The final day of racing at Glorious Goodwood and racing says farewell to Richard Hughes, as a jockey anyway, as he starts his training career.
Today’s piece is going to be quite brief with a quick look at each race on the Goodwood card plus a few tracker horses running at other meetings.
14:00 Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Stakes (Consolation race)
This isn’t a race I’m particularly keen on for betting purposes. It’s been hard to find a draw bias in recent renewals of this race and there hasn’t really been an obvious one during racing this week. Barnet Fair won this race last year and is able to run off the same mark. This renewal looks stronger but he’s worth consideration. Direct Times heads the market and is unexposed. For this sort of race he looks rather short in price but he could have plenty more to come despite an 8lb rise for a stylish win last time out under Tom Marquand.
Charles Molson was second when last seen to Stewards Cup contender Huntsmans Close at Windsor and has gone up 3lb for that effort. He’s on an upward curve for Patrick Charmings and can continue on that rise. His latest effort was his best yet suggesting there could be a little bit more to come from him. Zanetto was fourth in that race and definitely warrants respective but may have done too much too soon at Windsor. He’ll be ridden prominently and was placed over course and distance three starts ago.
A secondary selection in this race would be Fast Track. He was second in the Scottish Sprint Cup; won by the progressive Red Baron, when last seen and possibly the 5f wasn’t quite his trip. He has previously won a nice handicap at Newmarket last July and that suggests he should go well here. Graham Gibbons is getting plenty of opportunities in the saddle and he is one of the go to men in the north. He has a fairly good strike rate here in the last five years with one win in 14. Rex Imperator won the Stewards Cup two years ago off a mark of 104, he runs off 85 here and could go well for the ‘Magic Man O’Meara.’ Jan Van Hoof was the final one on the shortlist and carries a 6lb penalty following a win over 5f at Newmarket. Has previously won over 6lb and may have more to offer at this trip and looks open to further progressive.
Advice: Charles Molson (14/1 each-way)
Fast Track (16/1 each-way)
14:35 Educate A Child Stakes
A really trappy handicap over 1m4f. Dartmouth looks rather short but did win comfortably when last seen at Ascot reversing form with Space Age. That probably does set the standard he and could progress further despite a 6lb rise in the weights. The manner in which he stayed on putting distance between himself and rivals was eye catching. Barreesh has improved with every start so far and will need to do so again. Everything from his York win suggests that this trip should be in his range but the 7lb rise could halt the hat-trick bid. Polarisation is one of the four Mark Johnston runners but may find this a little to quick. He is one that likes a stamina test having won over further, so if these go too fast he could pick the pieces up or could even use his stamina by trying to make all.
I’d take a chance on the Marcus Tregoning River Dart. His pedigree says he shouldn’t get the trip but it said he wouldn’t stayed 1m2f, which he has won over on the last two races. The way he’s won both of those races suggests that this trip could be in range and he looks to be a battling type of horse that wouldn’t shirk the issue all too easily. The Ascot win was his best yet and he could still have more to come of this mark of 83. He has course form having won here two starts ago. He will need to find improvement but think he could have more left in him here.
Antiquarium was second over 1m6f when last running at Ascot after dropping back from 2m following his run in the Queens Vase. Stamina not an issue and could be capable to produce more however this mark could be a bit too high for him. Senrima will need to find more after winning two weak races against limited opposition. Won over further is a positive as is Richard Hughes in the saddle. Definitely open to further progress but the handicapper isn’t taking a chance by giving him 88 and he needs to find more. Black Key may be better with some cut in the ground and on handicap debut isn’t harshly treated by the handicapper after romping home in a poor maiden. Cam Hardie takes 3lb off to make it more interesting. May be more to come but needs to step-up hugely to be in contention.
Advice: River Dart (12/1 each-way)
15:10 Qatar Nassau Stakes
A Group 1 race for fillies and mares, which sees the 1000 Guineas Legatissimo head the market. She has been second in the Oaks and Pretty Polly Stakes since; both defeats have come by a short head. In the Oaks she possibly tired in the final few yards before being headed by Qualify while at the Curragh she couldn’t get the gaps at the right times. Wayne Lordan has experience riding her after being in the irons on her first five starts, so knows what she’s like. This trip is fine and could possibly be more ideal. The wide draw should allow her to be settled in the pack and give her the chance to come for a run down the middle, so no excuse to get hampered.
