Posted: Thursday August 3rd 6.30pm
After yesterday’s monsoon I thought the ground held up well although much depends on the jockeys judgement of pace, especially those at the front.
GOING/TRACK Soft, Heavy in places (Going Stick: 5.8 on Thursday at 09:30)
Stalls: Straight course Stand side Round course Inside
WEATHER 49.2mm rain yesterday. Dry and windy since midnight. A dry windy day with sunny spells.
Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 03 Aug 9:42am
STOP PRESS LATEST GOING REPORT
Blustery conditions made it testing for racegoers and horses, while the ‘soft, heavy in places’ going led to a number of potential runners being withdrawn, but the star acts proved that good horses go on any ground, and some fine racing took place.
Clerk of the Course Seamus Buckley said: “There have been testing conditions and it’s been a testing time – last night I didn’t think we would have such a successful day ahead. The ground rode as described, and certainly on the slower side, and there were some very heavy patches out on the course that I was slightly worried about this morning, but the lads did a great job in forking, lifting and aerating to get some air into the turf, and that got rid of any water that was lying about. It was a great team effort and I cannot say how proud I am of the team. It didn’t stop the good horses winning, and we had a lovely fresh strip of ground on the far side. We brought the top bend in, which we don’t usually do until Saturday for the Qatar Nassau Stakes, but having moved the race we opted to do that in order to provide the best ground possible.
The weather forecast is for tomorrow to be dry, while Saturday may contain a late passing shower, but there’s no band of rain. I won’t change the going tonight, but will look at the ground tomorrow morning – I wouldn’t be surprised if we go to soft and even good to soft in places. I just had a walk down the straight for the final two furlongs and was pleased with what I saw.
Rails on the bottom two furlongs of the lower bend on the mile course are being moved back tonight to provide fresh ground.”
Fridays Lucky 15
Goodwood 1.50 POETS WORD 3/1 PP 5/2 general
Goodwood 3.25 BIRCHWOOD 20/1 PP 18/1 WH Coral + Lads 14/1!!
Goodwood 4.10 GIFT IN TIME 6/1 PP 11/2 general
Goodwood 4.45 TIMYRIS 11/1 Coral + Lads 10/1 general
and here is why
Goodwood 1.50 POETS WORD As all regular readers of this blog will know I fancied the horse for the G2 12F Hardwicke at Royal Ascot and I am not going to desert him now! Why? Every time I see a Newmarket gallops report he’s always ‘best’ or ‘impressive’. He won the 11F handicap at this meeting last year, his last run was a solid second to Deauville at Chester in a G3 over a shorter trip and I think he is a typical Stoute slow burner who is ready to open his Group account. The issue is the ground and from what I saw today I think if he handles it he’ll win.
Two star** win @ 3/1 PP 5/2 general
On his Coronation Cup second Frontiersman is thrown in but the horse isn’t the full picnic!
Goodwood 3.25 BIRCHWOOD I hinted at it yesterday and I’m sticking with him.
“Now here is a disappointing 4yo! Won his first two races as a 2yo and David Armstrong sold him to Godolphin. He won the G2 Superlative over 7F at HQ and should have won the G2 Vintage here at Goodwood but William Buick had a nightmare, squeezed, hampered, ran on etc. Then third in the G1 National Stakes at the Curragh and third in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf! To say he was disappointing as a 3yo would be an understatement. Highly tried but the only race he won was a 7F Listed race at Chester but it was on Soft ground and he had a first time visor! At this Goodwood meeting last year he was seventh of eight in the G2 7F Lennox Stakes at just 8/1! As a 4yo he has been midfield in two Listed races and the 6F Wokingham handicap where he wore first time blinkers. His handicap mark has come down from a heady OR114 to OR102. So is this a Musley Bank plot or the last roll of the dice? Fail here and surely it’s the unkindest cut of all!
However he is drawn in stall 2, which under normal circumstances be fantastic, and Jamie Spencer has been booked!
All season it’s been a case of “working well, we’re happy with him”! On course, dismal.
