Goodwood Cup Tip: Crystal Ocean expected to impress

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Crystal Ocean – 6-4 Gordon Stakes with Paddy Power 

Crystal Ocean – 14-1 St Leger with Bet365 

The decision to switch the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes from Saturday’s card at the Goodwood Festival to Thursday has come in for plenty of criticism as the final day of the ‘ Glorious ‘ meeting now features only one race of Group status, that being the Qatar Gordon Stakes, a significant trial for the final Classic of the season on Town Moor.

Sixties Icon in 2016 and Conduit in 2008 were the last two winners of the race with Group 3 status to prove victorious in Doncaster’s St Leger and it is the latter’s trainer – Sir Michael Stoute – who will be hoping that his Crystal Ocean can emulate that high-class performer who went on to win a King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes along with two Breeders’ Cup Turfs. While that may be asking too much of the son of Sea The Stars there is little doubt that the lightly-raced colt possesses plenty of untapped potential which can only bode well for the future.

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The colt ran only the once as a juvenile, finishing a promising neck second at Newbury before losing his maiden tag on his three-year-old debut at Nottingham back in April. Stepping up markedly in class for his next start Crystal Ocean, despite proving a big drifter in the betting, finished a close third in York’s Derby Trial, the Betfred Dante Stakes.

Rather than throw his horse in at the deep end for the world’s most famous Flat race Stoute chose Royal Ascot’s Group 2 King Edward V11 Stakes as the next port of call and while giving best to Dante winner Permian once again the mount of Andre Atzeni was far from disgraced in third place.

Runner-up there – Khalidi – is likely to renew rivalry at the weekend ( 2-1 Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook ) while it would be dangerous to underestimate the chances of Ralph Beckett’s fast-improving handicapper Mount Moriah ( 12-1 Paddy Power ). Other possible rivals include the Aidan O’Brien entries Sir John Lavery, Exemplar and Spanish Steps.

 

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The colt ran only the once as a juvenile, finishing a promising neck second at Newbury before losing his maiden tag on his three-year-old debut at Nottingham back in April. Stepping up markedly in class for his next start Crystal Ocean, despite proving a big drifter in the betting, finished a close third in York’s Derby Trial, the Betfred Dante Stakes.

 Rather than throw his horse in at the deep end for the world’s most famous Flat race Stoute chose Royal Ascot’s Group 2 King Edward V11 Stakes as the next port of call and while giving best to Dante winner Permian once again the mount of Andre Atzeni was far from disgraced in third place.

 

Runner-up there – Khalidi – is likely to renew rivalry at the weekend ( 2-1 Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook ) while it would be dangerous to underestimate the chances of Ralph Beckett’s fast-improving handicapper Mount Moriah ( 12-1 Paddy Power ). Other possible rivals include the Aidan O’Brien entries Sir John Lavery, Exemplar and Spanish Steps.

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