Diamondsandrubies has progressed with every start so far and if she does so again she could be the one to beat. Won the Pretty Polly Stakes, as mentioned above, was 4th in the Oaks and convincingly won the Cheshire Oaks. A versatile filly who stays on strongly and is a leading contender in this field. Preference is for Star Of Seville at an each-way price. She had a change of tactics, which saw her win the Group 1 Prix De Diane at Chantilly. She was held up and stayed on strongly rather than the front running tactics that were employed when winning the Muisadora at York. In the Oaks she was one that was well-beaten but had excuses after being hampered, so put a line through that. Solid and fairly consistent, may need slightly more but one that I can see in the frame.
Of the rest Lady Of Dubai has a course and distance win after winning a Listed race here before improving to finishing 3rd in the Oaks. When winning here she looked really smart and won nicely. A return here is a big positive to her chances and she could go well. Worth pointing out that she was beaten a ½l by Irish Rookie, who was 2nd in the French 2000 Guineas, so the form is there.
Advice: Star Of Seville (7/1 each-way)
15:45 Stewards Cup
The feature race of the day and 28-runners line up over the 6f course. Muthmir was 5th in this last year and yesterday won the Group 2 King George Stakes. A place behind him then was Discussiontofollow and this looks to have been his target for a while now. A cliff horse of mine but he’s slowly improved for his runs this season and will definitely be a player in this race. He was 2nd over at the Curragh behind Foxy Forever but that day was about the draw. His latest run at Ascot proved why he needs this trip. When he got the splits he found them and despite not troubling the winner he was staying on very strongly and made eye catching progress to finish 5th. The extra furlong here should play to his strengths. The draw in stall 18 should be ideal if anything as it gives Shane Kelly a choice of where he wants to go and in recent years a middle-to-high draw has been more beneficial.
Magical Memory has solid form in the book but looks up against it from stall one. He comes into this carrying a 6lb penalty for his latest win at Newmarket, but he’s 3lb well in. He’s a player on form but that draw is quite concerning. Charlie Hills hasn’t had a winner yet at Goodwood this week but Frankie Dettori is challenging for the leading jockeys claim. Richard Hughes’ final spin in this race comes on Ninjango. He is 2lb lower than he was when 2nd in this race last year and has been given a break since his Royal Ascot run, so expect a big run from him. He’ll be shorter come the race if Zanetto runs well in the consolation race as he was 3rd to Andrew Balding’s horse in a race won by Ruwaiyan.
Toofi comes here for an in-form trainer. His best run came in a Listed race at Newmarket, which came off this mark off 98. If reproducing that he could run a big race. Tropics ran a huge race but left connections heartbroken at Newmarket as Muhaarar got up in the shadow of the line to claim the Group 1 prize. Dean Ivory thinks the world of this horse and it would be nice to see this horse win. He gives a lot of weight to his rivals, which is the concern. However he’s been performing in Group and Listed races previously and this is his first handicap for nearly two years. If replicating the run at Newmarket he will be hard to beat but just too much weight here could see him beaten.
I could mention many more of these but my two other selections in this race are Huntsmans Close and Algar Lad. Firstly the Roger Charlton runner has a progressive profile and gained compensation when winning at Windsor when last seen 35 days ago. It’s being deemed as compensation as he was expected to run a big race at Royal Ascot however managed to get loose before the race and was withdrawn. He’s very much on an upward curve and can continue that here. It is harder than what he has run in but he fits the bill for me. He’s on the right side of the draw in stall 14 and the drying ground now good to firm should play to his strengths after winning the Ayr Silver Cup on quick ground. Algar Lad was staying on at York last weekend to finish sixth in a 20-runner handicap. He was beaten by 5l but the winner will be off to bigger and better thinks in the future. In all honesty he was unlucky not to be closer but the gaps came too late for hi m to mount a challenge. From stall 19 if he can be kept close to the pace rather than back in the field then he is one that could use his turn of foot to good effect.
