Glorious Goodwood 2014: Day 3 Preview and Tips
An 18/1 place in the opener (14/1 SP, and after R4), and Kingman - for those with deep pockets - was all that was to show for Day 2, until we were saved by Related scooting home in the 'lucky last'. 14/1 last night when I, and plenty of you, backed him, he returned 6/1. Rule 4 deduction did apply, but only 10p, meaning we got 12.6/1 for a 6/1 shot. Like I said, "he's a little bit of a bargain".
Any road, yesterday's news is today's chip paper, and your scribe has barely had time for a bag of chips in between Race Maker duties at the Sussex track today. It was great to meet so many racing fans, including a couple of geegeez readers. Thanks for saying hi, Paul and Hugh!
I'm there again on Thursday as a Race Maker, and on Friday as a merry maker, so do say hello if you see me. I might need a tip. 😉
OK, to Thursday. As mentioned earlier in the week, time pressures mean I can't cover the whole card, so I'm cherry picking those races where I think there's a route in. Maybe I should always do that...
2.05 1m2f Handicap Class 2
This race normally goes to the top of the market, and that might happen again. But one horse whose chance could have been under-rated is in-form James Bethell's Braidley. Braidley has been running well at around a mile and, by Dylan Thomas, this extra two furlongs should suit. He's drawn one which gives him options pacewise, and his best form has been on quick ground.
There are lots of unexposed runners in here, and Braidley himself has the potential to be better at the longer distance. I'm far from certain he'll win, but as a 25/1 shot that ticks a lot of boxes, I think he's the wrong price.
Each way speculative: Braidley 25/1 BetVictor
2.35 Richmond Stakes 6f Group 2
Ivawood sets the clear form bar after his July Stakes romp from Jungle Cat and the rest, and his trainer thinks he'll be even better on terra firmer. The fact that the next in the betting is Jungle Cat, beaten three lengths at Newmarket and with seemingly no excuses, tells you of the perceived superiority of the jolly, a 1-2 shot.
So what can beat him? Well, just the one thing potentially. It's possible he won't act on the track. Assuming he does, and he's given us no reason to doubt that, then it's hard to envisage defeat. While Jungle Cat has won here, he's plenty to find with Ivawood; and the rest have to step forward a stone and more in most cases, even assuming Ivawood stands still, which he probably won't.
For those who can't back a two-on good thing (seemingly), then Brian Meehan's Fox Trotter might be an each way alternative. He won a fair looking Donny maiden on debut, despite his yard not being especially known for first time out winners. He's apparently been showing a good bit at home since, and as a once-raced type, he could jump forward on this second outing.
That's all conjecture - and at 14/1, why not? - but the reality is that unless one of the very lightly raced colts bounds forward, the fav should win.
Selection: Ivawood (shock) 1/2 Coral, Betfred, totesport
Each way alternative: Fox Trotter 14/1 Hills
3.10 Goodwood Cup 2m Group 2
The historical high point of the racing week, and a decent ten runner renewal. The Queen's Estimate is out of rehab after her brief flirtation with morphine, and seemingly in fine fettle. But whether she should be half the price of Brown Panther, I'm not sure.
Estimate beat Brown Panther at Ascot, right enough, but that was over two and a half miles. Back at the two mile range, Michael Owen's flag bearer is a tough nut to crack. He's won both his races at the trip, including last year's Goodwood Cup, so we know he acts on the track. He seems to be all right on very fast ground too, and though I'd have preferred him not to have had the run in France a fortnight ago, he looks a spot of value at 7/2.
Of the bigger prices, Angel Gabrial is a smidge unlucky not to have won his last three starts, all in hyper-competitive Class 2 handicaps at this sort of trip. He won two of those three over two miles, and the last - the Northumberland Plate - on good to firm ground. It's a step up in grade for a horse that has improved eighteen pounds since May; whether he can improve another ten is the question. It's not impossible, but his price is about right at 11/1.
There's a lack of clarity about where the pace will emerge and it could be that Cavalryman will be sent on by Kieren Fallon. Even granted a soft lead, though, it would be disappointing if the 8yo was good enough to beat his youngers.
