Glorious Goodwood: Day 1

The rain caused havoc over the weekend and it has caused a few notable non-runners already ahead of this weeks racing.

It’s worth starting by saying that Gleneagles won’t be running in the Sussex Stakes tomorrow.

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The ground is currently described as good to soft but hopefully with no more rain forecast it’ll dry out and Goodwood can drain fairly quickly.

Seven races every day all the way through to Saturday, so fingers crossed for our fair share of winners.

This is Richard Hughes’ final week in the saddle, so hopefully he’ll be riding a few winners too. After Saturday he’ll take up his training licence.

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14:00 Sky Bet First Race Special Stakes

We start with a Class 2 handicap and the market seems to have got this race spot-on by the looks of things.

Collaboration has been well found in the betting but has obvious claims with his best form coming with some juice in the ground. He completed the hat-trick at Chester on worse ground than this where he ran on strongly to claim the prize. Despite finishing ninth in the Wolferton at Royal Ascot he was only 3l back and that was on good to firm ground. With him returning back to this sort of ground you’d expect him to be thereabouts come the finish under David Probert. Off this mark of 102 he would need a career best but there could still be more to come from him.

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Mark Johnston usually enjoys a good Glorious Goodwood. He has three runners in this race. The most interesting of which is French recruit Zand. He is having his first run for the stable and as a two-year-old for John Oxx he won a nice maiden on soft ground over a mile. Joe Fanning rode him in France on this sort of ground, so you can’t discount him. Sennockian Star won this race last year and is only 1lb higher. He won a good race at Chester and followed that up with making the running to finish second in the Wolferton. He would be one for place purposes. Fire Fighting is his other runner. He holds his form well but the soft in the going could put you off; he’s slightly better on a quicker surface.

Spa’s Dancer was 4th behind Collaboration at Chester and his mark has dropped to 93. On top of that Tom Marquand claims 5lb and is very useful for that claim. He could outrun his odds but he hasn’t won since back in May 2013. Sir Michael Stoute’s Top Tug finally gets his ground and looks threatening off his mark of 92. He beat Toast Of New York in his maiden and Jamie Osborne’s runner went on to finish second in two American Grade 1 races. He’s ran with credit on quicker ground and was sixth behind Old Newton Cup winner Notarised at York on his latest start. With ground in his favour you’d be expecting a good showing.

Advice: Collaboration (8/1 each-way)

14:35 Qatar Vintage Stakes

This is a Group 2 race and Birchwood showed his class on the July Course at Newmarket when winning the Superlative Stakes. I put him forward as the selection that day with the return to quick ground a plus. Here he is carrying a 3lb penalty plus the ground may be against him, so I have my reservations. He drifted left on the run-in at Newmarket and this course may not play to his strengths. He’s had one run with some juice in the ground and that was over in Ireland when he was third of four – that is my biggest concern for him here. If the ground did dry out then he’d be a major player.

Richard Hannon senior had success in this race winning it from 2010 through to 2013. Palawan is their runner here and is a big price considering this colt was fourth in the Chesham and that form does look very strong with the second and third winning since. The third, Sixth Sense, won a Listed race at Ascot on Saturday. Connections feel he’ll be better with some ease in the ground and he’s getting that here so at 18/1 he could be one to outrun his odds.

Galileo Gold won a Novice Stakes at Haydock with some give in the ground and came readily clear of Hayadh in second. Hayadh has since ran and finished sixth behind Birchwood in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes. Since then he has been snapped up by Qatar Racing, so Frankie Dettori will take the ride. He won well on his second start at Salisbury but the form in behind looks modest at best. However I think with that little bit of experience of the ground he could be worth siding with at an each-way price. It is worth noting connections fancy him for further than this in the future.

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Ibn Malik won on debut for Charlie Hills at Newmarket in what is turning out to be a strong maiden. The second and third have both won since while the two other horses to run both improved on their next start. There is more to come from him but this is more difficult but connections rate him highly as he holds a Derby entry.

