Yesterday was a competitive day of racing and there was one winner, Galileo Gold, at 6/1 and a few placed horses too.
After a dry day you’d expect the ground to have changed and quickened up a little making the withdrawal of Gleneagles the other day more surprising.
The racing today looks cagey at best and best advice is keeping your stakes low.
14:00 Victoria Racing Club Goodwood Stakes
We start with a staying handicap over a 2m5f trip. William Of Orange has been progressing nicely for Sir Mark Prescott this season and has good form without winning. The drying ground is a plus here and this four-year-old heads the market. In such a competitive race I feel he’s a bit short. He’s stepping up in trip from 2m after a good second at York behind Gordon Elliott’s Eshtiaal, who had previously completed a hat-trick over hurdles in Ireland. He’s stepping up in trip, so does have a bit of stamina to prove.
Taws was second behind Oriental Fox over this trip at Royal Ascot in the Queen Alexandra. I know James Millman has described her as ‘a galloper’ because she lacks the gears if this came down to a sprint in the final few furlongs. She was well-beaten in that race but at least we know she’ll stay the trip and offers some value, especially with the drying ground coming into her favour. The stable has also come back into form having gone through a dry spell. Andrea Atzeni seems to get on well with her too, with a win and two seconds to his name when on-board.
Teak won this race last year at odds of 33/1 and he did so going away at the line. He’s now 16lb higher since that win but remains consistent after his third in the Queen Alexandra where he wasn’t beaten too far by Taws. At the beginning of the month he had a run over hurdles finishing third. He’s a strong stayer, so was on the shortlist. Wordiness comes here in form after completing the hat-trick in taking fashion at Newbury. He’s a strong traveller and this extra 5f shouldn’t be too much of a problem. For that Newbury victory he’s gone up 5lb but the claim of Tom Marquand offsets that. He will need to find some extra stepping up in class but the extra distance could see him find that further improvement.
One other interesting runner for me is Rosairlie. Micky Hammond won this race back in 2011 with Hollins and his yard is going well at the minute. This mare won on soft ground over 2m at Ripon on her latest start and has gone up 6lb for that. She has previously raced over 2m2f at Pontefract when second to Teak and that was off a mark of 80 and she’s 1lb lower here. The ground won’t be a problem and PJ McDonald has been riding lots of winners in the north. At around 20/1 she seems a fair each-way play.
Plenty more of these could get mentioned with the likes of Number One London returning to the flat and could be interesting if there is some market support. There’s also the in-form Air Squadron taking a major step-up in trip then two consistent types in Gavlar and Arty Campbell. Gavlar is interesting with some course form to his name.
Advice: Taws (16/1 each-way)
Rosairlie (20/1 each-way)
14:35 Gordon Stakes
This is a Group 3 race and Aidan O’Brien does actually have a runner. Highland Reel was fifth in the Irish Derby and never really got going. It’s worth pointing out that he sweated up beforehand, so if he does so again that would put you off. Also that was his first effort at that trip and on pedigree should be able to see it out. If you forgive him that run then he ran well in the Prix Du Jockey Club finishing second to New Bay, which was over 1m2f and on good to soft ground. The fact it’s drying wouldn’t be a problem with the majority of his form on good to firm ground. At around 2/1 in the market I think he’s worth swerving.
The form of the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot comes into this race with the first and second set to run here. Space Age won that race and has raced since finishing second at the same venue behind Dartmouth. However the second at Royal Ascot was Scottish and now back on level weights I think Andrew Balding’s runner can reverse the form. Compared to Space Age he’s lightly raced and on his second start he bumped into Mr Singh, who has since finished second in a Group 2 race at Royal Ascot and then won a Group 3 at Newmarket. Overall I feel there is more to come from him with strong form. Space Age was keen early when defeating Scottish plus he had to overcome a wide draw but he had the run of the race from the front and this could be a differently ran race.
