Kyprios and Ryan Moore win the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup from Stradivarius and Trueshan. 26/7/2022 Pic Steve Davies, RACINGFOTOS.COM

Glorious Goodwood 2023: Day 1 Preview, Pointers, Tips

The wonderful carnival of racing that is the Qatar Goodwood Festival, or always 'Glorious Goodwood' to many, commences on Tuesday and there is a glut of top class racing and, indeed, races full stop. Eight contests punctuate the opening day, beginning with a big field five furlong sprint handicap and headlined later on by the Group 2 Lennox Stakes, arguably the best seven-furlong race in the British calendar, and the Group 1 Goodwood Cup.

My approach this week will be more short hand than has been historically the case, with one race previewed in depth and the remainder given the pointer treatment: I'll suggest what I think are some of the more material factors to consider in your own deliberations. I might lob in a selection or three where I feel that's appropriate. Anyway, you'll see what I mean as we proceed...

The going is currently good to soft, good in places, with plenty of rain forecast. The latest live weather station readings are here.

1.40 Coral Handicap (5f Handicap 4yo+, Class 2)

15 runners in what I suspect will be wet ground. Draw and pace will be factors but so too will an ability to handle the conditions of a big field and soft turf. These are more exposed runners so Instant Expert is a decent port of call. One horse stands out there: last year's Group 2 King George Stakes second over course and distance, Raasel.

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The winner that day was Khaadem, subsequently a Royal Ascot Group 1 winner, and Raasel has been running very well in Group company this season. His Goodwood record is 112 and he handles all going. If there is a draw bias it might be towards low numbers, so trap four will be right in the mix. My only slight niggle is his general waited with run style, but he's tractable in that regard and could get a slightly more forward ride here.

Look for horses that can handle, the going, grade and, if they all go, field size. Then look for bookmakers offering bonus places!

2.15 British EBF Maiden Stakes (6f maiden, 2yo, Class 2)

Not really a race I know anything about. Perhaps look to Goodwood trainers such as Charlie Johnston (taking over from his dad but well advertised as having plotted a squad for this meeting), Andrew Balding and, to a lesser extent, Karl Burke and Charles Hills. Richard Hannon runs a lot of horses in Glorious Goodwood 2yo non-handicaps and occasionally hits the target, but he is expensive to follow (-55% ROI since 2016).

Nine of the last ten winners were sent off 13/2 or shorter, though the other was 100/1! The balance of probabilities is that the market will have this winner in its crosshairs.

2.50 Chesterfield Cup Handicap (1m2f Handicap, 4yo+, Class 2)

Team Johnston have won this four times since 2014 and usually at a price, so Outbreak is of immediate interest. He's up in trip from a mile to ten furlongs but was a length third over this range in a valuable handicap on the All-Weather Finals day consolation card. Showing at 14/1 with Sky - six places - that's plausibly playable on the trainer angle alone. The going may make things more testing, which is a concern, but he's a square price to have a cut at.

Moktasaab was third in this last year off a five pound higher mark and will benefit from a waiting ride from Hayley Turner, a fine exponent of such tactics. He's quite likely to have been 'jobbed up' for this and is 12/1 with the same firm and the same place concession.

3.25 Vintage Stakes (7f, Group 2, 2yo)

The first Group race of the week is a two year old event over seven furlongs. Winners of this have typically been strong market fancies, though it was a 14/1 shot that prevailed a year ago.

It's a bit too tricky for me.

4.00 Lennox Stakes (7f, Group 2, 3yo+)

An excellent race in prospect, and a clear and obvious favourite in Kinross. He was second in the race last year when ridden by Frankie Dettori, and that man remains in the saddle, as he has been in three subsequent wins the most recent of which was the Group 1 Champions Sprint over six good to soft furlongs. He ran well when third in the July Cup last time, again over six, and looks ready to return to seven-eighths. I think he'll win for all that that's a mightily unoriginal observation.

