The Vintage Stakes (2.35pm) at Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday is the first Group race of the meeting and should further clarify the pecking order among this season’s juveniles.
Boynton (5/2) and War Decree (15/8) were separated by just three-quarters of a length when first and second in the Superlative Stakes, over seven furlongs, on the July Course at Newmarket earlier this month. With Boynton penalised 3lb for that Group 2 success, there promises to be little between them once again.
The pair pulled five lengths clear of Mr Scaramanga, who had previously finished fourth in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot at Newmarket, so the form looks strong. Boynton proved himself effective on the pronounced downhill gradients at Goodwood when winning his maiden over six furlongs on his racecourse debut in June. He must have a decent chance of confirming the Newmarket form, despite the weight pull.
A line through Mr Scaramanga suggests that Isomer (12/1) has his work cut out to beat Boynton or War Decree on these terms. But the Cape Blanco colt was only beaten half a length when second in the Chesham Stakes, so it would be foolish to write him off altogether. He probably didn’t have to improve to win his maiden at Salisbury (at odds of 1/5), but nevertheless did so convincingly, despite a slipping saddle, and remains a smart prospect.
Thunder Snow (14/1) and Medieval (20/1) also ran at Royal Ascot, finishing sixth and fourth respectively, in what may turn out to be an above-average Coventry Stakes. Thunder Snow has 3½ lengths to find with Medieval and reopposes on the same terms, but the latter has raced exclusively on soft going, which is off-putting. Either or both of them could improve for the step up to seven furlongs, but they look some way behind the principals on what they have achieved so far.
Of the others, Larchmont Lad (15/2) tackles ground faster than he has encountered so far, but won his maiden over seven furlongs at Sandown earlier this month in the style of a smart performer. He takes a steep rise in class, but the Sandown form has been franked by the runner-up Maths Prize, and he still falls into the ‘could be anything’ category at this very early stage of his career.
A win for Repton (16/1), Hakeem (20/1), Jackhammer (25/1) or Pleaseletmewin (33/1) would be a major surprise on what they have shown so far.
It may pay to side with the proven form of Boynton. Trainer Charlie Appleby (pictured) has an astonishing 5-7 (71%) strike rate at Goodwood this season, including a 2-2 (100%) winning percentage with his juveniles.