Goodwood Day Four: Best Bets and Placepot Perms

Day three is still playing out, dear reader, as I write this post. And a good bit better than day two it's been thus far, despite a short head exit from the placepot in the second. (As I wrote, "Just three spots for the ‘pots, which could be a good thing (depending on whether your best placed selection beats all bar three home…").

No matter, for the Schiaparelli has guaranteed a profit for day three at least.

Friday (Day Four) is the day I attend, hence the earlier post. But all requisite information is available, so let's get stuck in.


We start with a Group 3 over a mile and a half for older horses. Some nice horses have won this race (including Sixties Icon last year), and five of the last ten runnings were taken by the favourite.

Luca Cumani (two) and Mark Johnston (three) have plundered this race, winning half of the last decade's renewals.

An interesting, and clearly material, stat about Johnston's Drumfire is that he is bidding to win the race having already run - and won - at the meeting. In 2006, Crosspeace did the same race double; and in 2002, Darasim finished 2nd to a stablemate before winning this race. So, clearly it's a benefit and not a hindrance to have raced earlier in the week.

Drumfire must be in the perm.

Halicarnassus is less than straightforward, but he loves it here (a win and two seconds from five starts) and, on his day, he's useful at this level.

Crime Scene may try to go trap to line, but I reckon that will be tough here, and Cumani's 'dark' one, Basaltico, may be a better option. He's not been seen since finishing one place behind Goodwood Cup runner up Mourilyan at Nad Al Sheba in February. If tuned up (check the market - significant 'if'), he's capable of running a big race.

Selection: Drumfire

Danger: Crime Scene

Placepot: 2, 3, 4, 5


I'll be about five pints in by now, and hopefully Drumfire will have meant I don't have to count the pennies / Pimms' / champagne corks for the remainder of our liquid afternoon.

If I do, then this will NOT be the place to be 'playing up' my booze fund. 24 runners and six furlongs, with a questionable draw advantage after the top sod was rendered soggier than the firmer terra firma beneath.

I'll be playing a couple down either side here, to give myself half a chance of getting through on the 'pot. No win bet for me, as this is just too hard. (On that basis alone, Everymanforhimself would be at least a topical winner).

Julia runs Spirit of Sharjah who will definitely appreciate this truly run six furlongs. Whether he's good enough to win or not is another question, but he'll have a sentimental (and accordingly small) wager from this quarter.

Dandy Nicholls farmed this race from 1999-2004, winning it an incredible five times out of those six years (2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 8th in the year he didn't win!!!). He's mob handed again tomorrow, with five runners. Northern Dare might prove the best of those, and he makes the placepot.

It's interesting to note that, although this race is open to 3yo's and upwards, no 3yo and only two 4yo's have won in the last decade. There are eleven aged thus tomorrow. In fact, strangely, six of the last ten winners were aged 6-8. This brings in Sunrise Safari and Peter Island (course winner).

I will be interested in Indian Trail should he take his chance - he's declared in the 5.45 today.

It looks a hellish race to me, and - Spirit of Sharjah aside - not one for investment purposes. But the placepot requires addressing, so I'll go with the following (with no degree of confidence):

Selection: Northern Dare

Danger: Sunrise Safari

Placepot: 4, 10, 14, 19, 20


Next up is the totesport Mile, and I've already said you need to be drawn high here. I think this will still be the case, despite any softening of the ground.

The draw has dealt potentially fatal blows to my ante-post triumvirate, with Dubai's Touch, Acrostic and Huzzah being drawn 5, 6 and 7 respectively.

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I can't leave the first two out, but I can't back them to win either.

Cloudy Start has a lot to find with a number of these, but is well drawn, trained by 'Sir' Henry and at the right end of the betting, in what has been a punters' race for a lot of years. That said, it's not really a 3yo's race, despite that age winning last year (first time for a decade at least).

The answer may very well lie with that man Mark Johnston's Tartan Gigha. I was at Epsom when he won, and the peaks and troughs of that track are not a million miles removed from the undulations at Goodwood. He's extremely well berthed, and poised to run a b-i-g race.

Vitznau is the other I like. Again, he's well drawn and has been running with merit but little recognition in a series of Listed and Group races. He'll definitely appreciate the drop in class.

Selection: Tartan Gigha

Danger: Vitznau

Placepot: 4, 5, 6, 15, 18


100 lines into the perm already, and it must be Banker time! And what better race to do that in than a ten runner fully unexposed 2yo Group race?!

Actually, I think it's difficult to see Dick Turpin being out of the frame and, if you'll pardon the poor and predictable pun, I fully expect him to 'stand and deliver'...

Selection: Dick Turpin (nap)

Danger: Showcasing

Placepot: 3


I'm now in a lot of trouble, as this nursery catches me out every year. And I've got no more than two lines to use... And there's twenty of them entered!

Messrs Hannon and Johnston (again again) step to the fore, and I'll start with their beasties.

It's tricky to pick between Johnston's pair and I think Marsh Warbler may just have more to come (although Rock Of Love's experience will count for something in this contest).

Hannon's pair look a bit below what ought to be required to lift this, and I'll reluctantly look past them.

Contract Caterer's Catterick cakewalk (see what I did there?) might turn out to be questionable form, but a four length win over the trip commands respect at this level.

He'll get the nod.

Black Snowflake is respected as well.

Selection: Contract Caterer

Danger: Marsh Warbler

Placepot: 6, 12


It's roughly 500/1 the 'Matt's still sober' / 'Matt's still in the placepot' double, but stranger things have happened. Not much stranger, I grant you, but stranger nevertheless.

With 200 lines on the board, I've used my quota and must bank like I've never banked before. For those of you who may be hard of hearing whilst reading, yes, I did say Bank. 😉

Fifteen runners in a girlie Group race is tough. But I'll be drunk and infallible by this point, so I'm going to confidently row in with ....

3yo's have won seven of the last ten runnings, and I'll roll with that stat.

Despite a moderate looking draw, Summer Fete may be the most consistent of these and seven furlongs on slightly softened ground looks plum.

The plan will again be to lay her for a place should be the opportunity arise, in order to secure some sort of return. The intoxicated maths should be interesting...

Selection: Summer Fete

Danger: Golden Stream

Placepot: 13

Total placepot lines: 4 x 5 x 5 1 x 2 x 1 = 200 lines


They may have carried me out by now. Assuming they haven't I'll be capable only of coincidence wagering, so obviously it'll be Mattamia for me.

Again, this sprint is contested by a group of in form and unexposed horses and, as such, there must be safer punting conveyances than any of these. I can't tip anything especially, though I'd expect Mr Gosden's Green Beret to run well. If he manages to finish a'head, it will 'cap' things off nicely. Beret nicely indeed. (Groan, sorry).


p.s. Fair Warning: Last chance to get TUFXP is today. It comes off the market at midnight tonight.

Read about here if you're interested.

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