Glorious Goodwood 2015 Day 4 Preview Tips
Brevity is the order of the day for my final preview of the week, and I'm confident that will be well received in some quarters at least! Friday is perhaps the most consistently classy day's racing, with four Group races and the Golden Mile heritage handicap, and I'll be there to drink my way through it. Can't wait!
Here's what I'll mostly be backing (as that tramp character from The Fast Show might have said)...
2.00 Glorious Stakes (Group 3, 1m4f)
Hillstar has been disappointing so far this season, and is relegated to Group 3. But he won the Grade 1 Canadian International over this trip last backend and so has 'back class' to take this. Olivier Peslier is an interesting jockey booking too, with no other rides on the day.
He's the fly in the ointment for sure, but I make this between The Corsican and Connecticut. The former is two from two at the track and was only beaten three lengths in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. He won his maiden over this distance, though may ideally be suited by shorter. However, that's mitigated somewhat by what could be a less than true gallop and the fact that Goodwood is less testing than many tracks.
CONNECTICUT won a Listed race last time by sixteen lengths! Whilst it would be careless to interpret that form too literally, it was a smart performance and the second, Nancy From Nairobi, went very close on Wednesday evening. He's got a nicely progressive profile, something he needs as he has five pounds to find with The Corsican but, with guaranteed stamina and at a slightly better value price, he's my idea of a bet in a race 'Filthy' Luca Cumani has farmed down the years (four wins since 2004). 7/2 is all right.
Watersmeet doesn't want to be left alone too long on the front, or he could nick it.
2.35 Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3, 1m)
Most of these are trying to redeem promising juvenile careers after disappointing starts to their Classic campaign. Two that are not are Latharnach and Convey.
Latharnach put in a taking display in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, when second to Gleneagles, and that's the best form in the field, from 2015 at least. He's still going forwards and looks the most likely winner, especially if given an uncomplicated prominent position behind presumed pace-setter, Kool Kompany. But 6/4 just doesn't get me going.
Convey has had just one start, a five length romp in a Kempton maiden. This is obviously a huge step up, but the fact that Sir Michael Stoute is happy to pitch him in here says plenty for his home work. 4/1 might look generous after the race, but it's not for me with so much taken on trust.
Of the redemption seekers, Kool Kompany ought to set it up for something else, with Malabar and Moheet the most likely to return to former glories. Moheet, I think, is particularly interesting, and might be playable each way at a price of 10/1.
Not really a betting race for me, though I may back Moheet in the 'without Latharnach' market.
3.10 Betfred Mile (Class 2, 1m)
Despite the huge field, there are some serious boxes to tick in this race. Three- to five-year-olds have a near monopoly on winners from a 'mere' 75% of the runners.
Better than that might be the advantage of the draw in this twenty-ish runner affair. The bottom five stalls have won twelve of the last eighteen renewals, and the lowest eight stalls have claimed 42 of the 72 win and place positions (58%) from only 38% of the runners.
A three- to five-year-old with a single figure draw looks a pretty good starting place. That actually only leaves two to go at - Munaaser and So Beloved - so I'm going to include those drawn 10 and 11 (who are actually ninth and tenth off the rail due to there being no stall five (withdrawn, reserve installed)). They are Basem and Baltic Knight.
Munaaser has twice run well in Class 2 handicaps at this sort of trip, including last time out at Sandown when just half a length behind Basem. He has the better of the draw compared to that one (4 vs 11), but will need luck with his hold up run style. His odds are perfectly fair given his profile and if the splits do come, he could easily win.
His last day vanquisher, Basem, is now four pounds worse off for a half length margin, and has that wider draw to deal with as well. But, with only the lowest drawn pair looking like wanting to go on from inside him, James Doyle should be able to get an optimal sit. Basem has won both his starts this year, and he'll be a popular choice for the hat-trick.
David O'Meara's So Beloved has been running over shorter recently but he does have two wins at a mile to his name. He's won in the grade too, and seems reasonably versatile as regards pace. His very good trainer is 0 from 20 at Goodwood, however, and that does rather temper enthusiasm.
I'm drawn to Baltic Knight, Richard Hannon's lad dropping down from Group class where he's been running consistently meritorious races. True, he's got less progression than some of these, but he's surely better than a 25/1 chance.
Of the rest, the older boys drawn 1 and 2, Ocean Tempest and The Rectifier, both have place claims with their prominent racing styles. It's interesting that Adam Kirby, who rode The Rectifier last time, now switches to Ocean Tempest, and I've had a tiny tickle at 25's on the Kirby-nator with a five places bookie.
Munaaser and Basem are obvious players, and I've dutched the pair at 8/1 and 6/1 respectively. I've also had small each way bets on Baltic Knight and Ocean Tempest, and I'll probably frame some sort of crackpot trifecta using all of the six emboldened above but not in all combinations. (There's nothing quite like snaking one's way out of a big dividend for cleansing the soul!!)