Two others to mention are Twin Sails, who I’m really keen on. He has won on both starts, the latest of which was a Conditions race at Salisbury where he quickened nicely. The only problem here is the ground because after that race trainer Dean Ivory said: “He likes fairly fast ground.” However he’s from Sir Percy, who won Group races on softer ground, so don’t be too put off, as there could be more to come. Godolphin’s Strong Challenge won his maiden here beating Gutaifan. That form now looks strong as the Richard Hannon trained horse won the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte on Sunday. He handles the track, that is the positive, but the negative is the trip could possibly stretch him with his speedy pedigree.

Advice: Galileo Gold (6/1 each-way)

15:10 Qatar Lennox Stakes

This is the second Group 2 race of the day and on paper it is quite intriguing.

Toormore is the best horse in this race however he doesn’t find winning easy. He won the Group 3 Craven Stakes last year beating The Grey Gatsby and Saturday’s King George winner Postponed but hasn’t got his head in front since. He was sent off odds-on for this race and a Turkish Group 2 last season but only placed. He holds his form well having finished form figures of 324 in Group 1 races. Arguably in the Queen Anne Stakes he did too much early on when leading the race and he set it up nicely for Solow; he was only one paced in the closing stages. At his price I’d rather look elsewhere.

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Richard Hughes rides Tupi, who won a Listed race at the July Festival 19 days ago. However in a Q&A last night for the Racing Post he admitted if the ground was slow then the horse wouldn’t enjoy it. He is drawn nicely in stall one, which could be advantageous. Dutch Connection was second in a maiden on this sort of ground otherwise he is untried. Two starts ago he won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot where Tupi was fourth. He followed that up by finishing second in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly behind Territories, where they were well clear of everything else. Currently at his price there would be concerns about him on this ground despite that bit of form as a juvenile.

Aeolus won the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle but that was over 6f and came flying home to just deny Mattmu. For me he is better at that trip and may struggle in this company 8lb higher for that Newcastle win. He should enjoy the cut in the ground as should Absolutely So. Andrew Balding’s runner won over course and distance in similar conditions last year before winning a York Listed race. However he would need a career best here off a mark of 109.

Hugo Palmer’s Ascription has won in these conditions over a mile, so should be well suited to them back down in trip. He is lightly raced for a six-year-old and he ran well in Group 3 company at Haydock last time. He has gone for 4lb for that but is likely to be there or thereabouts. I couldn’t put you off backing him each-way. It’s worth pointing out some bookies have match bet markets and you could back him to beat a few of these in that market.

With the ‘dead eight’ currently lining up I’m taking a bit of a flyer on Code Red. He won a Listed race on soft ground at Doncaster last year and the horse that finished second was Portomento, who was himself second in a Group 3 when he was last seen. Two starts ago he won another Listed race at Epsom, which suggests he should handle the track here at Goodwood. He won that by nicely by over a length beating a Mark Johnston horse that had previously won a valuable Ascot handicap. William Muir’s runner was fourth in the Group 3 Criterion Stakes but he didn’t settle and was too keen. That is the key to his chance here, so if Martin Dwyer can get him settled he could be a player despite being the outsider.

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Advice: Code Red (20/1 each-way)

15:45 Summer Stakes

This staying handicap has already seen Oasis Fantasy well-supported and is now favourite. He has been put up as a Pricewise selection and people are forgiving him for his Northumberland Plate run where he had a bad draw to overcome. He has had three starts at the Sussex venue, winning once and placing on another. The place was a second to Quest For More in a similar race to this one. He’s one that holds his form well despite not winning since last June but he should go well here.

However, I’m putting two forward against him. Firstly there is Astronereus for Amanda Perrett and Pat Dobbs. He’s a strong stayer and won a Listed race at York when he was last seen and is dropping in class here. He won his maiden on slightly worse ground than this at Newmarket, so that is fine. Despite carrying top weight following a 5lb rise for that York success he could still be ahead of the handicapper considering he won going away in the end. Things should pan out nicely for him, as they should go a good gallop for him to come off in the closing stages.

