Glorious Goodwood Trends: DAY ONE (Tues 30th July 2019)

It's panama hats, pimms, plus strawberries and cream galore at the start of August with the 5-day Glorious Goodwood Meeting (Tues 3oth July to Sat 3rd Aug). As always, the West Sussex track can expect monster crowds throughout the week with a whole host of top-notch contests each day for punters to get stuck into.

So we'll be on-hand throughout the whole meeting to take you through the key trends for each day’s LIVE ITV races.

We get going on Day One with four LIVE ITV races, including the Vintage Stakes and Lennox Stakes, plus the recently upgraded Group One Goodwood Cup.


DAY ONE - Tuesday 30th July 2019

1.50 –
Unibet Handicap Cl2 1m1f192y ITV

16/17 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
16/17 – Had won over at least 1m2f before
14/17 – Had 4 or more previous runs that season
15/17 – Had won at least 3 times already during their career
14/17 – Carried 8-11 or more
12/17 - Returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting
11/17 – Had run at Goodwood before
11/17 – Unplaced last time out
10/17 – Unplaced favourites
10/17 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
5/17 – Trained by Mark Johnston
3/17 – Won their last race
2/17 – Trained by Mick Channon
3/17 – Winning favourites (1 co-fav)
Alfarris (13/2 fav) won the race 12 months ago
9 of the last 13 winners came from stalls 9 or higher
8 of the last 13 winners came from a double-figure stall


2.25 - Qatar Vintage Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 7f ITV

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16/17 – Had won over 6f or 7f before
16/17 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
16/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/17 – Had 2 or 3 previous career runs
13/17 – Won last time out
12/17 – Placed favourites
11/17 – Winning favourites
10/17 – Won by a March or later-born foal
8/17 – Ran at either Newmarket or Ascot last time out
8/18 – Had won 2 previous races
4/18 – Had run at Goodwood before
4/18 – Trained by Richard Hannon
3/18 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
3 of the last 10 winners came from stall 9
Dark Vision (10/3 fav) won the race 12 months ago


3.00 - Qatar Lennox Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 7f ITV –

17/17 – Had won at least 2 times before
15/17 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
15/17 – Had 2 or more previous runs already that season
14/17 – Had won over 7f before
14/17 – Previous Group Race winners
13/17 – Had previously won a Group 2 or 3
11/17 – Aged 3 or 4 years-old
11/17 – Had run at Goodwood before
7/17 – Ran at Ascot last time out
7/17 - Winning favourites
3/17 – Trained by Richard Hannon
9 of the last 10 winners came from stalls 7 or lower
3 of the last 8 winners came from stall 5
Sir Dancealot (5/1 jfav) won the race 12 months ago


3.35 – Qatar Goodwood Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Cl1 2m ITV

15/17 – Placed last time out
13/17 – Had 2 or more runs already that season
13/17 – Had won a Group 1 or 2 race before
12/17 – Aged 5 or older
11/17 – Had won over at least 2m before
10/17 – Ran at Ascot last time out
10/17 – Returned 7/2 or shorter in the betting
10/17 – Had run at Goodwood before
9/17 – Winning favourites
9/17 – Won their previous race
4/17 – Won by a Godolphin-owned horse
2/17 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
2/17 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
2/17 – Trained by Michael Bell
All of the last 15 winners had run in the last 45 days
Stradivarius won the race in 2017 & 2018
Trainer John Gosden has trained the last two winners
6 of the last 22 runnings were won by a previous winner of the race
11 of the last 12 winners came from stall 10 or lower



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Glorious Goodwood 2014: Day 4 Preview and Tips



Glorious Goodwood 2014: Day 4 Preview and Tips

It doesn't get any easier, does it? On Wednesday, 25/1 Braidley was a close fourth in the first race (three places), Fox Trotter was a never nearer fourth, short headed for the place (three places; Ivawood won easily), Brown Panther pulled his chance away and the octogenarian (well, he's eight anyway) Cavalryman won, Missunited won but at the cost of her racing career, and Balmoral Castle was withdrawn.

To Friday, and I'm seriously short stacked for time. It's 10pm as I sit down to write this, so partial notes to follow.

