'Hopefully this is just the start for Kolisi' - Tom Marquand keen on his chance
Wednesday: 1.50 Goodwood
Unibet '15 To Go' Handicap | 1m4f | 3yo | ITV/RTV
Royal Ascot handicaps often prove a rich source of future winners and the King George V Stakes for three-year-olds already looks one of the strongest races of the week on that score.
The seventh, ninth and tenth in that contest have gone on to win subsequently and the time was rated 2lb faster by Topspeed than the Group 2 Ribblesdale earlier in the day.
Siskany and Nagano finished fourth and sixth in that Royal Ascot contest and renew rivalry, with Nagano on 2lb better terms but needing to find a length with Siskany.
Over a mile and a half, Racing Post Ratings generally allow 1.6lb for every length beaten and on that scale Nagano has every chance of reversing the form with Siskany on revised terms.
If we dig deeper into what happened in that race there is further evidence that Nagano should be capable of reversing the form because he was running on strongly and looked set for at least a place when he got hampered and sandwiched between the winner and Siskany.
With a clear run Nagano would probably have finished third and he has escaped a rise.
Mark Johnston-trained runners have won this four times in the last nine runnings and the Middleham handler's most recent winner, Sir Ron Priestley, went on to win three times at Group level.
He isn't the only recent winner to make it at a higher level, either. The 2013 scorer Pether's Moon went on to win the Coronation Cup and 2015 winner Dartmouth won a Hardwicke.
Johnston saddles four this year, Glen Again (jockey Ryan Moore is 18 per cent for the stable in the last five seasons), Kings Prince (Ben Curtis; 19 per cent), Annandale (Joe Fanning; 16 per cent) and Chase The Dollar (Franny Norton; 15 per cent). Fanning has ridden three of the trainer's last four winners of this race, though, so maybe Annandale is the one to focus on.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
'Ground may even be a bonus for Kolisi'
Tom Marquand remains in the hunt for a breakthrough jockeys' title behind reigning champion Oisin Murphy and has a solid chance of starting his day right aboard the William Haggas-trained Kolisi.
The three-year-old was narrowly denied on his penultimate start at Nottingham but got off the mark at Salisbury last month, when he beat Marching Army by two and a quarter lengths under Marquand.
He is owned by tech entrepreneur and businessman Graham Smith-Bernal, who revealed the purchase of Newsells Park Stud last month.
"William's horses are running really well," said Marquand, who won the Group 3 Oak Tree and Glorious Stakes at last year's festival. "Kolisi deserved to win for the first time at Salisbury and he seems progressive. Hopefully this is just the start.
"The ground shouldn't be a problem for him and it may even be a bonus as he was second on soft on his penultimate start. It's a nice runner for Graham Smith-Bernard, who is a new investor in racing."
What they say
Roger Charlton, trainer of Pleasant Man
We're happy with him and his last few races were encouraging. He was fourth at Ascot last time when a lot of them were disadvantaged by the slow pace but he stayed on all the way to the line. He shouldn't mind the ground.
Hugo Palmer, trainer of Irish Legend
Everything has gone smoothly since his last run at Ascot, when the slow pace didn't suit him, and we're very happy with him. He's got the worst of the draw but that may not matter too much over the trip. He's run consistently and it's about time he got his head in front. He's flexible in terms of ground and has won on soft.
John Gosden, joint-trainer of Pied Piper
I ran him a little bit beyond his trip in the Queen's Vase but he was very solid the other day on the July course at Newmarket. This will be different ground but he has handled soft before – very soft, in fact – when he won at Newmarket as a two-year-old and let's hope he puts in a bold showing on the 'unsummer-like' surface.
Reporting by Jonathan Harding
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