Selection: Brown Panther 7/2 general
Each way alternative: Angel Gabrial 11/1 bet365, Boylesports
3.45 Lillie Langtry Stakes 1m6f Group 3
Oddly, this is one weight for age race where the three year olds have a lamentable record, thus far at least. They've only managed two wins from thirty runners in the eleven years the Lillie Langtry has been in existence, and none since 2008.
Johnny G's Stella Bellissima looks the pick of that age group, though it's very hard to know how good she might be after a solitary Newbury maiden win. In a group with a decent established level of form I'm prepared to let her beat me if she's good enough, and raise my sights to the top of the ratings.
The one they all have to beat - and she missed her trainer's beloved Galway to be here - is Missunited. This seven year old lass has a bit of a fan club, and I admit to joining that squad later than many. She's an eleven time winner, including in Graded company over hurdles and Listed class on the flat. There's a decent chance she'll try to make all, as she did when just beaten into third in the Ascot Gold Cup, and she'll be hard to pass if leading.
German raider, Nymphea, was winning a Group 1 in the Fatherland this time last year, so this is a step down the Pattern ladder. Quite how that German G1 equates to this British G3 I don't know, but I'd imagine they'd be at least on a par, which has to bring this fraulein into contention. Her trainer believes she will like the ground, and she could lead if Missunited doesn't. At 9/1 in a place she's definitely worth a second glance.
Although Talent won a Listed race on good to firm, I'd not be convinced that it's her preferred surface and, anyway, she might not stay this far. If she goes on the ground and stays, she has every chance. 7/2 doesn't satisfactorily accommodate those imponderables for me.
It's tricky, and I think Missunited has a fine chance and is the most likely winner. But I'll probably take a chance on German raider, Nymphea, getting the steins in.
Most likely winner: Missunited 9/4 SkyBet, BetVictor, Coral, 888sport
Value alternative: Nymphea 9/1 PP
4.20 The maiden slot means it's every man, woman, child, horse, jockey and punter for themselves. I'm sorry I haven't a clue!
4.50 Tatler Stakes Handicap 7f Class 2 - very tricky, and I've no angle into it, I'm afraid. Maybe Royal Seal, who's been buggered about a bit trip wise in recent starts, can cut them all down late. A winner over seven fast furlongs twice in his last four starts, he's race over five and six furlongs the other twice and got whacked both times. Those two defeats coincided with his two steps into this grade, so it's a coin toss as to whether it was the trip or the class that found him out. Gun to head, I'd say trip. But I don't think they allow guns into Goodwood, so I'm swerving the race.
5.25 Apprentice Handicap 1m1f Class 3
I've had alpha and omega luck in the 'lucky last' the first two days. Valmina's embarrassing lanterne rouge effort on Tuesday was banished by Related's win on Wednesday - backed at twice the SP - so let's throw the dice again...
High might be favoured in the draw here, but it's hard to be categorical. As such, it seems best to focus on the faaarm book (as they say down my native Daaarzet way).
This could be as simple as Balmoral Castle, a horse that loves it quick, loves it nine furlongs, and loves it here. He's won two of his three starts here, and trainer Johnny Portman had a winner yesterday in the maiden (I know, I imagine he was as surprised as the rest of us). Those wins were in Class 5 and this is Class 3, but it's a loose looking apprentice sort of Class 3 as opposed to your normal Festival handicap Class 3.
Roughly translated, Balmoral Castle has a mightily obvious chance.
One other worth a look is Weapon Of Choice. He's not seemed to be at his best on fast ground, according to Instant Expert at least, but a closer (Full Form Filter) squint at those runs shows he has actually performed with credit on multiple occasions. He has won twice at the distance, one of which was here, and he ran a fine second in higher class on his only other nine furlong run.
Those performances were back in 2010/11, but he remains in decent form, and could roll back the years at a general 12/1.
Selection: Balmoral Castle 5/1 BetVictor, bet365
Each way alternative: Weapon Of Choice 12/1 general