3.45 King George Stakes (Group 2, 5f)
Plenty of pace on here, so it should be a balls eye run from the gun and a thrilling spectacle as a consequence. Take Cover and Moviesta have won the last two, but the last horse to win it twice was the brilliant filly, Lochsong, in the early nineties.
Trainer Paul Midgley is having a season mirabilis with his sprinters, and Line Of Reason is the quickest in the field on Peter May's figures. Although he's drawn very high, he should get a tow into the race from a trio of speedsters in traps 9-11 and at about 10/1 he might further embellish Midgley's campaign palmarès.
The most obvious contender, however, is Muthmir. He was a bit disappointing last time over six, a trip he stays just fine based on previous evidence, but the step back to five looks right on more recent lines of form.
Specifically, he won a Group 2 in France and was then just a half length behind Goldream in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. The race that day was absolutely pret a porter for Goldream, and Muthmir ran well enough to have beaten this lot there. He's 9/2 and he must go close, with Justineo expecting to blaze a trail for him from the adjacent stall.
Two at bigger prices who have made trips across water to be here are Dikta Del Mar and Goken. Both may run better than their odds imply.
Goken (20/1) is only three and his four wins in eleven starts have all come at five furlongs, a distance at which his full record is 111401. The '4' was on very soft ground (all his wins have been on good) and the '0' was when beaten just two and a half lengths in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye as a juvenile (and, granted, getting all the allowances as a consequence). He is drawn close to Muthmir and I expect he'll finish within two lengths of that one.
Dikta Del Mar comes over from Ireland. He might just want a bit more cut in the ground to show his best, but he's another three-year-old on the up. I do prefer the prospects of Goken on balance.
I'll be backing MUTHMIR at 9/2 or better, who has a really solid - if somewhat obvious - chance. He'll surely be shorter than 9/2 at the off. I'm going to let Line of Reason beat me, mainly because you can't back them all and I want to bet 20/1+ Goken, win and place.
4.20 Nursery Handicap (Class 2, 6f)
I'll be sitting this out. It's much too tough for me. I genuinely haven't a clue, will be taking a LOT in the placepot, and enjoying a glass of Pimm's or one of those very tasty Goodwood ales while this is on. Not my idea of a punting conveyance, I wouldn't bet it each way if bookies were offering seven places (they're not, they're offering three).
4.55 Oak Tree Stakes (Group 3, 7f)
Now this is more like it. There are a few smart fillies in here, but I really like the look of 7/2 OSAILA. She was outclassed in the 1000 Guineas but left and right of that she's put in a string of super efforts.
Last time she won the Listed Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot from a field of sixteen other upwardly mobile ladies; and on her only start this season prior to the Guineas she bagged the Group 3 seven furlong Nell Gwyn Stakes.
As a juvenile, she was third to the brilliant (but sadly out for the season) Lady Eli in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf, and before that she won the valuable Tattersalls Millions 2yo Fillies' Trophy race, also over seven.
I do worry a little about this track putting enough of an emphasis on stamina for a filly who gets a mile well now, but aside from that she's got all the attributes for a trainer and owner who have made Goodwood their home.
Fadhayyil has the beating of Osaila on 1000 Guineas running, and her close Jersey Stakes second is probably also a better piece of form than Osaila's Sandringham win. Seven is likely her trip, and she is the clear danger. But she may not have the tenacity of Frankie Dettori's mount, who has won by a nose and a short head this season, and who I'd definitely fancy in a finish of fine margins.
Depending on how the day has gone, I'll probably be topping up an early wager on Osaila here. I really like her.
5.30 Handicap Stakes (Class 3, 1m3f)
Another race in which I'll be lobbing a fiver (or a tenner if Osaila wins) much more in hope than expectation.
Tashaar ran very fast on his racecourse bow to win over a mile, and he's bred for this sort of range. He might well be good enough to give weight all round.
At the other end of the handicap, Hugo Palmer's Twitch benefitted from the step up in distance last time to record an overdue success. She's capable of more despite already having raced six times.
Taraz has a chance too, for the presently all-conquering Roger Varian stable. It's a fair old step up from the two Class 5 handicaps he won over a furlong shorter, but we at least know he's been competitive in handicaps.
And Gary Moore might have been plotting something like this with Darebin, who has got closer with each of his three spins to date, the most recent of which was a nose defeat. He's had a month off to tighten up, and it would be no surprise if he went close for the extremely capable Moore.
Loads of others either jobbed up or capable of oodles more than they've shown so far, so pay your money and take your pick!
I'll be on Tashaar 11/2 for smalls and Darebin 33/1 for tinies... and Goodwood Ale for plenty 🙂
As a consequence of the last sentence above, there will be no preview for Saturday's racing. There will however be TV trends, which will cover four Goodwood heats, including of course the Stewards' Cup.
Best of luck with your weekend wagers, and many thanks for tagging along with me this week. I sincerely hope you've had a good ride. 🙂
p.s. as always, we all love to read what you're backing or what you backed (and how it went). So don't be a stranger, join the conversation by leaving a comment below. And thanks again!