Green Destiny is everyone's favourite for the Totesport Mile at Goodwood this afternoon. Yet trainer William Haggas was sounding a note of caution yesterday when assessing the colt's chances in the race.
Green Destiny has headed the ant-post market since it opened, and is the strong fancy of many pundits for what will be the last major race to be run under Totesport sponsorship. His position in the market comes initially on the back of his three and a half length win in the John Smith's Cup at York, and was strengthened yesterday when he was drawn in stall two. There are several runs from horses he beat at York to encourage his supporters. Modun, second to Green Destiny, was runner-up at Goodwood on Tuesday, and yesterday John Smith's third home, Lost in the Moment, almost caught Opinion Poll on the line in the Goodwood Cup.
But whilst these performances clearly show that the individual horses are in form, they were run over varying distances. The John Smith's Cup is a little over a mile and a quarter, a similar distance to Modun's run on Tuesday. Lost in the Moment ran over two miles yesterday. Today, Green Destiny drops back to a mile, and it is the shorter distance that gives Haggas pause for thought.
"It's his last chance in a handicap so he's got to run. Whether he'll be quick enough, who knows," said Haggas. Given the way Green Destiny powered through in the last two furlongs at York, you can understand why Haggas wants to temper expectations. In a 21 runner field there are many horses with solid chances, and Sagramor's switch from the opener yesterday to today's race may well prove an inspired move.
In the long run, backing short priced favourites in large handicap fields is one route to the workhouse. That's a good enough reason not to back him today.