Simon Holt: Raucous appeal
Channel 4 Racing commentator Simon Holt previews the action from Goodwood and Newmarket and thinks Raucous has a big shout.
Raucous is fancied to claim Listed honours at Newmarket
Trainer David O'Meara has gained a justified reputation for revitalising older handicappers and REX IMPERATOR can provide another success story in the aptly-named Goodwood Revival Handicap on Saturday.
The seven-year-old looks back in top form judged on his last three starts, finishing third at Doncaster before filling the same position behind the re-opposing Shady McCoy over this course and distance last month when he travelled well but was short of room on at least two occasions. Given a clearer passage, I believe the placings would have been reversed.
Rex Imperator again showed his well-being on his latest outing at Ripon, travelling well once more but being obliged to shift off line and challenge in the centre of the course before going under by a neck and a short head behind Roudee.
With a bit better luck in running, the seven-year-old – winner of the Stewards' Cup on this course back in 2013 – can make a bold bid from stall 10 of the 20 runners.
Likely favourite is Certificate who looks progressive judged on a fluent success at Doncaster last time for which he has gone up 6lb in the ratings.
Roger Varian's gelding, who carries his head slightly high, has come back well from a lay-off earlier in the year and is well drawn in stall six.
Later, the featured Group Two Doom Bar Celebration Mile looks tricky with decent older horses Toormore, Arod and Lightning Spear taking on the three-year-olds Thikriyaat and Zonderland.
On his best form, TOORMORE could be the one to beat on a course which clearly plays to his strengths.
Richard Hannon's five-year-old is twice a winner at past Glorious Goodwoods and ran about as well as could be expected when finishing fourth behind The Gurkha, Galileo Gold and subsequent Prix Jacques le Marois winner Ribchester in the Sussex Stakes here last time when Lightning Spear was about a length behind him in sixth.
The latter failed to shine next time behind Ribchester in France (Arod tenth) so the dangers to Toormore probably come from his younger rivals.
The progress made by Thikriyaat has been quite impressive; he too finished behind Ribchester when that high class colt ran out an easy winner of the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot but Sir Michael Stoute's gelding came good over this course and distance subsequently when emerging best in a bunch finish to a Group Three last month.
However, that form does not look overly strong and, while clearly a promising performer, this is another step up for Thikriyaat.
Zonderland, sixth (three places behind Ribchester) in the 2000 Guineas on his reappearance, has since won at Sandown and Salisbury, on the latter occasion benefitting from a disappointing effort by odds-on favourite Massaat. He too needs to raise his game a bit to beat Toormore, a proven performer at this Group Two level.
At Newmarket, RAUCOUS is fancied to gain a deserved win in the Listed Stobart Club and Shop Hopeful Stakes.
William Haggas' colt is a good-looking, good-moving individual and has probably run consecutive career-bests on his last two starts finishing third behind The Tin Man at Newbury before finishing well into the same position behind Dancing Star in the Stewards Cup.
A winner over this course and distance as a juvenile, Raucous looks ready for a big attempt at winning bold type with Eastern Impact, sixth in the July Cup here but beaten twice since (including once at odds-on) the main danger.