Monday July 31st 6.30pm
Right let’s turn our attention to the South Downs and the Qatar Goodwood Racing Festival. On a sunny day it is indeed “Glorious” and from the stands to the north you can see the White Horse chalk carving at Westbury and to the south The Solent and the Isle of Wight but mind you I’ve been there on a wet Thursday and the word exposed leaps to mind! It’s a classy five days of racing.
The course is unique with its ups and downs and twists and turns and the chaos on the far rail. Indeed in the BetFred Mile 35% of horses meet trouble in running. That’s about ten every time it’s run! Never my favourite course to have a major punt with luck playing too big a part. Surely a false rail turning for home would make the racing so much fairer?
With tight bends a low draw in races from 7-10F is just about essential. Mind you I see on the BHA site that on the Tuesday on the straight-ish 5/6Fcourse the stalls are stands side which should favour high numbers.
GOING/TRACK Good to Soft. Good in places on the round course (GoingStick: 6.5 on Monday at 07:00)
Rails: Lower bend dolled out 5 yards at the 6 furlong marker to the winning post. Top bend dolled out 3 yards. 2m and 1m 2f race distances increased 10 yards. 7f and 1m races increased by 15 yards
Stalls: Straight course Stand side Round course Inside
WEATHER 12 mm of rain Saturday.Dry for the last 36 hours
Going/Weather/Other last updated @Mon 31 Jul 7:58am
It’s hard to see past Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup although Desert Skyline could outrun his odds of 33/1! The 7F Lennox looks a real poser but I’ll put Acclaim and Home of the Brave in the Placepot and maybe play the former each way. I’m put off Spirit of Valour and Librisa Breeze by a worrying stat, “The last 8 winners came from stalls 7 or lower”. The 5F handicap is a minefield but course specialist has bottom weight, a high draw and his last eight runs at Goodwood returned form figures of 11213232. 14/1 1234 1/5 each way could be the way to go? I like Tribute Act in the last the fillies handicap but 5/2 is too short!
Tuesdays Lucky 15
Goodwood 1.50 GARCIA 5/1 general
Goodwood 2.25 MILDENBERGER 11/2 PP + WH 5/1 general
Goodwood 4.10 REBEL STREAK 4/1 general
Galway 7.40 GOLD SPINNER 9/1 general
and heres why
Goodwood 1.50 No surprises in the first as I make it between three towards the top of the market.
Hugo Palmer saddles Murad Khan and much as the yard is having winners I’m sure Hugo would like a bit more terrestrial TV time. This 4yo could still be improving despite his mark now up to OR103 for this race. Backward as a 2yo with just the one placed effort on the AW at Kempton he won his first three races as a 3yo including beating Nimr at Doncaster and Ballet Concerto at Thirsk in mile handicaps but then disappointed when tried in Listed company. Well fancied for the Hambleton handicap on his first run this season he boiled over in the preliminaries and ran no race. They gelded him and eight days ago he behaved impeccably in a first time hood and won a C2 8F handicap at Windsor beating the likes of Chelsea Lad and Donncha. He races prominently and has a touch of class being a son of Ravens Pass out of a Sadler’s Wells and his half-brother Ascription improved for being gelded.
Another who may have scope within his handicap mark of OR97 is Roger Varians Uae Prince (owner could perhaps be a little more imaginative when naming horses!). He’ another in the yellow with the black spots who started life with Luca Cumani but has only raced for Varian. Unraced as a 2yo on debut he was third over 10F maiden behind Imperial Aviator and Ulysses with Autocratic fourth and Uae prince was sent off 4/5 favourite! Ridiculous. Won his maiden over 12F then went handicapping off OR and was sent off Evens favourite in a C3 12F contest at Doncaster but disappointed in sixth when “struck over head by rival riders’ whip over 1f out”. He opened his 4yo campaign with a C3 10F success on Good to Firm at Ripon, didn’t seem to stay the 12F of the listed Buckhound Stakes at HQ so they gelded this £650K purchase! Amazing. Last time out he was an excellent fourth in the John Smiths at York. He led running to the furlong pole and was only beaten a length. He obviously hasn’t been easy to train and for all his talent I’m not sure he’s mentally mature enough but his prominent racing style should be an advantage here.
