Wednesday 11 December 2019

Moore can make glorious start

JA McGrath

Unless you have been in solitary confinement over the past month or so, it will not have escaped your notice that Goodwood this week will provide one of the biggest equine head-to-heads of recent times when Frankel meets Canford Cliffs in tomorrow's Sussex Stakes.

It's an epic showdown in prospect, with the rapidly improving three-year-old Frankel meeting the four-year-old Canford Cliffs. Their records and reputations are impressive.

That is the week's equine highlight, but there is also the battle over who will be top jockey for the week. Richard Hughes was in unstoppable form last year, but bookmakers are generally divided over whether it will be Hughes or Ryan Moore this time around.

There is no doubt that Goodwood provides a unique examination of a jockey's repertoire in the saddle. Their navigational skills are placed under the microscope, but there is also the horsemanship and finesse required to cope with the undulations and sharp bends that remain a feature of the track.

Moore is tipped to start the week on a winning note today, aboard Fiorente in the Gordon Stakes. The colt is trained by Michael Stoute, who let it slip that he had high hopes of the Monsun colt proving better than just a Leger type.

The feature of Fiorente's recent second in Royal Ascot's King Edward VII Stakes is that he chased home Nathaniel, which went on to triumph in Saturday's dramatic King George at Ascot. It is a high-class field, with the well-regarded Slumber providing stern opposition, though Dordogne, the Lingfield Derby Trial winner two starts back, is worth another chance following a disappointment on Newmarket's July Course.

Hughes gets his chance for an early winner with Strong Suit in the Lennox Stakes, particularly as Frankie Dettori's mount Delegator is forced to carry a penalty and will strike ground just slightly easier underfoot than he prefers.

Another to regard with respect today is the Ed Dunlop-trained Burwaaz, which is tipped to land the Molecomb Stakes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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