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Princess Of Wales' Goldsmiths Stakes preview

Quality racing this weekend kicks off with the start of the three-day Newmarket Festival. Newmarket hasn't been as rain affected as the rest of Britain.... yet. Steve Lines, @sjlone1, returns to preview one of the better races on Thursday's card.

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Princess Of Wales' Goldsmiths Stakes

All eyes will be on the Newmarket July Festival as the Tour De France fails to rid itself of the drug allegations. My Twitter timeline has dried up with the cycling tips as pundits/journalists ditch their mistaken belief cycling is going to ‘trend’. Racecourses fail to dry up.

The going holds the key to the Princess Of Wales Stakes. Harris Tweed has the form figures 1, 1, 2, 1 with any going description including the word soft; not at best at York or the AW his other runs have yet to see him out of the first 3. The likely front runner, although Quest For Peace can be a spoiler, he will be suited by any worsening of conditions.

Sea Of Heartbreak has been kept clear of soft going and although a winner at Listed level she has come up short when faced with Group performers. She has also to put up any speed ratings showing her to be competitive in this Class.

Three runners have won at Group 2 level; Dandino won a poor Jockey Club Stakes on the Rowley Mile course in 2011. He won his maiden on soft ground but has been campaigned mainly on fast ground since; he has yet to be out of the first 2 when the going description contains the word firm. A tough performer, conditions won’t be in his favour.

Joshua Tree, another Group 2 winner has been globe-trotting. Although conditions won’t be a problem he has only 1 win to his name since leaving Aiden O’Brien; ‘the lads’ don’t sell a good one very often!

Quest For Peace is another ex-Aiden O’Brien inmate. Please see above. He may take Harris Tweed on for the lead but has yet to show he retains the form shown when trained in Ireland.

Marco Botti (Joshua Tree) also runs Jakkalberry. A Group 1 winner in Italy, any softening of the ground will be in his favour. He has some ground to make up on Red Cadeaux on their Hardwicke running but has the aid of William Buick. The jury is out on the form of the Botti stable but he should be on the premises; although his form has a good look when finishing behind Sea Moon, Cirrus Des Aigles and Fox Hunt - it flatters him.

Fiorente is the dark horse. A relentless galloper he needs some stoking and would have been unsuited by the short straight of Ascot. He’s been well entered all his racing life so he must show plenty at home. The long straight will suit and the cheekpieces have been dispensed with. The ground is an unknown but is likely to outrun his price.

Godolphin’s Modun, the other unexposed runner, is closely matched with Jakkalberry on Meydan running. He runs well fresh and has a verdict over Harris Tweed on the Polytrack at Kempton when trained by Michael Stoute. Unbeaten on good to firm and tailed off on his only start on soft ground conditions have to be taken on trust, although his action is not exactly ‘daisycutting’.

Red Cadeaux, the likely favourite, is a tough, consistent individual having won at this level over 14f when winning the Yorkshire Cup. Outpaced in the Hardwicke he stayed on to pick up the pieces, rather as he had done at Epsom. He will need a good pace to bring his proven stamina into play. He consistently runs good times but is vulnerable in a steadily run event.

Ground conditions will play a vital part in the outcome. The early races need to be studied. Harris Tweed’s run style is well known so it is doubtful he will be allowed an easy lead but his ability to gallop relentlessly through soft ground may break any rivals, albeit leaving him vulnerable to a finisher. Grabbing a rail can often be advantageous on soft ground at the July meeting so he may prove difficult to pass if Liam Jones does his homework. I will play Harris Tweed; the strength dependent on ground conditions. I will lay Red Cadeaux pre-race with a view to backing him in-running as I’m sure he will trade higher than his SP; his chances will improve if softer going can blunt his younger rival’s turn of foot. I will also play Fiorente pre-race with a view to laying him in the run; he’s got down to 6.6 or below in all his races so starting from a price around 16 we have plenty of scope.

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