Goodwood and Lingfield previews: The Warrior primed for battle
David Metcalf | May 19, 2016
The Warrior weighted to strike at Goodwood
The Warrior was a big eye-catcher last time out and looks weighted to get back to winning ways in the 7f handicap on today’s card at Goodwood (14.20).
The colt opened his account at the fifth time of asking for trainer Aidan O’Brien when winning a 6f maiden on return to action at the Curragh last season and went on to finish a fair third to Bossy Guest in a valuable sales race at Newmarket off an official rating of 106.
He was also far from disgraced when third to Tombelaine in a Listed contest at the Curragh, after which he was well beaten in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and an Group 3 at Leopardstown.
The Warrior then joined Amanda Perrett for the start of this season and has shaped really well in two starts for his new handler.
After finishing a keeping on seventh of 13 at Lingfield, the four-year-old finished with a flourish when a three length eighth of 26 to Flash Fire in the valuable Victoria Cup at Ascot off a mark of 95.
The latter suggested that The Warrior was ready to go in again, and the son of Exceed And Excel is now able to race off 1lb lower and has the assistance of Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Thaqaffa poised to open account
Thaqaffa ran a stormer when runner-up last time out and can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to go one better and open his account in the 1m 1f handicap (15.30).
The Marcus Tregoning trained colt shaped with promise in three starts as a juvenile before posting a much improved effort on handicap debut at Chelmsford last month when splitting a pair of subsequent winners.
Thaqaffa ran on strongly to be beaten just 1 1/4 lengths by On This Is Us who has gone on to score in impressive fashion at Newmarket off 7lb higher.
We Are Ninety, who finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Thaqaffa in third, has also since come out and landed a hot Listed contest at Newbury to be rated 98 to give the form a rock solid look.
It makes a 4lb rise for Thaqaffa look very lenient, and a revised rating of 71 could seriously underestimate the three year-old’s ability.
The son of Kodiac looks potentially miles ahead of the assessor, and this represents a golden opportunity for him to get on the scoresheet.
14.20: The Warrior (NAP)
14.55: Wolf Of Windlesham
15.30: Thaqaffa (NB)
16.35: Golden Reign
Darrell Rivers ready to cut a dash at Lingfield
Darrell Rivers looked unlucky not to score when runner-up last time out and can gain compensation in the 6f handicap on today’s card at Lingfield (17.15).
The Charles Bravery trained filly is yet to get her head in front in 13 starts, but did post some really solid efforts last season and hinted that her time was near when chasing home Summersault in a class 5 contest at Windsor earlier in the month.
Darrel Rivers showed plenty of early zip to travel strongly at the head of affairs and looked the likely winner a furlong from home before drifting badly left.
The four-year-old forfeited vital ground but sill only got headed deep inside the last to be beaten two lengths.
Had Darrell Rivers chartered a straight course the result may have been different, but it was still a cracking effort.
Although now 1lb higher in the weights, a revised rating of 64 looks workable as Darrell Rivers now drops down into class 6 company.
Flying Fantasy and Jones a potent combination
Flying Fantasy is right at the top of his game at present and looks the answer to the 7f handicap (16.10).
The Stuart Williams trained four-year-old has won two his last three starts on the all-weather, scoring a shade cosily in the last on those at Wolverhampton when running on strongly to beat Surewecan by 3/4 of a length off a mark of 71.
Flying Fantasy now switches back to the turf off just 2lb higher, and has proven form on the grass having landed a handicap at Newmarket last season before finishing a fine fourth of 15 to Dutch Law at the same venue off 72.
It makes the gelding look nicely treated from a handicapping perspective, especially when taking into account the 5lb claim of jockey Aaron Jones.
Jones has a 100 per cent record aboard Flying Fantasy (2/2), and with the yard going well this looks a nice opportunity for the pair to complete the hat-trick.
14.00: Bamako Du Chatelet
15.05: Prince Of Paris
16.10: Flying Fantasy (NB)
16.45: Moonlight Venture
17.15: Darrell Rivers (NAP)