closing sectional of 35.27secs was comfortably the best of the races over a distance in excess of a mile and the son of Dubawi gave the impression a step up in trip will suit.

Stable companion Global Storm (111) stayed on steadily for little or no pressure and may yet head to the Ebor Handicap.

Orbaan (105) broke a winless streak which stretched back to July 2020 when running away with the ultra-competitive Golden Mile. David O’Meara’s gelding posted a time-figure faster than Group 3 winner Rocchigiani (101), making it difficult to believe he was racing of a rating in the 80s.

The sectionals favoured the German group winner as he clocked 33.98secs for his concluding three furlongs, while Orbaan stopped the clock at 34.25secs.

Rumstar (95+) clocked a respectable time in the nursery, progressing for the step up to six furlongs. A closing sectional of 34.58secs was no match for the Group 2 sprinters although the positive was the son of Havana Grey won a shade cosily. I also made a note of Lost Angel (84+) who switched groups late on and arguably paid for the manoeuvre through the final furlong.

To complete the data, Caius Chorister (98) made it five wins in a row, although of the two middle-distance handicaps I prefer the credentials of the opening contest won by Master Milliner (102) who was faster overall when adjusted for distance and closed off faster, the relevant data being 35.68sec versus 36.51secs respectively.

Ambassador one to take from Stewards’ Cup

REMARKABLY, Commanche Falls (114) landed the Stewards’ Cup for a second successive year as stands’-side runners dominated the feature heritage handicap of the meeting.

The son of Lethal Force was one of the first off the bridle as the early pace was strong. However, a combination of Conor Beasley steering the perfect path and his tenacious attitude saw the five-year-old prevail by the narrowest of margins from the faster-finishing Tabdeed (114). Michael Dods’ gelding covered the final three furlongs in 34.74secs compared to Tabdeed’s 34.47secs, with Archie Watson’s gelding again looking a shade unlucky in the run.

Great Ambassador (110+) proved best of those drawn low as he once again found himself on the wrong side of the track. Ed Walker’s gelding completed his race in a field best 34.12secs and it would not be a surprise to see his connections plot a course back to the Ayr Gold Cup in a bid to improve on his runners-up berth last year.

Jason Hart was a length away from landing the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes on Urban Artist (108) as his aggressive ride forced Group 3 winner Sea La Rosa (109) to dig deep to prevail.

The closing sectionals show just how stern the test of stamina was as the winner took 37.25secs to complete the final three furlongs with Emily Dickinson (108+), who finished from further back, only summoning the energy to stop the clock at 36.62secs.

Trawlerman (110) promoted his claims as Godolphin’s number-one choice for the Ebor with victory in the Summer Handicap, a race in which Urban Artist finished second last year. In posting an identical time figure to the group performers, Trawlerman finished his race with much more purpose with the application of a hood the probable catalyst in performance.

The son of Golden Horn covered the ground from the three-furlong pole in 35.79secs to maintain a length gap to Bague D’Or (109) at the line. In behind, the front-rank gaps were at a premium with Euchan Glen (109+) suffering the most. The nine-year-old finished his race in 34.72secs to leave the impression he was an unlucky loser; he is also likely to head to York and another tilt at the Ebor.

Scenic well worth another Look

THE pick of the performances at Galway over the weekend was Serious Challenge (92+) who put the experience of his first run on the Monday of the meeting to the best possible use to land the opening maiden on Saturday.

Kevin Manning took a position close to the pace on this occasion and, along with favourite Hiawatha (91+), closed on the leader running into the dip. A closing sectional from the two-furlong marker of 27.71secs was enough to prevail over the odds-on favourite and was not matched by any other winner on the day.

Sionnach Eile (108+) emerged from the gloom on Friday night to post the fastest time figure and win the feature premier handicap by a wide margin. Joe Murphy’s gelding is now two from two when wearing a hood and can win again on this evidence.

Soaring Monarch (98+) completed a notable jumps and flat double for his connections on Thursday with victory in the handicap over the extended mile. Sporting a first-time visor, the five-year-old was faster through the closing stages than listed winner Surrounding (96), clocking 39.12secs from the three-furlong marker in comparison to the 39.63secs posted by the veteran mare.

Peter Fahey’s gelding thrives on soft ground and this enhanced his Galway record so he will no doubt be back for the upcoming meetings at Ballybrit.

Scenic Look (88) was the marquee performance on Wednesday as the four-year-filly looks to have found her optimum conditions; two miles on good ground. To support this view, the daughter of Workforce ran to the same time-figure as when fifth to Maze Runner at the Curragh in June.

Although well beaten over hurdles on Saturday, the ground would have deteriorated and it is notable her only run over hurdles on good ground saw her finish second to Gradual Slope at Kilbeggan.


Dandy Alys (82+), Nottingham, 28th July – comfortable winner who is progressing with racing.

Castan (72+), Musselburgh, 29th July – won on his handicap debut and looks a likely type to follow-up in a similar contest.

Commissioning (96+), Newmarket, 30th July – showed a telling turn of foot to win on her racecourse bow.