1.55 Coutts Glorious Stakes 1m4 Group 3

With Hillstar a non-runner, this looks between Encke and Pether's Moon. The former hasn't run since winning the 2012 St Leger, and was one of the al Zarooni doping nags - a nice follow on to Estimate on Thursday. If he's fit after that break, and most of the Godolphin horses are, regardless of the trainer, then he is rated half a stone superior to the rest. He goes on quick ground, and was a close second over course and distance prior to winning the Leger. I'll be watching the betting but if any support comes for Encke he must have a fine chance.

If not, Pether's Moon is the one. He likes it here, as he showed when winning a course and distance handicap last year, but he has proved hard to win with, especially on quick ground. He's finished 202233 on quick turf, which is expensive to follow. Still, he's 'bronzed' on his last two starts, both in Group 2, and the drop to Group 3 is in his favour.

Of the remainder, Quest For Peace returns from a ghastly spell in Oz, and has won this before. But he has plenty to prove just now. And David Simcock fields a pair of curious runners. One, Battle Of Marengo is well rated (110) but out of form; while the other, Cafe Society, is well regarded but has plenty to find. Neither make much appeal in a race where Encke and Pether's look the clear pick.

I'll chance Encke's fitness at the prices.

Selection: Encke 4/1 general

2.30 Thoroughbred Stakes 1m Group 3

A very good three year old mile contest, this, with a couple of Guineas placed horses in the running. It looks between Shifting Power, Bow Creek and Rapprochement, with preference for the former.

The Hannon-Hughes partnership took a while to get moving this week, but struck twice on Thursday, and they have a number of good chances today. Shifting Power lost little in defeat to Kingman in the Irish 2000, when the ground was bottomless. Previously, he'd been a three length fourth in the British version, and he looks a solid and consistent option, reliable on his mark of 115.

That's the highest in the field and it means, if he runs to 115, that his closest rivals will need to improve between four and seven pounds to beat him.

Lightning Thunder is rated 111 but looked jaded last time at Royal Ascot, and she has a bit to prove for me, having been thumped by Rizeena and the rest in the Coronation. She's danced all the key dances this term, though, and this is a weaker contest, albeit against the boys. If she can bounce back, she has prospects, but she's not enough of a price for me to risk it.

Rapprochement has had just one run - a win - in a Newmarket maiden. He won by eleven (Ee-Lev-Un!) lengths, which doesn't happen often in Newmarket maidens. That was just two weeks ago, and who knows what the form is worth? Obviously, he could be a machine, but we'll know much better after this event. At 8/1 there is sufficient fat in the price to take a punt, perhaps.

Bow Creek has been rested, and is a solid Listed class performer. This looks an above average Group 3 with a number of decent Group 1 form lines converging, though, and with an easy time on the lead looking unlikely, he could struggle to tame this mob.

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If Shifting Power handles the track/ground combination - he's a big horse apparently - then he should win. If he doesn't, Rapprochement is firmly in the 'could be anything' category and might be worth an each way tickle if all eight stand.

Selection: Shifting Power 15/8 general
Each way: Rapprochement 8/1 BetVictor, Skybet

3.05 Betfred Mile 1m Class 2 Handicap

A great betting race, and traditionally a strong trends race too. Low draws have a significant advantage, as do horses aged three to five, and those in the top five last time out.

I'll cut to the chase: I really like Captain Cat. He's well drawn in six, he likes fast ground, highly rated horses have a strong record in the race, and he goes well fresh. A mile is his trip, his trainer won back-to-back renewals of this in 2007 and 2008, and I've had a bit of a glory punt on him (i.e. far too much staked on such a difficult race!)

The others that appeal are George Guru, Steeler and Our Channel. George Guru has a good draw, but needs to break alertly to avail of it. If he can, he has plenty in his favour at a decent price.

Steeler and Our Channel are both classy horses drawn high. The latter, as the only three year old in the race, is interesting. He ran second in a Grade 3 at Arlington in America last time out, and drops back a furlong here. The old turn back play is one I like, and he has good acceleration, which he'll need to come from off the pace and mow the trailblazers down.

But this is a case of looking for the (Captain) Cat's Whiskers, or else I'll be crying over (too much) spilt milk... as well as a desperately weak mixed metaphor.

Selection (please!) : Captain Cat 8/1 general, 9.5/1 Betfair exchange

3.40 King George Stakes 5f Group 3

After Tuesday's disastrous pace prediction, I'm loathe to go again, but I will anyway. Gulp. Actually, this looks fairly straightforward with bundles and bundles of pace drawn low, and that side will surely lead for a long way.