Just a neck behind him on the Knavesmire in fifth was Garcia. That was his first run of the season, “He just had a little, niggly problem and we gave him plenty of time to get over it,” and I think he’ll come on a bundle. #FantasticMrFahey has secured the services of Ryan Moore and the 4yo is currently a top priced 9/2 market leader although it being the opening contest we may get longer in the morning, remember to check out the offers with your friendly bookie especially if you are on line with SkyBet!
Impressive winner of the 8F 3yo Silver Bowl at Haydock last season this 10F is his trip, a bit of give in the ground is ideal and the draw in 12 of 18 looks troublesome but 9 of the last 11 winners came from stalls 9 or higher and 8 of the last 11 winners came from a double-figure stall Good news Murad Khan is in 11 with Uae Prince in 15!Wouldn’t dare tell young Ryan what to do but wide, late and handsome please. Two star** win @ 5/1 general
Goodwood 2.25 Nothing would surprise me here as this looks like twelve colts who may or may not take the next step forward in G2 over 7F. May I suggest that Frankie Dettori will be trying harder than most on Sallab for Richard Hannon, who used to be a by word for these five days, and owners Al Shaqab the Qatari’s who sponsor the whole shindig! However Shallab is stepping up from winning in C5 and that’s one of the biggest steps!
I make it between two, Expert Eye and Mildenberger.
Expert Eye was a Stoute winner on debut which is always noteworthy and when put up by Keiron Fallon in the RP Monday Jury as “one to follow” it has to be in the Notebook. Add to that “Newmarket correspondent David Milnes with the two-year-olds to watch 6:00PM, JUL 20 2017 Expert Eye (c. Acclamation – Exemplify) Sir Michael Stoute He got the Freemason Lodge juveniles on the board when scoring over six and a half furlongs at Newbury in June, a race that is already working out. He has since excelled in his homework and is bred to be speedy, as his dam is a half-sister to 1,000 Guineas winner Special Duty. This colt can be expected to be given entries in all the top autumn juvenile races.”
Mildenberger is a Godolphin home bred son of Teofilio out of a Dubawi mare who will surely stay further. On debut over 7F took trail, green, asked 2F out, got to the front ½F out and pulled clear. Impressive under a penalty at Newbury, C4 7F. Kept it simple, out well, made all, stretched clear from the furlong pole. I think Goodwood will suit his running style and if James Doyle can get his fractions right and an untroubled lead I think Mildenberger will be a tough nut to crack. One star* win @ 11/2 PP + WH
Goodwood 4.10 Not my normal sort of race to play in but Rebel Streak went into my notebook after his last run, “Travelled kindly, progress two out, looking for racing room, turned sideways in run to the furlong pole, straightened out and kept on strongly to the line beaten less than two lengths by Lethal Lunch. This was a promising first run on Turf for this Dark Angel colt. Should get 7F.” This looks an ideal next step with no issues over trip, grade or ground and the Baldings know a thing or two about training winners at Goodwood. One star* win @ 4/1 general
Algam runs for the sponsors and Ryan Moore has “chosen” the unraced Princely of the Hannon pair. Godolphin’s Tribal Quest heads the market.
Galway 7.40 This is more my cup of tea, a mad field of eighteen over 8 ½ F at Ballybrit! Gold Spinner is a lightly raced son of Pivotal, indeed he didn’t see the course until he was a 3yo. Behind Orderofthegarter on debut he won his next two over 8F but didn’t seem to stay the extra quarter of a mile last time. Ground and trip are fine and I like the fact that this prominent racer is drawn 2 and I expect to see Colin Keane make full use of that draw, grab the rail and save enough to see him home on that stiff climb to the line! One star* each way @ 9/1 general ¼ 1234
Riven Light, a winning two mile hurdler for Willie Mullins and Galway stalwart Baraweez sent over by Brian Ellison make fascinating rivals.