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Notarised is a more tentative selection but he gamely won the Old Newton Cup last time out. He won by under a length and has gone up 7lb for that however he does have course and distance form to his name. On top of that he is a horse for all conditions. He’ll be ridden prominently and if he does get the lead then he could prove hard to peg back. He’s resolute and will keep digging for me, so cannot be discounted. The draw isn’t a negative considering in the last five winners of this race have come from stalls 10, 12 (twice), 13 and 14 respectively.

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Ajman Bridge has stamina to prove and is a frustrating type. He’s 5lb higher for his last two efforts including his second at Royal Ascot behind Arab Dawn. Battersea will want better ground and in time is likely to prove better than his current mark of 98. Farquhar was a bit of an eyecatcher when third to Notarised at Haydock. After missing the break he was held-up in rear before making strong progress to finish in a place. He can’t be discounted too easily here.

Montefeltro hasn’t shown much in his three starts since returning from an absence. If he can return to the form he showed in 2013 when completing the hat-trick by winning the Irish Cesarewitch then you’d have to give him a squeak. All Talk N No Do is an improving four-year-old and Seamus Durack has got a good chance here. He has a wide draw, which mentioned above is a positive but he may not wanting it to be too soft. He’s looking to make it three from three at this trip. He took a keen hold at Ascot but managed to beat Antiquarium suggesting he could be useful. He’s gone up another 5lb for that and he it is worth noting any market support because he could be slightly overpriced.

Advice: Astronereus (8/1 each-way)

            Notarised (8/1 each-way)

16:20 Weatherbys Private Banking Stakes

Five furlong sprints are usually competitive and hard to call, this is no different. In sprints here at Goodwood a low draw is important and the in-form Double Up has the plumb draw in stall one. He’s been dropped to this minimum trip this season and won on three of four occasions. He shouldn’t find a problem with the ground after winning at Nottingham on good to soft. He started the season on a mark of 78 and runs off 103 showing what progress he has made. That shows he is the class horse in the race and will take some beating.

Two against the field in this race at double figure prices are worth looking at. Perfect Muse has the negative of a wide draw however she’s placed on her only start here when having a similarly bad draw. She’s raced on soft ground three times previously and finished second on all three occasions and therefore the ground shouldn’t be a problem. She has found it difficult in her most recent runs and got loose before running at Ascot. With a bit of juice in the ground she is an interesting contender.

Top Boy is a consistent type without winning. His best form actually comes on good to soft ground and he’s one that gives you a good showing for your money. He’s well drawn in stall five and hopefully can build on his second at Newmarket at the July Festival where he dead-heated for the position with Maljaa. There should be a bit more pace in this race compared to that Newmarket race, which was slowly ran and saw him quite keen. This should be different and hopefully play to his strengths.

Top Boy (numberr 18) at York. Image from

Top Boy (numberr 18) at York. Image from

Eight-year-old Humidor cannot be discounted either. He’s had ten runs at this track and won three, two of which were on good ground. His latest win came at Newmarket when beating Kingsgate Choice by a head and the three runners above finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. I just feel his mark of 100 at his age could get the better of him here. Nocturn had a rating in the hundreds when he was with Jeremy Noseda and he’s fallen to 85. Looking back at his form he was second to Tropics in the Listed Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket in 2013, which is his best piece of form. He won at Windsor two starts ago and followed that up with a second at Haydock. Royston Ffrench is a good jockey but the ground may be on the slow side for Ron Harris’ gelding.

Lady Gibraltar won over course and distance last month when Richard Hughes was on board. Two starts ago he won at Haydock however any sort of soft in the going could put you off. Well drawn in stall four and apprentice Patrick O’Donnell takes 7lb off. He’s not bad for his claim having ridden five winners from 13 rides in the last 14 days. Ridge Ranger has done her winning at six furlongs but this stiff five furlongs could suit her. She’s been away for 46 days and freshened up, if she can find some of the form she has shown so far this season she could go very close despite needing a career best.

