Aqaleem set for Gordon glory

AQALEEM can follow in the footsteps of Sixties Icon last year in getting beaten in the Derby before going onto Gordon Stakes glory at Goodwood today.

Marcus Tregoning’s charge has been on a steep upward curve this season and after winning the Lingfield Derby Trial by four lengths, he ran a blinder to finish third behind Authorized in the Epsom Classic. Tregoning resisted the temptation to take his charge over to the Curragh for the Irish equivalent, a wise decision in hindsight given the conditions, and instead has planned a St Leger campaign.

Kevin Prendergast’s Mores Wells brings some top-class Irish form into the mix but one gets the impression that those he beat earlier in the season in the Ballysax have now caught him up. Henry Cecil’s Tranquil Tiger may give the selection most to think about.

It is hard to look beyond Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Tariq in the Betfair Cup, the feature race on the opening day of the Glorious meeting.

A lightly-raced son of Kyllachy, he is a rare breed as a seven-furlong specialist, and this Group Two event, registered as the Lennox Stakes, looks tailor-made for him.

He has always been highly thought of by Chapple-Hyam and of his six races to date, only his debut maiden victory has come outside Listed or Group class.

His third from an unfavourable draw in the Coventry Stakes last year on only his second start promised a great deal, but he was absent for the rest of the season.

Tariq reappeared in the Greenham Stakes when he was the stable second string behind Dutch Art and blatantly in need of the run.

He then went over to France for the French Guineas but was a non-stayer. He reverted to seven furlongs for a Listed race at Newmarket in May and easily disposed of Mr Napper before landing the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in the manner of a smart horse that looks capable of scoring at a higher level.

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