Olly Stevens has a legitimate looking favourite in Extortionist, a pure speedball that won at Royal Ascot last year as a juvie, and has won two of his last three over five furlongs. This is the same grade as that most recent win, and drawn in eight, he's in the right place to get towed along on that torrent of toe to the business end.

At a huge price, Brown Sugar is drawn on the wrong side most likely, but he won the Group 3 Molecomb over course and distance at this meeting last year, and if he's fit to fire first time up after a near 300 day layoff, 40/1 is much too big.

Kingsgate Native and Moviesta make minor appeal too.

Selection: Extortionist
Each way at a monster price: Brown Sugar

4.15 6f Nursery Class 2

I've never backed the winner of this race, and my placepot normally goes down here too, so caveat emptor on the loose observations which follow. Actually, no, I'm not going to write anything because in all honesty, I'm guessing.

L'Addition might fit the bill... (Note, that's a play on words, and not a tip!!)


4.50 Oak Tree Stakes 7f Group 3

This used to be a belting draw race as well, for some reason. Traps one and two had won ten of fifteen renewals up to 2011, and in fact very low draws were 2nd, 3rd and 4th last year.

This time around, it's Evita Peron and Queen Catrine in the 'shortcut to a fortune/the poorhouse' slots, and they both have chances. Queen Catrine is especially interesting: she was giving favourite Muteela seven pounds when a short head behind that one in the Listed Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot. And yet, today where they race off level weights, Catrine is thrice the price of Muteela.

True, she's run a poor one since Ascot, but those prices don't make sense to me. She's the clear value pick of the pair, especially given her pace versatility. She's probably best when held up, however, and with Muteela playing the part of the hare maybe QC can finally get the job done under Jamie Spencer...

Evita Peron has won both of her seven furlong starts, but they were both on the soft side of good. Whether she can be as effective on this much quicker turf is open to question and, as a daughter of Pivotal, it's not a given. It will be interesting to see if she stands her ground in the morning.

I won't be getting too excited in this race - I probably won't be able to afford to after the Cat splat in race three - but Queen Catrine could give her followers a thrill with a late, late show.

Tentative Selection: Queen Catrine 7/1 PP, Coral

I'll be drunk by this point, and will throw a piece of paper (hopefully with a small denomination printed upon it) at a bookmaker just before the last race in the hope of receiving some larger denominaton pieces of paper in return.

Best of luck with your Friday wagers. I'm afraid I'll be travelling/hungover after Friday's fare, so there will be no Saturday insights. You may be mightily relieved by that declaration!

Wishing you a great weekend, and good luck!


Glorious Goodwood 2014: Day 3 Preview and Tips

Glorious Goodwood course map

It's all downhill at Glorious Goodwood

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.

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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


Glorious Goodwood 2014: Day 1 Preview / Tips

Glorious Goodwood 2014: Day 1 Preview / Tips

Glorious Goodwood 2014 preview & tips

Glorious Goodwood 2014 preview & tips

It's the start of the Glorious Goodwood Festival and, though I won't have time to cover all races every day, I do have space to go through the card for the opening day. Whether that's good news or not remains to be seen, of course, but there will hopefully be some fair pointers in the below.

Let's get to it...

1.55 BET365.COM STAKES (Handicap) (CLASS 2)

Just the eighteen runners to start with, in a handicap over a mile and a quarter. History points to those who finished in the top five last time out and are aged four or five as having the best record - such entries have won 12 of the last 17 renewals and were profitable to back blindly.

This year, Magic Hurricane, Sea Shanty, Salutation, Stomachian, Ajman Bridge, Tha'Ir, and Gworn make up the (not very) shortlist.

Mark Johnston looks to have the pace angles covered, with Sennockian Star, drawn in five, and Salutation - stall 16 - solid contenders to make the running. Joe Fanning is aboard Sennockian Star, a seriously hardy handicapper, and a horse that's made the frame in 17 of 32 career starts. Seven of those were wins, including this distance and class for his most recent victory.

From an inside draw, he should sit handy if not on the outright lead, and he has all the attributes to hang tough until late in the play. The reservation is that he's now rated 101, five pounds higher than that last winning mark, and it could be that he's hit his class ceiling now.

