Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take the Main Road to Glory

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take the Main Road to Glory

Article excerpt


MAIN AIM is taken to best handle the testing conditions at Goodwood in the Celebration Mile (3.05).

Sir Michael Stoute's five-year-old is the highest-rated animal in the four-runner line-up, but he is crucially proven on a rain-sodden surface.

The fact Thursday's fixture was declared a wash-out should serve notice of how important a softground specialist will become in this Group Two challenge.

And although Summer Fete and Vitznau have posted decent efforts on an easier going, Main Aim stands out.

The Khalid Abdullah-owned entire has, after all, twice won in a bog at Newbury and Doncaster -in addition to this season's Group Three success in the John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock, where the ground was typically exacting.

Main Aim's formbook may read pretty inconsistently at times, but some of his efforts in defeat have been most noteworthy.

Last season's second in the July Cup was a cracking effort, for instance, while his close-up fourth behind Paco Boy in the Queen Anne of that year requires little hyperbole.

That Royal Ascot run is important ahead of the Celebration as it was hitherto his first try over a mile before arriving back at Goodwood.

While some analysts may beg to differ, the manner in which he was staying on towards the finish would indicate he will have no trouble staying the distance.

It was a similar tale at Goodwood on his last start in the seven-furlong Lennox Stakes, in which he flashed past the post in fourth - and in the manner of a horse requiring farther.

Perhaps the most telling statistic, however, is Stoute's record in the race.

The maestro of Freemason Lodge has won the race a jawdropping seven times in the last 13 years.

He would simply not have declared Main Aim were he not expecting to galvanise that achingly good statistic.

Malthouse can run amok in the valuable pounds 100,000 Tattersalls Millions Auction Stakes (3.55) at Newmarket.

The sharp juvenile is held in some regard by Mark Johnston and vindicated connections' faith with a sparkling debut romp over six furlong at Ascot.

Johnston's son of Green Desert should get at least another furlong in time, but has enough pace and raw class to scoot clear in this six-furlong assignment.

Bated Breath looks the solution to the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Hopeful Stakes (3.20).

Although Roger Charlton will no doubt have slight concerns about the ground for his Dansili colt, he coped well enough over course and distance last time - even though his winning spree came to an end.

He endured no end of traffic troubles that day, though, and can set the record straight here.

Hot Prospect can also preserve his tall reputation by winning the Winter Hill Stakes (6. …

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