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Goodwood Thursday Preview – Rock goes for Cup repeat

The highlight of day 3 is the Goodwood Cup at 3.15 with Saddler’s Rock bidding to win it for the second successive year. Last season he was a strong favourite after finishing third at Ascot but he comes here on the back of a disappointing eighth behind Estimate.

Connections are hopeful that the ground will dry out sufficiently for the son of Sadler’s Wells to run well after pleasing in his recent work. The favourite is Luca Cumani’s Mount Athos who finished an unlucky fifth in the Melbourne Cup on his only previous start at two miles.

He started his campaign with an easy victory in a very poor renewal of the Ormonde Stakes before finishing fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes. Brown Panther could be dangerous if he stays whilst German raider Altano was an eye-catching fifth in the Gold Cup.

The meeting starts at 2.15 with the Gordon’s Handicap over nine furlongs and Henry Candy’s Code Of Honor looks set to go off favourite. He ran out an impressive winner at Sandown last time out and meets the runner-up Mushaakis on the same terms.

Figure Of Speech is likely to be a firm favourite for the Richmond Stakes at 2.45 after finishing second in the July Stakes. The form of that race has been let down by a couple of the placed horses since but he looks capable of further improvement.

Wild Coco is also out to repeat last year’s triumph in the 3.45 and has ground conditions in her favour. If she is fit enough to do herself justice she should prove too strong for Sir Michael Stoute’s Elik.

Amazing Maria has the best form on show in the maiden race at 4.15 but the market may be the best guide here with some interesting newcomers, particularly Radiator and Remember from the stables of Stoute and Hannon respectively.

Godolphin’s Muharrib may be worth supporting in the 4.50 after throwing away a winning chance at Newmarket last time. He hung to his ride in the closing stages when second to Law Enforcement and could be held up a little longer this time.

Mean It pulled too hard for his own good when an odds-on failure at Newcastle last time and he bids to make amends in the closing handicap at 5.20. Opposition includes hat-trick seeking Xinbama and the lightly weighted Sir Mike for local trainer Amanda Perrett.

Selections: 2.15 Code Of Honor, 2.45 Figure Of Speech (NAP), 3.15 Brown Panther (nb), 3.45 Wild Coco, 4.20 Radiator, 4.50 Muharrib, 5.20 Xinbama