There doesn't look to be a heap of pace on, and it might be that Salutation can control things to some degree, even from a wide draw. He's won over this trip and further, and he has a good run on the course to his name too. Michael J Murphy keeps the ride, having beaten all bar Arab Spring in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot, but a sequence of solid efforts have seen him rise almost a stone in the handicap for not winning.

Sea Shanty represents last year's winning connections - Hannon and Hughes - and though dad has passed the training reins on to his son, you can be sure that the desire to win at Glorious Goodwood is as strong as ever in the Hannon household. The problem for Sea Shanty is that he's only run beyond a mile once, and that was a midfield effort when otherwise favoured by conditions.

Magic Hurricane has looked progressive on softish ground, with two wins and three places from just seven career starts. If the ground dries out any further, I'd be worried about this son of Hurricane Run handling it as he clearly acts well on sodden turf. The trip may also be on the sharp side, and it could all happen a little too fast for him. He's one to keep onside for later in the season though, no doubt.

The in-form pairing of Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore get their Goodwood party underway with Stomachian, a lightly raced Duke Of Marmalade gelding. He's won three times from eight starts, all at or around this trip. He's gone up the handicap eight pounds since his last win, but there's every chance he'll have improved that much in the intervening two months. Although drawn quite wide, Moore should be able to get a position in a packing field and, if the splits come, I think this fellow will be on the premises.

Ajman Bridge won his first two races, but has failed to add to that in five starts since. To be fair to him, he was just a neck behind Border Artist in a class and distance handicap last time, and this bigger field could suit him better. 'Filthy' Luca is in fine form at the moment, but Ajman has the car park draw to overcome which, for a prominent racer, could be a bad combination.

Tha'ir is interesting despite being joint top weight. He's earned that of course, and he's done it by running consistently well in good races. His ten furlong form is excellent, and reads 210223. The 0 was in a Glorious Goodwood handicap last year, but that may have come soon enough after a win just ten days prior. Rested for the best part of a month since a Listed third, he has a good draw and the tactical speed to use it. Silvestre de Sousa is an excellent jockey, and will give Tha'ir every chance.

Each way Selection: Tha'ir 16/1 Hills
Next best: Stomachian 6/1 SJ

Racebets are offering a free matched bet of up to £20 if you back the winner of any handicap on Day 1 (1.55, 3.40, 4.50, 5.20 races apply)

Winner will give your money back if your horse is 2nd in the 1.55 Goodwood

2.30 MOLECOMB STAKES (Group 3)

A five furlong Group 3 for juveniles, and one which has under-delivered in terms of highlighting future top class sprinters in recent years. Going back a bit further, however, the likes of Fleeting Spirit and Monsieur Chevalier emerged victorious en route to better things.

Horses that finished second to fourth last time have a much better ROI than last day winners, and it could pay to swerve the odds-on Beacon.

Even though Beacon has won his last three, including a four length verdict over Mukhmal, he's horribly short in a race of this nature. That Mukhmal drubbing was in a four runner race - Union Rose fourth - and though it's difficult to envisage either of the beaten horses reversing form, there are other viable contenders.

Principle among them may be Cotai Glory, who is rated just three pounds inferior to Beacon, and could appreciate the drop back to five after stopping in a six furlong Listed contest last time. He'd previously won a Bath maiden, having run with great promise when sixth in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot.

Mukhmal will bid to make all, but he's probably not going to last home. And, though Beacon is the most likely winner, there is a bean more value in Cotai Glory's price. He should track the Johnston runner, and have first chance to pounce.

If all eight stand their ground, then Fast Act - third to Tiggy Wiggy in the Super Sprint - could again claim minor honours at a decent price.

Value against Beacon: Cotai Glory 3/1 BOG SkyBet, who offer money back as a free bet if the favourite wins, or 7/2 PP
Each way if eight run: Fast Act 16/1 PP, bet365

Money back £5 to £25 if the favourite wins this race. The favourite is odds-on!


3.05 LENNOX STAKES (Group 2)

Seven furlongs for three year olds and up, and the first clash of the generations of the week. As I've written elsewhere, three year olds have a strong grip on this race - seven wins from fourteen renewals, from just 30% of the runners - and they have the jolly this time in the shape of Toormore.