I’ve played each way at 33/1. Is it class will shine through or has he fallen out of love with racing? In Frank I trust!”
One star* each way @ 20/1 PP 18/1 WH Coral + Lads 14/1!!
Gutted but not surprised that El Vip has been taken out on account of the ground!
Goodwood 4.10 GIFT IN TIME Who ever does the buying for the Cool Silks Partnership is a shrewd cookie and certainly knows a swift 2yo when he sees one! This son of Society Rock out of a Cadeaux Genereux mare cost a tidy £75K and has had three runs which all suggest this could be his race. Third on debut on Soft ground to the now Black Type filly Darkanna, missed the break in the G2 Norfolk at Ascot and then won at Chester when having given up the outside to no one then “thundering home” to nail Ginbar on the line! Drawn 3 tomorrow, breeding suggests could improve for the ground, Luke Morris in the saddle are all plusses.
Two star** win @ 6/1 PP 11/2 general
Goodwood 4.45 TIMYRIS Only six lengths off Winter in the G1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot having won a Soft ground Listed race at York, she is a talented 3yo filly who gets six pounds off her elders. I’ve no issue with the ground, trip or grade the problem is being drawn widest in sixteen! She’s been held up in her races to date so hopefully Atzeni can drop in then attack down the middle in the final furlong. More of the Breton Rock less of the Uae Prince!
One star* win @ 11/1 Coral + Lads 10/1 general
The Goodwood 2.25 is a terrific race with loads of notebook horses in. Beat the Bank, Bless Him, Forest Ranger, Make Time and Zainhom with La Rav a non-runner. Too hard to split them but I will try to profile this race next week as how they run here should determine their targets for the rest of the season.
Reaction at the Stewards Cup draw
After the near 50mm deluge of rain that fell on Wednesday, Thursday’s 9.00am reading on the Going Stick gave the ground as 5.8 overall and in the straight 5.5 on the stands’ side, 5.6 in the centre and 6.0 on the far side. Those able to get early selections, and so with all options open, tended to head to the rails on both sides – opinion split as to where the best ground might be come Saturday.
Alex Smith, a director of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, which also manages the Royal Ascot Racing Club horses, was responsible for choosing the draw for Raucous (Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Melbourne Syndicate) and Projection (Royal Ascot Racing Club), the current 7/1 favourite. He chose high numbers for both – 26 for Raucous and 27 for Projection. Smith said: “I followed the instructions of both William [Haggas – Raucous] and Roger [Charlton – Projection] to go high. I was lucky to get such high numbers because I was quite late in the selection of stalls (16 and 19 respectively) and they are, of course, next to each other. The trainers were both keen to be on the stands’ side. Projection, third in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, likes to be up there with the pace but is untested on this sort of ground, while Raucous, last year’s third, will be held up and has some soft-ground form. The Melbourne Syndicate is a lucky one, as they have Raucous and Opposition, who have each won three races.”
Trainer Richard Fahey, who has three runners in the Stewards’ Cup, was represented at the draw by SkyBet’s Michael Shinners, the pair selecting low draws for all three runners. For Growl, a 14/1 chance, Shinners picked stall eight, for Eastern Impact (20/1) he went with 11, and for Brian The Snail (20/1) the selection was stall two.
“Richard’s had a bit of success when drawn low on soft ground previously, and he felt that with the new strip of ground [on the far side] and all the horses coming up the stands’ side yesterday and maybe today, there might still be fresh ground by Saturday on the far side so we went low, but who knows, it could change by then!” said Shinners, adding: “Looking early at the pace, Lancelot Du Lac (15) is an obvious pacemaker and Stake Acclaim in 14 has also shown pace. We’re in the middle, and obviously of Richard’s three Growl is the shortest priced, but they all go there with claims.”
Rosie Margarson, representing this week’s Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes-winning trainer Andrew Balding, selected draw 20 for Donjuan Triumphant (16/1), said: “Andrew wanted an even number so the horse can go in the stalls later, and ideally wanted 14, but we were unable to get that. We want to come stands’ side in the hope for better ground, hence the selection of 20.”