Dubawi has golden chance to upset odds
The resurgent Godolphin and Frankie Dettori partnership will today bid for a second successive triumph with Poet's Voice in the Betfair Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
Having progressed to beat Rip Van Winkle in the QE II at Ascot, Poet's Voice appeared to have the world at his feet as a three-year-old this time last year.
However, notwithstanding a runner-up finish behind Wigmore Hall in a Dubai Group Two, he has failed to build on that initial top-level triumph.
He heads for Goodwood now looking to get back on track, but is opposable at odds of as low as 11/10. As much as anything else, because he is a keen runner, he has always needed a run to put him right, so his price is too short on his first start for five months.
By the same token, Dubawi Gold represents value at up to 5/1. Another exuberant sort, Richard Hannon's three-year-old has the pick of the form in this Group Two.
A dual winner earlier in the year, he flashed home late to be second in both the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas, before then running poorly behind Frankel at the royal meeting in June. With five runs under his belt already, Hannon subsequently opted to give Dubawi Gold a break.
When he returned at Newbury a fortnight ago, connections experimented with racing him closer to the pace, but he pulled too hard before meeting trouble in running at a crucial stage.
In the end, Dubawi Gold's effort flattened out under Johnny Murtagh.
Judging the performance alongside his previous bests, it was disappointing that he couldn't land a blow on Excelebration. However, it must be remembered that Dubawi Gold hadn't run for two months, and that he didn't settle on the heels of the leaders.
What's more, Doncaster Rover, which finished a place behind in fifth, has since won a Listed race at York, giving the form a solid look.
With the benefit of the run, then, and with Richard Hughes back in the saddle, Dubawi Gold can find the length and a half that he needs to turn the tables on the Newbury runner-up Beacon Lodge here.
Hannon and Hughes also have a big chance with Casual Glimpse in the day's featured handicap, the Summer Double Stakes. On its handicap debut over course and distance last time, the Compton Place three-year-old edged home by a neck, and that form has been franked by the fifth home collecting in the meantime.
Off just a 4lb higher rating, Casual Glimpse must enter calculations, but the one concern would be that he has not shaped well on either of the two occasions that he has run on slow going before.
With that in mind, it could pay to side with Below Zero, which has winning form on soft ground and gets in here off just 9st.
A slightly inconsistent sort, Mark Johnston's four-year-old has plenty ability, as evidenced by his four-length triumph in a six-furlong event at Dundalk recently. He followed that with a game second over a stamina-stretching mile at Chester last week, so the return to seven furlongs should suit.
Earlier, Drunken Sailor will attempt to enhance his Melbourne Cup prospects by landing the opening Listed race for a second year in a row.
Luca Cumani's charge has been in excellent heart, scoring twice in its last three starts.
On figures, he is the one to beat again here, but there could be a touch of value about Motrice at around 5/2. Although a pound wrong with Drunken Sailor on official figures, Mark Prescott's filly was an encouraging third here to Meeznah last time.
In the Listed sprint at Newmarket, Monsieur Chevalier is expected to deliver under Pat Dobbs.
Second in the Golden Jubilee at Ascot in June, he struggled on fast ground in the July Cup, so the drop in class on a slower surface should be to his advantage.
Best Bet: Dubawi Gold