Glorious Goodwood produced several performances that may provide clues to the outcome of the Betfred Ebor in just under three weeks time, especially the impressive front-running victory of the classy Harris Tweed in the 1m 6f Bet365 Summer Stakes on the first day, but it was a horse who finished an unlucky third that really caught the eye as a potential winner of York’s most famous handicap.
The animal in question, Sheikhzayedroad, got no sort of run on the inside for jockey Martin Lane in the Group 3 Coutts Glorious Stakes but stayed on to finish a respectable third behind two decent horses in Forgotten Voice and Lost In The Moment, and the son of Dubawi looks to have the right combination of speed and stamina that is normally required for the Heritage Handicap which dates back to 1843.
The David Simcock-trained 4-year-old has been a model of consistency this season and bagged a decent prize on Derby day when running out an easy winner of a mile and a half handicap beating a decent field headed by a possible Ebor rival in the Richard Hannon-trained Duke Of Clarence. Sheikhzayedroad was sent to Royal Ascot for his next race, the valuable Wolferton Handicap, and found only Forgotten Voice a half length too good after once again meeting trouble in running.
While Sheikhzayedroad will need to defy a career-high mark of 104 on the Knavesmire the race is likely to be such a tightly-knit handicap that weight may not be such an important factor in the outcome and at the 12-1 available with the sponsors, David Simcock’s charge looks sure to run a massive race on Saturday 24th August.