Meade optimistic that Confiding is as good as Newbury win suggests
Qatar Vintage Stakes | Group 2 | 2yo | 7f | ITV/RUK
Newbury novice winner Confiding bids to provide trainer Martyn Meade with a second juvenile Group 2 winner of the month and give jockey Callum Shepherd a first win in a Group race, but while he could go off favourite his bare form leaves him needing a significant step up still.
There is no denying that last month's Newbury race, for which Confiding was a relatively unfancied 16-1 chance, has worked out exceptionally well numerically, with seven of the next eight winning since, all but one of them next time out.
However, while a couple of them, including eyecatching fifth Neverland Rock, have taken their ratings to another level, the balance of the form is unexceptional and Confiding's Racing Post Rating leaves him 13lb behind Arqana July Stakes fourth Dunkerron.
While Confiding needs to step up Meade, who took the July Stakes with Advertise, is understandably optimistic. He said: "The way he won was pretty impressive but at that stage you never know how it's going to work out. But it's worked out well and he's bound to come on for that first run experience wise, so I'm pretty excited about it."
He added: "We don't have a retained rider and Callum rode Confiding very well at Newbury, so it's quite nice that I don't have any temptation to look elsewhere. He's an up and coming rider and is going the right way. He's ridden the horse at home too and believes in him. It's a big opportunity for him."
Strong stable history
By his own admission, Mark Johnston is thin on the ground where two-year-olds are concerned at Goodwood this year.
However, he has a major contender here in Dark Vision, who is one of only two unbeaten runners in the line up for a race the stable has won with three of the best horses it has ever sent to the meeting in Mister Baileys (1993), Lucky Story (2003) and Shamardal (2004).
Dark Vision cost only 15,000gns as a yearling yet offers the stable's Kingsley Park 10 syndicate a great opportunity of landing a huge prize. Johnston said: "I can't say he's in the same league as horses like Shamardal, but he's done nothing wrong and deserves his chance in a race like this.
"It's fantastic for Kingsley Park and I see he's almost vying for favouritism. Let's hope they're right."
Galileo Gold lookalike
Blonde Warrior's trainer Hugo Palmer won this in 2015 with subsequent 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold and sees similarities between the pair, although he acknowledges that his runner still has to prove himself.
He said: "Blonde Warrior reminded me of Galileo Gold the moment I saw him, but looking similar to him and being a similar character to train doesn't mean he's going to be as good.
"We have to be optimistic. He hasn't really beaten anything in his last two starts, but it's not his fault. They looked quite strong races at the entry stage, but he was able to turn them into processions at long odds on.
"It's not his fault he hasn't really been tested. His work has been very pleasing and he's quite nicely drawn in three. He could have gone to Ascot for £30,000 but we felt he deserved his chance here running for £200,000."
What the others say
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Van Beethoven
Things didn't work out for him at Newmarket last time and we've decided to step him up to seven furlongs for the first time. He seems in good form.
Saeed Bin Suroor, trainer of Burj
Burj always works well and tries hard in his races. He deserves to step up in class again and meet better horses.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Cosmic Law
He's in great form and if you draw a line through Ascot, where trying to go with Calyx probably cost him a few places late on, then he has just about the best form in the race. The step up to seven furlongs should suit.
Tom Dascombe, trainer of Drogon
He ran a perfectly respectable first race and then stepped right up and broke the track record at Haydock. He's a nice, progressive horse and I don't see any reason he wouldn't handle Goodwood, so we're expecting a good run.
Alan King, trainer of Dunkerron
He was also entered in the Richmond but we feel this extra furlong might suit him. He ran a super race after two wins in lesser company to finish fourth in the July Stakes at Newmarket last time and, while this looks a hot renewal he goes there in good form.
Archie Watson, trainer of Federal Law
He ran a lovely race first time out at Newcastle and then improved for the step up to seven furlongs when winning what looked a hot novice at Salisbury. He deserves his chance in what looks an open Group 2.
Ralph Beckett, trainer of Junius Brutus
I'm still getting to know him but I already know the family well. The rain on Sunday was very welcome, and on pedigree the step up to seven furlongs certainly fits. He seems in great shape and he's ready to go.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com