Ocean looks swell to gain top honours

Stoute is probably only just beginning to get to the bottom of Crystal Ocean – he has only raced four times, after all – so it is safe to assume there is a heck of a lot more to come. Photo: Stock Image

Chris Wilson

Crystal Ocean must have a serious chance in the Group Three Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

Sir Michael Stoute's three-year-old son of Sea The Stars is one of the more interesting horses at Freemason Lodge after having finished third to Permian in the Dante at York and the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Stoute is probably only just beginning to get to the bottom of Crystal Ocean - he has only raced four times, after all - so it is safe to assume there is a heck of a lot more to come.

Growl can provide Richard Fahey with some solace by winning the Stewards' Cup. The Malton handler could do with a pick-me-up after Ribchester was defeated at short odds in the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday.

But Fahey can at least have the final word as he is expected to land the big race on the final day of the five-day meeting.

Growl was in grand form last year, having reached a high-water mark by finishing second in the Group One sprint on Champions Day at Ascot in October.

He then signed off from his domestic campaign by winning a Listed race at Doncaster in November.

But this season has been much more challenging and he even unceremoniously unseated Paul Hanagan in the starting stalls before the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

There were, however, signs of a revival at Newmarket three weeks ago when the five-year-old gelding returned to somewhere near his best form in the July Cup.

Growl was always up against it in a field of such depth, yet he finished off his race sweetly to take sixth spot and was not beaten that far by potential starlet Harry Angel.

That should put the son of Oasis Dream in a happy place for the Stewards' Cup, in which he was an unlucky fourth 12 months ago - albeit off a lower handicap mark. Fahey has moved to negotiate that potential weight issue by appointing useful 7lb claimer Connor Murtagh, who has ridden nine winners for the Yorkshire trainer.

Perhaps just as importantly, Growl is a soft-ground scorer and also has lots of fine placed form when the mud is flying.

To Eternity is worth more than a cursory glance when she returns from a long absence in the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at Newmarket.

Judicial is another horse going in the right direction and can back up a good fourth to Take Cover in the City Walls Stakes at York by landing the Queensferry Stakes.

Today's selections

DONCASTER: 2.10 Wefait, 2.45 Make Good, 3.20 Grey Mist, 3.55 Mattmu, 4.30 Berkshire, 5.05 Penny Pot Lane, 5.35 Oriental Lilly.

GALWAY: 2.30 Big Ben, 3.05 Hidden Cyclone, 3.40 Amedeo Modigliani, 4.15 Painting Pictures, 4.50 Rosin Box, 5.25 Dalton Highway, 5.55 True Self.

GOODWOOD: 1.50 Goring, 2.25 Saigon City, 3.00 CRYSTAL OCEAN (NAP), 3.35 Growl, 4.10 Bathsheba Bay, 4.45 Taamol, 5.20 Born To Be Alive.

HAMILTON: 6.00 Austin Powers, 6.30 Dirchill, 7.00 Souls In The Wind, 7.30 Soie D'Leau, 8.00 Indian Chief, 8.30 Catastrophe, 9.00 Amy Blair.

LINGFIELD: 5.15 Almanack, 5.45 Iballisticvin, 6.15 Loving Your Work, 6.45 Diamond Dougal, 7.15 Jazeel, 7.45 Getna, 8.15 Twilight Spirit.

NEWMARKET: 2.05 To Eternity, 2.40 First Drive, 3.15 Ruysch, 3.50 Mojito, 4.25 Salateen, 5.00 Lugano, 5.30 Lamloom.

THIRSK: 2.15 Rossall, 2.50 Vaulted, 3.25 Tamayuz Magic, 4.00 Finn Class, 4.35 Bertiewhittle, 5.10 Mischief Managed, 5.40 Ninjago.

DOUBLE: Growl and Crystal Ocean.