Medrano is a consistent performer who has been holding his form well. David Brown’s charge beat Prince Gagarin at Hamilton in a Listed race last time on soft ground. In that showing he suggested he was a group horse and should give his running despite an 8lb hike in the weights for that 6l success. He was third in the Chester Vase behind Hans Holbein and was also third to Storm The Stars in a Listed race here in May. That form looks fairly strong with Storm The Stars placing in the Derby and Irish Derby Fergal Lynch has been riding well too. Tommy Docc was a big improver in Group company last time when finishing third to Mr Singh; he runs off the same mark of 94 here. At 25/1 he could be overpriced having finished second over 2m in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.
Advice: Scottish (8/1 each-way)
15:10 Qatar Sussex Stakes
With the defection of the 2000 Guineas, Irish 2000 Guineas and St James’ Palace winner Gleneagles this race now revolves around one runner.
Solow represents France and a few think he’s the best miler in the Europe and possibly the world. He came off the pace at Royal Ascot to win the Queen Anne Stakes where he stayed on strongly in conditions, which will be similar to here at Goodwood. He also beat The Grey Gatsby in a Meydan Group 1 and Kevin Ryan’s runner served it up to Golden Horn in the Eclipse. At Royal Ascot he beat three of his rivals today and it is very unlikely that the form will get reversed. To be honest following the withdrawal of Gleneagles I expected him to be shorter than what he is.
There are plenty of markets that bookies offer where you can search for value. For example you’ve got the betting without the favourite, backing a horse to place and match bets. This is potentially one of them races where these sorts of markets become attractive.
Arod has won his last two races, which were a Group 3 and a Group 2. His latest saw him beat Lightning Spear, who was doing his best work late, and is again likely to get the run of the race here. In the Diomed at Epsom, Group 3, he bowled along in the lead and made all. He looks like the only pace angle in the race and again could have things go his way from the front. He has strong form too. Last year he was second in the Dante and fifth in the Derby. This year he was second in the Group 3 Sefton Stakes and the third Mondialiste won a Listed race at Pontefract on Sunday. He was third in the Lockinge won by Night Of Thunder too. In what could be a tactical race in behind he’s likely to keep things simple from the front.
Night Of Thunder won the Lockinge with Toormore, who won yesterday, and Arod in third. He got up on the line to win by a neck. He disappointed in the Queen Anne when fifth, so if this ground remains soft in its description he is a place with good efforts with cut in the ground. However I just feel that Arod is still progressing, especially when looking at the Lockinge form where you see Cable Bay finish fifth. He won a Group 3 next time out before finishing third behind Peter Chapple-Hyam’s runner at Ascot. One thing Night Of Thunder does have over Arod is course form having won his maiden here on soft ground.
Of the rest Belardo should go well with some cut in the ground. He was fourth in the Irish 2000 Guineas when last seen and has previously won a Group 1 himself. He won the Dewhurst at Newmarket on soft ground last season however would need to find further improvement here. Cougar Mountain stayed on late to take fourth in the Queen Anne but again will need to find more and be able to defy a career high mark.
Advice: Arod without the favourite (11/4 Paddy Power)
15:45 Fairmont Molecomb Stakes
This looked a good renewal but it has lost some of its appeal with Washington DC being taken out of the race by Aidan O’Brien.
For this Group 3 King Of Rooks will take some beating. He built on promise shown on debut by scoring on his second start at Newbury. He followed that up with a win in the National Stakes Listed race at Sandown where he made us of the rail to make all. However in the Norfolk Stakes he was sent off favourite and probably went off to quickly with stablemate Log Out Island setting it up for Waterloo Bridge. That wasn’t a bad run in a Group 2 race but he was well fancied. He wasn’t allowed an easy lead in front at Ascot and I doubt that he’ll have it all his own way here either. Quite a few of these have front ran in their races like Muhadathat, Field Of Vision and Stormflower meaning this could be a really strong gallop and set up for a closer.
Lathom is one on the shortlist and will be staying on with a late challenge. He was seen 11 days ago when winning the Super Sprint by a neck from stablemate Mr Lupton and the ultra consistent Field Of Vision was third. I think he’ll run well here but the slight concern would be how much that win took out of him with only a short recovery time compared to his rivals. He does have form with cut in the ground having won his maiden on good to soft at Beverley.