This is a race where you are best looking for bookie offers, such as are any offering refunds on certain outcomes and how many places they are paying. The majority are paying five places but do be careful.
Advice: Huntsmans Close (8/1 each-way)
Discussiontofollow (14/1 each-way)
Algar Lad (33/1 each-way)
16:20 Qatar EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes
This isn’t a race where I’d be looking to get too involved. Folkswood is favourite for Godolphin. He probably does set the standard after finishing 3rd on debut behind Manaafidh, who stayed on strongly to defeat Muntazah. The Richard Hannon finished 3rd in a four-runner Listed race at Ascot last Saturday and didn’t run too badly for little experience. That run showed this son of Exceed And Excel had ability and should be able to build on that. A slight worry would be that the trainer Charlie Appleby hasn’t had a winner for a week but to be fair they’ve been hitting the crossbar. Beast Mode was eighth in that race with Jarir tenth. You’d expect Beast Mode to improve for that and with a Group 2 entry to his name connections will be hoping for much better. On debut he was well beaten but that was through greenness and inexperience in general. Don’t be surprised to see him run well at a big price.
Sir Alex Ferguson owns Hairdryer, so you can guess how this got its name. It problem got the treatment after it’s defeat where he looked a little clueless and finished 4th despite going off the odds-on favourite. That race was won by Montsarrat, who won again on his second start and finished 2nd here carrying a penalty, so that form looks half decent. You’d expect him to improve for that experience and he should run well.
Of the rest Bernie’s Boy comes here having just been headed late on at Ascot. He was beaten on debut by Galileo Gold, who we saw win the Group 2 Vintage Stakes, while the second from that race Zeeoneandonly got off the mark at Bath. That form looks strong and he was just unlucky last time out. It was his first go at 7f and he will be better for that. He holds a Group 2 entry too and should go well despite the wide draw. Medicman should improve for his debut when 3rd at Salisbury and is drawn nicely in the middle. This will only be Henry Candy’s second runner here at Goodwood this week after he saddles Dinkum Diamond in the big one.
If I was going to have a bet it would be small stakes on Bernie’s Boy (9/1) for Andrew Balding. The form from his debut run at Salisbury looks stronger following Zeeoneandonly’s win last night. The wide draw is slightly off-putting but it’d be a minimum stakes bet.
16:55 Qatar Stakes
12 runners going to post and Mark Johnston saddles four of them. This looks quite tricky in all honesty. For me his best chance is with Denzille Lane who returns to 7f after being well beaten over 6f at Newmarket last Saturday. This trip suits and he’s won a Epsom, so that adds a tick to the track box. The Epsom win came two starts ago and his mark is only 1lb higher here. That win came under Franny Norton who takes the ride again today, so must be considered.
The favourite is Solar Flair, who is looking for the hat-trick after winning at Newmarket and on the polytrack at Lingfield. That Lingfield form looks solid after the 2nd Royal Normandy and 3rd Mutamid have won since. He’s 10lb higher because of that and that is the question here, whether the handicapper has given him any room to capitalise. Personally I think not as this is more difficult than those two wins. William Buick has chosen Flash Fire over Bow And Arrow, so there could be something in that. Flash Fire made all to win by 6l at Sandown, which he got the run of the race on a front running track. This will be more difficult and off a 11lb higher mark could struggle. He is lightly raced, which potentially gives him scope for more improvement.
The pick was going to be Francisco (non-runner) who caught the eye when winning flying home to deny Subversive here 50 days ago. That was over 6f but the manner in which he stayed on suggested he could be a classy individual and he has previously won over this distance in his maiden. For that win here the handicapper only put him up 4lb and Cam Hardie is able to claim 3lb here; in effect he’s only 1lb higher for that win. He could improve for the step-up in trip and with that course form an added bonus he offers a bit more in terms of value and scope.
