Cloudscape can put Gordon Stakes rivals in the shade
Cloudscape has shaped really well on his last two starts and can provide trainer John Gosden with another big race winner in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood today (3.40).
The colt was unsuited by a steady early pace when going down by just 3/4 of a length to Top Tug in a handicap at Newamrket, and then put in a career-best performance last time out at Royal Ascot when an unlucky in-running fourth to Cannock Chase in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes.
The son of Dansili took a keen hold in the early stages of the latter, but was travelling as well as anything two from home when hemmed in on the rails.
Jockey William Buick repeatedly found himself blocked when trying to extricate Cloudscape out of the pocket, and at that point the winner enjoyed a clear passage on the outside to quicken-up and put the race to bed.
However, when Cloudscape did eventually see daylight a furlong from home he quickened up really well and having been five lengths down at one stage was closing all the way to the line.
There is little doubt in my mind that Cloudscape would have gone close granted a clear run, and given the strength-in-depth among the yard’s three-year-olds it looks significant that he has been chosen as the stables’ sole representative.
The only question mark is whether Cloudscape will be able to last home now stepped up to 1m 4f given his tendency to race keenly early doors, but with Somewhat in the field a strong pace looks assured and it shouldn’t be a problem.
Somewhat is trained by the in-form Mark Johnston and could well be the biggest danger judged on his excellent third last time out in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse.
The colt ran the race of his life to be beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Mukhadram, and the form has a solid look with the winner going on to finish an excellent third to Taghrooda in the Group 1 King George.
That form sets the standard in this line-up, and the yard know what it takes to win this contest having saddled Namibian to victory in 2011.
The other runner that shouldn’t be underestimated is the Roger Chalrton trained Observational.
The son of Dynaformer has only had three starts, and put up a smart performance last time out over 1m 3f at this venue when beating Marzocco by a neck in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes.
There was lots to like about the way Observational dug deep to prevail, and the fact that he has course winning form to his name is a major plus.