A tentative pick would be Rouleau for Godolphin. He won just 19 days ago at Ascot in a Class 4 handicap so will need to find plenty of improvement. However all three of his wins have come over 6f and with me feeling it’ll be a strongly ran race that extra bit of stamina could be telling in the closing stages. The handicap he won doesn’t look the strongest but this is a race that could be run to suit. He won at Ascot off a mark of 85 and must have impressed the handicapper, who has put him up 10lb for that effort. However there could be more to come considering he has a Middle Park entry. He is untested on ground with some cut in it however being from Exceed And Excel there shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Kachy beat Muhadathat on debut at Chester, which is a tricky track to win at. The race probably doesn’t have much depth however the second and third had both previously won before, so you would expect him to be a smart type. He’ll need to improve stepping up into Group company but you should expect that having won first time up. Again the ground may be a concern. Case Key comes from Charles Hills, who won this race last year. He won his maiden nicely at Leicester on good ground, so this shouldn’t be a concern. It may not have been the strongest maiden going but the second eventually won and the fourth has double up in Nursery’s. When he ran in the National behind King Of Rooks something may have been amiss considering he ran no race at all and he was being lined up for Royal Ascot. He hasn’t been seen since his Sandown effort and could easily recapture some form.
Advice: Rouleau (8/1 each-way)
16:20 Markel Insurance Maiden Fillies’ Stakes
This isn’t a race to get too involved in. Winter Rose heads the market and comes from a top yard. She’s had one run at Newmarket when third to Salvo, who finished fifth of six in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. Richard Hannon’s tend to come on for the run and the experience should see her go well.
Forgotten Wish is the stables second string and will be making her debut. Her pedigree doesn’t shout superstar, so it’ll be interesting to see if there is any market support behind her. Alamode was fourth on debut at Newbury behind the very smart La Rioja of Henry Candy’s, who could be a decent filly in the making. However the form doesn’t look great considering the second finished behind Winter Rose on her next start. Komedy came up against Richard Hannon’s star filly Illuminate on debut at Salisbury. However she didn’t show much on her second start but the step-up in trip could see some sort of improvement, which is definitely needed to go close here. Love On The Rocks has a hood on first time suggesting she’s not straightforward. On her third start that could be off putting but we do see headgear working the oracle first time up. She steps-up in trip too and would be one that you shouldn’t be surprised to see go close.
Of the newcomers there is Silent Dreamer for Mark Johnston. We know she’ll be fit and ready to go first time up, as that is the usual trend with the stable. If she’ll be good enough is another matter. She may be one to take out of the race as she will want further in time looking at her pedigree. Promising Run could leave up to her name on debut. She has a nice pedigree and is related to a fair few winners including Arabian Comet. Saeed Bin Suroor has had a few this season to win first time, so shouldn’t be discounted. Already has an entry in to a Group 2 race showing connections rate her highly.
Advice: No Bet
16:55 Veuve Cliquot Fillies’ Stakes
This is a very competitive fillies handicap however there is one that I am quite keen on. Roger Varian’s Tazffin may prove to be in a different league to these with some of her form looking very solid. She ran in a maiden last year finishing third. Irish Rookie won that maiden and has since gone on to finish second in the French 2000 Guineas behind Ervedya and the French horse followed that up with a win in the Coronation Stakes. This filly got off the mark on her second start at Windsor beating Blond Me, who herself has won twice since including the Distaff Listed race at Sandown. Then stepped up in trip at York she was beaten by Hugo Palmer’s Covert Love, who has won four on the bounce including her latest being the Irish Oaks. That form looks exceptional and better than most in this race. Tazffin did run at Royal Ascot and finished seventh in the Listed Sandringham Handicap (yellow silks in picture), where she had blinkers on and the trip possibly wasn’t ideal. She is back up in trip and runs with no headgear today, which I think is a plus. The wide draw is a slight concern but that can be neutralised by the fact the winners in 2012 and 2013 both came from stall 13. For me she is better than her mark of 91 and is one that I’m keen on.
