Excel Bolt has exhibited plenty of speed in three career starts, including when a close third last time at Royal Ascot, and trainer Bryan Smart is hoping the two-year-old can show enough dash to land the £60,000 Group Three Betfair Molecomb Stakes over five furlongs at Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday, July 27.
The Betfair Molecomb Stakes is one of the feature races on a fantastic opening day at the prestigious five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival (Tuesday, July 27 to Saturday, July 31). Other highlights that day include the £155,000 Group Two Betfair Cup over seven furlongs and the £70,000 Group Three Betfair Gordon Stakes over a mile and a half.
Smart’s charge followed wins over five furlongs at Musselburgh with that third-place behind Approve in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes, also over the minimum trip, on June 17, a contest in which he raced alone down the stands’ side rail.
The North Yorkshire handler revealed this morning: “The Betfair Molecomb Stakes is on the agenda at the moment for Excel Bolt. He is absolutely fine and in great form - I am happy with him since Ascot. He has had a little break, looks well and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
“He is fit as a flea and is not a horse that needs a lot of work so he wouldn’t need another run before then. He has had his rest so we will start him again pretty soon and bring him back quietly.
“Goodwood is a unique track that you don’t know for certain if a horse will enjoy until they run on it. I have gone there with horses I thought would handle it and they haven’t, so while I don’t think it will inconvenience Excel Bolt, no one will know until he runs there.
“He is by Exceed And Excel so you would think he would prefer quicker surfaces up to a point but he also seems to be staying on in his races, so I don’t think it would worry him if the ground came on the easy side - he is a good moving horse.
“He has Black Type by his name after his Royal Ascot third but if he could win a Group race, that would be fantastic.”
Zebedee, comfortably held in fifth when three quarters of a length behind Excel Bolt in the Norfolk Stakes, could re-oppose in the Betfair Molecomb Stakes.
The Invincible Spirit colt had won his previous two starts in lesser company at Windsor and Ascot in April for trainer Richard Hannon, who has a wealth of two-year-old talent in his yard.