Glorious Goodwood (14.35): Tasleet ready for Richmond challenge
Tasleet has an ultra-progressive profile and can take the step up into Group 2 company in his stride to land the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood (14.35).
The William Haggas trained colt caught the eye in no uncertain fashion when fourth on his debut at York, running very green throughout the 6f contest before keeping on under tender handling to be gaining at the finish and beaten 3 1/4 lengths.
Tasleet duly showed the benefit of that experience when bolting up by three lengths at Chepstow before following up in impressive fashion last time out in the Listed contest at Newbury.
The son of Showcasing raced keenly in the latter, but made smooth headway from off the pace to challenge on the bridle at the furlong marker.
Tasleet then get carried left and bumped inside the last, but regained his composure and showed a devastating turn of foot in the final 100 yards to win by a neck.
To me he was value for much more than the winning margin, and the way in which Tasleet quickened marked him out as a well-above average sort who was well worth a crack at this level.
There is simply no telling as to how good Tasleet could be, but he clearly has a huge engine and needs keeping onside.
Shalaa brings the strongest form into the contest and looks sure to make a bold bid to complete the hat-trick despite having to shoulder a penalty for winning the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket last time out.
The John Gosden trained colt raced prominently throughout, before quickening up nicely at the furlong marker and running on strongly to beat Steady Pace by one length despite hanging left.
It was an effort which suggested that there could be even better to come, but Shalaa has to give 3lb to all his rivals in this and will need to improve again to follow-up.
Air Force Blue represents leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien and looks a massive player.
The colt who looked potentially top drawer when making a winning debut at the Curragh in what is traditionally a strong maiden, and the second and third home have both gone on to taste success.
Air Force Blue then lost little in defeat when beaten two lengths by Buratino in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, keeping on well after still showing signs of inexperience.
That represents strong form, and gives Air Force Blue every chance of providing O’Brien with his second winner of the contest having saddle Pyrus to victory back in 2000.
Coral’s top tip: Take tasty odds for Tasleet to make this step up in his stride.