Forest Maiden heads the market for the ‘Boys in Blue’. She won a Class 2 handicap at Newbury where she made all. She’s gone up 2lb for that and holds her form well. She is unlikely to be able to get the run of the race here in such a big field but William Buick is a good judge of pace. There is plenty of stamina in her pedigree and her sire has his best strike rate at this distance but that is the question mark for me, as she is trying this trip for the first time.
Edge Of Heaven and Lady Marl both come here in-form. The former has been winning well and this step-up in trip looks like it should suit. She will need to find a bit more on the figures plus those wins have come in Class 4 and Class 5 races. This is up in class but being a three-year-old there could be more to come. Lady Marl represents Gary Moore and has won both of her last two starts, both at Windsor. The latest she travelled well and may be worth chancing back up in trip. She raced over 1m2f at Brighton but was too keen and blew her chance; she finished seventh of eight but if settling here she could run well.
Two horses coming off absences are Some Site and Serena Grae. Firstly David Simcock’s Some Site who has only had four career starts. She won her third start on soft. Despite missing 376 days she could resume her progress and is definitely capable of exploiting her mark at some stage this season. The ease in the ground should be a benefit to that. Serena Grae hasn’t been seen for 287 days and she has won over further when front running; some of her form ties in with Mark Johnston’s Fire Fighting. She has course form winning here last September over 1m3f on similar ground. Both of these are likely to be fully prepared for this race and warrant respect on what they had shown prior to absence.
Advice: Tazffin (7/1 each-way)
17:25 Nat West Stakes
Another competitive handicap with 20-runners set to line up. Will it be third time lucky for Accession this year? He finished third in 2013 when with Clive Cox and finished fourth last year for Charlie Fellowes, so he has proved he goes well in this race. He hasn’t won since September last year but will be racing off a career high mark of 92 here following another good effort in the Silver Bunbury Cup at Newmarket on his latest appearance. He’ll give you a run for your money and is versatile on the ground however for me he is coming up against improvers and some well-handicapped horses.
Firstly, Fiftyshadesofgrey enjoys running here; from three starts he has won twice and a bit of course form is always a positive here. Initially connections had aimed him at a Victoria Cup bid but he missed the cut for that. He has had a breathing operation, which is the likely reason behind the upturn in his form this season. His two wins here have come in Class 2 handicaps on similar ground, so there is no problem there. The second of those wins he beat Mr Win, who was able to reverse the form at Newmarket when last seen but the ground was possibly quicker than he wanted but he still ran a good race to finish sixth of 16. He is top weight but all three winners of this race have carried 9-6+ in its three running’s. Again a slight concern would be the draw but being drawn wide should help him get cover before making a challenge late on.
Simon Crisford has got off to a flying start with his training career. He is very careful where he places his horses, so Mutawathea is an interesting runner. This four-year-old gelding drops back in trip to 7f and that extra stamina could prove useful in what should be a race ran at a true gallop. The concern about him is his turf form. He hasn’t won on turf from five starts, but has placed twice, with his best form coming on the artificial all-weather surfaces. This race has more depth to some of the contests he’s been running in.
Muir Lodge is a stablemate of Fiftyshadesofgrey and is a very interesting runner. He hasn’t won since his juvenile campaign however this is a race where he could run well. This is a big-field handicap where he’ll get plenty of cover before making a late challenge off a strong pace, which should suit. He’ll need luck in running but could go well. He runs here off a mark of 85 but when reassessed he’ll be put up 1lb, so is ahead of the handicapper in this race.
The second pick is a bit of a flyer. Carnival King is drawn low from stall one, which has had some success in this race in previous renewals. He has only had four runs in his career, so far and there could be more to come. He won on his third start in April after a break and he comes into this off the back of a 82 day break, so that could be a plus considering he has won fresh before When sixth at Ascot the winner has finished second in a Listed race since while the third and fourth have won weak races since. The question mark about him is the ground. He surprised when winning at Newmarket and that was on rattling fast ground but he it’ll only be good at best, so that may not be ideal.
Again it’s one of them races where you could give all of them a mention and if ran about ten times it’d throw up a number of different results. Keep stakes low!
Advice: Fiftyshadesofgrey (12/1 each-way)
Carnival King (16/1 each-way)