Of his rivals, I am not yet convinced by Isaac Shelby, whose second in the French 2000 Guineas has yet to be backed up by this lad. That said, he's had only the one spin since, when fourth to Paddington in the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot; the thinking may be that a true run mile stretches him whereas he can use his turn of foot over seven. Still, he's got it to prove, to me at least.

Pogo has plenty of classy runs to his name which, being a seven-year-old, he's had more chance to achieve. He seems to go on any ground and seven looks his best trip. I can see him running a nice race without having the class or youth to beat them all.

Al Suhail was less than three lengths behind Kinross in the G2 Park Stakes over seven at Donny last September and has picked up a packet of prize money in Dubai at the trip this spring. He ran a creditable race over six at Royal Ascot and can step forward again here. The Park Stakes third was on soft as is most of his best form.

A possible lone pace angle is Audience, who is a steady improver this season for the Gosden squad. He won two back in a fair handicap and then bolted up on seasonal debut this term in a Group 3 a month ago, Jumby his closest pursuer at a distance of two lengths. There are not many miles on his clock and, if he handles the ground - unraced on softer than good - he could be hard to peg back.

That was Jumby's sole defeat in his last five starts, progressing from a Class 3 conditions race to a Group 2 score in the Hungerford last time. He has it to prove on the slow ground but has an otherwise attractive profile.

Closest to 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean twice at the tail end of last season was Indestructible, and he opened his portfolio this year with a score in the Craven Stakes. He's since been battered in both the 2000G and the St J's P and has a good bit to prove at this point in terms of whether he's trained on (and whether his form is good enough anyway).

Winner of the Vintage Stakes last year, over the same course and distance, and also Group 2, was Marbaan. He returns to familiar climes then and may end up the pick of the three-year-olds. That said, Holguin has soft ground form aplenty and comes here off the back of a Listed 7f win at Chester last time. This, naturally, is a step up - two steps up - but conditions fit.

The best horse in this race on official figures, RPR's and Topspeed numbers is Kinross, and he also gets pretty much optimal conditions. Frankie needs to guard against tactical pitfalls in a race where the progressive Audience may get a soft lead; but he rarely misfires on the bigger stages and I think he'll win.

He's an unexciting price but it's hard to find an alternative bet: things look competitive for the places. Audience should get the run of it, while Holguin and Al Suhail are well suited to the conditions; meanwhile, Pogo is a warhorse at this level and Jumby may not be done with his upgrades yet.

But they're all a few pounds behind last year's second, KINROSS.

4.35 Goodwood Cup (2m4f, Group 1, 3yo+)

This looks very competitive indeed with four horses separated by one pound on official ratings. The least exposed is the Gold Cup winner from Royal Ascot, Courage Mon Ami, and that is reflected in his top of the market status. Coltrane, proven on softer turf, where CMA is not, looks a playable alternative to the jolly, though he does have a tendency to find one too good. He's hyper consistent.

At bigger prices Tashkhan stays well and loves the mud, but he has a good bit to find on the form; and Giavellotto is another who could feature. Very tricky.

5.05 Coral Fillies' Handicap (1m, Class 3, 3yo+)

You very likely need to be drawn low to win this. So far, first place has gone to the fillies drawn 1, 5, 5, 7, 15, 2, 3. The winner from 15 ended up winning the next season's Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot so was very smart. Unless there's an equally smart one in here I'd be staying low.

A feature of this field is there looks to be a ton of early speed on, so I'm now favouring low and midfield to held up. That gives me a tentative small stakes shortlist of Back See Daa, Miss Mojito and System (four length 5th in this last year).

Good luck, and don't blame me if trap 20 wins!

5.35 World Pool Fillies' Handicap (6f, Class 3, 3yo+)

If it's genuinely soft, high draws will have it all to do as the heatmap below outlines.


A handy position also looks helpful, which brings in plenty:


Kitai is a Johnston runner that fits the bill, but it's clearly tricky trappy truly treacherous territory.

Good luck.


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