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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Three key questions surrounding Newmarket's supporting Group clashes

Sound And Silence (white cap, centre) beats Roussel in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. Mokaatil (striped cap) is fourth
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1.50 Newmarket
Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes | Group 3 | 5f |2yo | ITV4/RUK

Can Sound end Godolphin silence?

Windsor Castle Stakes winner Sound And Silence looks the stand-out on his French form and bids to give Godolphin a first victory in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes.

A disappointment over 6f immediately after Royal Ascot, he has done little or nothing wrong since – picking up a second Listed prize at York before impressing on heavy ground in the Prix Eclipse at Maisons-Laffitte, a success which incurred a 3lb Group 3 penalty.

Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "Sound And Silence has run consistently well all season and his last performance on soft ground at Maisons-Laffitte was another step up compared to his previous efforts.

"We're coming back to five furlongs on a sounder surface, but he has ticked both of those boxes before when winning the Windsor Castle and Roses Stakes."

Can Carroll find solace?

While Sound And Silence's Maisons-Laffitte form appeared to represent a marked improvement, he has nothing in hand of Abel Handy on previous form at York.

Declan Carroll's speedy Arcano colt was beaten only half a length in the Roses Stakes and enjoys a 3lb pull. Adding to the interest, Godolphin rider James Doyle takes over from Tom Eaves, who is set to ride at York.

Sound And Silence (blue): beating Abel Handy (green) at York

Carroll is "still grieving" over the loss of his Royal Ascot second Santry on the gallops before the Gimcrack, but he is certainly making his mark with juveniles this year and is looking forward to the rematch.

He said: "He's progressing with every race and it was a smashing run at York last time. He's quick, handy and he likes to get on with it. He's very straightforward and in good nick, so we're looking forward to running him again."

Windsor Castle fourth Mokaatil is another leading fancy and Owen Burrows said: "It was a very good run at Royal Ascot and we probably rode him wrong in his maiden. He won well at Ripon and is a very, very fast horse. The better the race, the better he'll be."

Battle Of Jericho represents Aidan O'Brien, who said: "It's only a week since he ran second at Dundalk. He's dropping down in trip and while he has plenty of pace, we'll have to see if he's experienced enough for this."


2.25 Newmarket
Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes | Group 3 | 7f | 2yo fillies | ITV4/RUK

Will Gavota cope with the Dip this time?

Appleby saddles recent Chelmsford winner Expressiy in the Oh So Sharp Stakes, also Group 3, but the Siyouni filly has a bit to find in what looks a hot contest.

Gavota finished best of all when third in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over the same course and distance last month and she is dropping a grade with a favourite's chance.

Gavota (number five): coming home in third in the Rockfel Stakes

Roger Charlton said: "I was very pleased with Gavota last time, when she didn't meet the Dip very well and lost her action. She was coming from a little further back than ideal but stayed on all the way to the line. I'm hoping that slightly quicker ground will be to her advantage."

Aidan O'Brien runs Butterscotch and I Can Fly, with Ryan Moore opting for the latter, a Fastnet Rock filly who remains something of an unknown quantity after showing a bright turn of foot when a four-length maiden winner on her debut at Dundalk.

The trainer said: "I Can Fly is a filly we've always liked. She won nicely over the trip on her debut at Dundalk two weeks ago and we've been happy with her since. She should get valuable experience from this race.

"Butterscotch got a bit tired in the Rockfel last time following a break. We're hoping she will show improvement."


If you enjoyed reading this, you might be interested in:

Four stars who could shine at Newmarket's two-day fixture


 

 

We're coming back to five furlongs on a sounder surface, but he has ticked both of those boxes before when winning the Windsor Castle
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