If you fancied a different sort of bet then if available a match bet on Enlace to beat Heartbreak Hero. Currently it is the latter priced shorter than the former but I’d prefer to side with the Mark Johnston horse. This is easier than what he’s raced in and with the return to fast ground ideal he could be a player. He beat Sakhee’s Return off a 2lb lower mark (92) for his last win while when last seen 22 days ago Heartbreak Hero finished 2nd to the same horse off a mark of 90 in a lower grade. For me Enlace beats Heartbreak Hero.
Advice: Denzille Lane (8/1 each-way)
Enlace to beat Heartbreak Hero (match bet)
18:00 Qatar Apprentice Race
We have a gap between the races as I believe there is an Arab race prior to this. The said Arab race is the inaugural running of it and it is part of a newly devised ‘Triple Crown’ feature in the world of Arab racing.
Let’s have a look at this Apprentice Handicap over 1m1f. Angelic Upstart won this race last year for this pairing. He won off a lower mark than this but is drawn on the same side. If away smartly like last year he is a player. His best two runs however have come on the all-weather tracks. Rydan wears the blinkers for the first time and is was well adrift in Listed company last time out. This is a big step down from the last two races he’s ran in and with a 70 day break to freshen him up he could go well for Hector Crouch. With the jockey still able to claim 5lb his mark is down to one where he has a chance but does need to recapture some of his best. Ifwecan ran four days ago and runs over a mile for the first time, so has stamina to prove. Michael J M Murphy hasn’t had the same amount of rides as in previous years but he has a good record on this course, eight winners from 34 rides at a strike rate of 24%. Made all when winning the Carlisle Bell and those tactics probably similar here.
The two against the field start with Illusive. This four-year-old moved from Aidan O’Brien to Lady Cecil at the start of this season but is yet to win. However he’s run well on three of his four runs for the yard, placing in his last two off this mark of 80. Tom Marquand is able to claim 3lb and that could be telling come the end of this race. The blinkers have been refitted and if they eek that bit extra out of him then he’ll give you a fair run for your money. The other pick would be Artful Prince. When looking at his form it doesn’t tell the whole story. At Wolverhampton when 5th he raced too keenly and then at Chester when 8th of nine he got bumped and weakened because of that. Joe Doyle has got the best out of him previous to that with consecutive wins at Ripon and Newmarket. He is 6lb higher because of those two wins but could bounce back at a big price here. The wide draw shouldn’t really be a concern, more than likely it’ll help him to be dropped in to get cover before trying to stay on strongly.
I’m Fraam Govan has raced over further more recently and connections will be hoping this shorter trip will see him back to his best. He hasn’t won since winning three in four at Kempton back in December 2013 but is quite lightly raced. He does have something to prove on turf plus trainer out of form. Knight Owl heads the market and probably has the best apprentice on board. Cam Hardie takes the ride and has been utilised well by other trainers previously. He’s had two rides under rules on this horse finishing 4th and 2nd respectively. 2lb higher for that latest second and has a chance. Yeager and Imshivalla both have good jockey bookings. Edward Greatrex is able to claim 5lb on Yeager, which sees him to a lowly mark. If running to any of his juvenile form or even his run when last seen in the Zetland Gold Cup when 2nd he’s well capable of winning this. Imshivalla has the talented Samantha Bell on his back and she can do no wrong in recent months. However the horse ran three days ago over this distance and failed to see out this trip, which would be a concern. The drying ground would be a negative.
Advice: Illusive (14/1 each-way)
Artful Prince (25/1 each-way)
Show Stealer runs in this nursery and at 16/1 is worth some each-way support. Nearly completed the hat-trick when last seen at Nottingham but beaten by 2l by the potentially smart Whitman, who had the first run from the front. He’s gone up 6l for that but could still go well here. The best horse in the race is favourite in Tutu Nguru after finishing seventh at Royal Ascot to Illuminate. This could prove quite a nice nursery when looking at the 20-runners with others running including Justice Lass, Compel, Blossomtime and Dutch Mist. Of those four Compel off 72 could be well-treated, as could Justice Lass, who made her debut in the Belvoir Bay maiden at Windsor and we saw how good she was yesterday. This trip suits after winning when last seen after being one paced over 7f here behind Ballydoyle. Plenty of options in a cracking looking nursery.