This one time strong fancy for the 2000 Guineas has disappointed a bit since winning the Craven Stakes, but the drop in grade and distance gives him every chance of bouncing back.

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He won't have it all his own way, of course, and amongst his rivals is last year's winner, Garswood. This chap has proven very hard to win with - he's failed to add to that 2013 Lennox success in four starts since - and he tends to run his best races with some give in the ground. A quick glance at the weather map suggests that is unlikely, and he's opposable for me.

Harder to discount on his overall form is Gregorian. Johnny G's five year old ran a fine third, staying on, in the Group 1 July Cup over six furlongs last time. The problem is that in two runs here at Goodwood he's run abominably both times. While one was in Group 1 company, the other was 'only' a Group 3 at a time when he'd just run 3rd in a Group 1. See the symmetry? Not for me.

Pace could be interesting here, with Toormore a possible to lead, but there are others who like to get on with it, including Glory Awaits and Boom And Bust. Glory Awaits won a seven furlong Listed event at Chester last time, but the balance of his efforts suggests he's about seven pounds south of what's needed to win this.

Boom And Bust won the Betfred Mile a couple of years back, so clearly stays and likes the tricky circuit here. Indeed, he's been in the frame on all four spins around the Sussex helter-skelter, including when a close up third behind Garswood in this last year. That was a valiant effort given his preference for fast ground, and he could offer a decent run for small money at a huge price.

German raider Amarillo is difficult to peg. He ran second to Fiesolana in a Group 2 at Newmarket last autumn, but then sunk without trace at Haydock earlier this year. Trip and ground will be no problem for him, but he just might not be up to this level. 14/1 in a place at least gives some scope to try him out.

Of the remainder, Professor was well beaten in this last year, and often flatters to deceive; and Es Que Love has been very difficult to win with in recent seasons (just one win from 32 starts since April 2012).

I suspect Toormore will win this, though more interestingly, perhaps, I think Boom And Bust might go close to making the frame.

Selection: Toormore 2/1 Skybet, Coral
Small each way: Boom And Bust 33/1 general

New Winner customers can get 4/1 on Toormore! Click here

3.40 SUMMER STAKES (Handicap) (CLASS 2)

A mile and three quarters handicap, and one in which 'Filthy' has a great record. He's had three winners and a second from just six starters in the past decade, so Havana Cooler is of immediate interest.

Cumani has been quoted as saying he expects the longer trip to suit, but he's worried about the draw. With very little pace in the race, I'm less concerned than Luca, and feel his four year old has a very good chance. On his only run over this trip, he was third in the always competitive Melrose Handicap, and has been carefully campaigned since then. And on his only run at this course, he stayed on takingly over a quarter mile shorter at last year's Glorious Goodwood meeting.

Adam Kirby rides, and they'll take some beating.

The best each way bet in the race could perhaps be Noble Silk. This chap has a 'line of green' profile on the place Instant Expert, meaning he's run into the frame much of the time in races over this trip, in this class, on this ground, and at this track. Oisin Murphy won on him two runs ago, and resumes the partnership off a mark just four pounds higher. Noble Silk is super consistent and can make the podium again.

Van Percy didn't get the run of the Northumberland Plate last time, but he was a good winner over this trip, and on good to firm ground, the time before in a Class 2 handicap. He's got six pounds more this time, which doesn't make him obviously well weighted, though, and he might just find a couple better in on the day.

Sir Mark Prescott can be pretty handy in these sort of races, and his Big Thunder is a player. Trapped out wide and getting no run in the aforementioned Plate on his first run of the season, Big Thunder racked up five wins last summer, culminating in a Class 3 victory over this trip. Only four pounds higher than that win, and with a good draw to sit on or close to the pace, he's yet another that could get involved.

It's a very tough puzzle is this, and I'll be trying to get through the placepot in the main. I suspect Havana Cooler is the one, but he's short enough at 9/2. At bigger prices, Noble Silk and Big Thunder both have place prospects.

Most likely winner: Havana Cooler 9/2 PP
Each way alternatives: Noble Silk 12/1 general, Big Thunder 14/1 Skybet

Paddy are giving customers money back as a free bet if their horse is 2nd OR 3rd in this race!

4.50 BET365 STAKES (Handicap) (CLASS 3)

You're on your own in the maiden at 4.15, which brings us to this mile handicap contested by a twenty-strong field. The mile course and a big field brings in the tight turn, and a low drawn prominent racer stands to get first run on others in the peloton. Those best fitting that bill are Maverik, Extremity, Bountybeamadam and possibly Skytrain.

