Orion’s Bow should take a heck of a lot of stopping in the Qatar Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.
The five-year-old chestnut’s progress this summer has been nothing short of astounding, with trainer Dandy Nicholls trusted to get even more from him on this grandiose stage.
Orion’s Bow laboured his way into seventh place in a humdrum class five handicap at Catterick way back in April, but after he struck just a month later at Newcastle, he has not looked back.
The son of Pivotal has knocked off five victories on the spin and his risen a whopping 37lb.
Yet because his last victory, a runaway triumph in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton, came after the publication of the weights for the big Goodwood dash, he only has to contend with a 6lb penalty for that facile triumph.
The former John Gosden inmate will find the ground as quick as it has been since last year, but he has won before to the tune of his rattling hooves so that is unlikely to be an issue.
Having completed his relentless spree by an aggregate of 14 and a quarter lengths, that old cliche of a Group horse running in a handicap seems never more appropriate as far as Orion’s Bow is concerned.
It would perhaps be the biggest surprise of the season if Minding came unstuck in the Qatar Nassau Stakes.
Strath Burn can make a dream start for new trainer Robert Cowell in the Unison Defending Your NHS Conditions Stakes at Doncaster.
The Equiano has not yet hit the heights of last season - he was runner-up in the Sprint Cup for Charlie Hills, lest we forget - but he should be good enough to win this before a possible tilt at the Nunthorpe.
n Other selections:
Goodwood: 2.00 Projection, 2.35 Move Up, 3.10 Minding, 3.45 ORION’S BOW (NAP), 4.20 Lockheed, 4.55 Bobby Wheeler, 6.00 Bold Prediction.
Newmarket: 2.15 Abingdon, 2.50 Groupie, 3.25 Blending, 4.00 Justice Smart, 4.35 Squats, 5.10 Jacob Cats, 5.45 Strong Challenge.
Doncaster: 1.45 Dyllan, 2.20 Right Action, 2.55 Twobeelucky, 3.30 Oceanographer, 4.05 Pumblechook, 4.40 Strath Burn, 5.15 Justice Lady.
Hamilton: 5.40 Coolfitch, 6.15 Fivehundredmiles, 6.45 Fidelma Moon, 7.15 Indian Giver, 7.45 Barkston Ash, 8.15 Danzeb, 8.45 Lara Carbonara.
Lingfield: 5.25 Prince Of Cardamom, 5.55 Harmonise, 6.30 Vincenzo Coccotti, 7.00 Debonaire David, 7.30 Brave Archibald, 8.00 Gung Ho Jack, 8.30 Embankment.
Thirsk: 1.50 Perfect Symphony, 2.25 The Nazca Lines, 3.00 Correggio, 3.35 Muntadab, 4.10 Silvery Moon, 4.45 Ehtiraas, 5.20 Pomme De Terre.
Double: Orion’s Bow and Minding.