Advice: Perfect Muse (10/1 each-way)

            Top Boy (10/1 each-way)

16:55 EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes

This is a tricky little maiden to solve however two of these runners went into my tracker following their debuts. Both should go well here and hopefully there experience will count.

Papa Luigi for Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon caught the eye at Nottingham. He was well beaten by Shanghai Glory of Charlie Hills but after missing the break he stayed on strongly for second. He was then sixth in a decent enough maiden at Newbury won by Twin Sails, who runs in the Vintage Stakes earlier in the day. 17 days ago he was third at York behind Husbandry, who wen to off favourite, and Mont Kiara. It’s worth saying that Mont Kiara was meant to run yesterday but was a non-runner while the fourth and sixth have ran since. The fourth finished second on his next start but the sixth did go on to win on his next start suggesting that form could have some depth to it. My only concern is the trip. Yes connections know best but his half-sister won a two-year-old Group 3 in France and French Listed race over 1m4f, so potentially he needs further.

The other runner for me is Sir Roger Moore. He ran at on Dante day at York on debut and like Papa Luigi was slow away. However he took a keen hold and was prominent throughout. However he didn’t see out his race for being too keen early on. He ran in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot finishing 12th of 17. He holds entries to the Gimcrack and Middle Park suggesting connections rate him highly and dropping in class here he has to be respected, especially with him capable of better.

Operative could be overpriced considering he’s been second and third so far on debut. He was second to Orvar on debut at 25/1 and Richard Hannon’s winner ran in the Windsor Castle finishing fifth showing he could be useful. Then again at Salisbury on his second start he was behind Gutaifan and Husbandry. As mentioned in another race preview Gutaifan won a French Group 2 on Sunday while Husbandry defeated Papa Luigi at York. Two good runs behind some potentially very good horses, so in this field has to be respected.

Goodwood Zodiac was second on his second start and that was at Epsom, which is a similar track to this, so should handle it. However that didn’t look a particularly strong maiden. On his debut run he finished eighth of 14 at Windsor. He has improved for that and could do so again here. It’s worth checking where the market support is because in these sort of races that could be telling.

With it being a maiden and the amount of runners it is probably best to back each-way, especially as one of these newcomers could prove to be decent.

Advice: Papa Luigi (9/2 each-way)

            Sir Roger Moore (5/1 each-way)

17:30 Turf Club Stakes

This is a really tricky race and not one where I have a strong fancy. Hugo Palmer has won this race in the last two years with Ascription and Extremity. He’s a trainer in form having saddled six winners from his last 12 runners. Here he saddles Strong Steps who looks the best horse in the race and is the right favourite. There could be more to come from this colt, who ran well when second at Kempton when last seen. He has gone up 6lb for that effort and could still be ahead of the handicapper off this mark. A slight reservation is about his form on turf, he was second over 1m2f at Ayr and fifth at Sandown, but his best comes on the artificial surfaces.

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Richard Fahey’s Third Time Lucky has been progressive this season winning three of his four starts. He won on his seasonal reappearance on soft ground at Musselburgh beating Go Dan Go, who as won twice since and is currently 1lb higher than him on official ratings. He’ll be ridden prominently and is likely to track the leader Ifwecan. For value purposes if I were having a bet then I’d go for this Fahey runner.

As mentioned above Ifwecan is a pace angle into this race. He won at Carlisle beating Provident Spirit when making all. He has been second on his last two starts and is another worth considering, especially as this is where Mark Johnston does well. Czech It Out won at this track over 7f last time out. He has gone up 5lb for that but looked like this step-up to a mile should suit winning quite nicely. He would need to find a bit more stepping up in class while he has a wide draw to overcome.

Both of Hugo Palmer’s winners have come from stall one. In there this year is the filly Volunteer Point. She was fourth in a Fillies handicap at Newmarket last time but wasn’t beaten by far. She travels well in her races and off the same mark as last time could threaten some of the boys here.

This isn’t a race where there is something that I can put forward with true conviction, so it’s best leaving your money in your pocket, saving it for tomorrow.

Advice: No Bet

Good Luck!


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