Maverik has had two spins round here and been soundly beaten on both of them; he makes little appeal. But the inside drawn Extremity could make a strong bid under Ryan Moore. Trainer Hugo Palmer won this last year, and apparently like this horse a lot. He's going to have to step up on what he's shown so far, but can do so in first time cheekpieces and with just seven runs to his name. He'll likely get a lead from Maverik and be close enough if good enough, as the old cliché goes.

Bountybeamadam comes here on a hat-trick after a couple of Class 5 handicap wins. This is a big step up in grade, but there's every chance of Pat Cosgrave attempting to make all from a favourable trap in six, assuming he can clear Maverik and Extremity. That last time out win was her first run at a mile, and she saw it out really well, lending hope to the notion that she may have more to come at the trip. All in all, she could lead at least until the furlong pole, and maybe all the way, despite being up five for her most recent victory.

Skytrain is a typical hard core Johnston handicapper, and stall eight is far from insurmountable for a prominent player such as this one. The problem is the trip though: five mile runs have yielded five sound beatings, and he's hard to fancy in that context.

Of the less well drawn later runners, Ogbourne Downs has a lot in his favour. He's going to swoop wide and late, but with the prospect of a fair bit of early zip in the field, things might set up for him. With four wins from ten starts at the trip, including last time out at Sandown - as well as a third on unsuitably soft ground at the track - he could give each way backers, and jockey Cam Hardie, an exhilarating ride.

Keith Dalgleish, Mark Johnston's former stable jockey, brings Argaki down south, and the four year old loves fast ground. He's been racing over further recently, but a true run mile could be perfect, and 'turn back' plays are popular in the States. The theory is that fit horses keep rolling when those who only just get the trip are crying enough. Within two pounds of his last winning mark, he could be primed to strike again at a big price.

Loads of other with chances in a wide open affair.

Most likely winner: Extremity 5/1 Ladbrokes, Betfair sportsbook
Each way alternatives: Ogbourne Downs 14/1 BetVictor Coral Skybet, Argaki 22/1 BetVictor

5.20 CASINO AT BET365 STAKES (Handicap) (CLASS 3)

If anyone tells you this 26-runner five furlong dash is the 'lucky last' you can be confident they are a bookmaker! But let's play a game all the same. Let's use draw and pace to see if we can figure out from where the winner might emerge.

In the image below, I've sorted the race by draw, low to high, using the pace tab on the Geegeez Gold racecard. What we're interested in are the 'pockets of pace'. That is, those areas of the draw with the highest number of big pace scores. A 'big pace score' might be 12 or more (a horse cannot score more than 16 for its last four runs; 16 would equate to leading in all of those races).

We can see then, that low (stalls 1-9) has relatively little pace - just three horses in double digits. Middle (10-19) has a bit more, but it's fairly spread out. High (17-26) has more pace than the other areas, and is likely to be where the early speed in the race is.

'Lucky Last' by draw...

'Lucky Last' by draw...

One quick point: you might think I'm 'cheating' by including stalls 17, 18 and 19 both in middle and high, but of course I'm not. Basically, the groupings are arbitrary, and it makes no sense to use mathematically equal divisions when there is a pocket of pace that doesn't align to such symmetrical niceties. Make sense? OK, good.

So, I believe that the winner will be drawn high - say 17+. I now have a ten horse race to decode, as opposed to a 26 horse race. Clearly, I can be wrong about which part of the track the winner will come from, and I'm sure you'll let me know if that's the case. But I'm siding with logic, based on information that most people don't have. That's the joy of Geegeez Gold, ladies and gents! 😉

The next thing I'm going to do is look at the Instant Expert tab to see which of my high drawn hosses have a reasonable fit for the race conditions. I'm defining a reasonable fit to race conditions as 30%+ placed form on good or good/firm ground; 30%+ placed form in Class 3; and 30%+ placed form in 5f races. A bonus mark for big field form, and/or course form.

Here's the Instant Expert tab for placed form, sorted by class.

The entire form history of 26 horses in a single, easily readable view. Wow! :-)

The entire form history of 26 horses in a single, easily readable view. Wow! 🙂

In this one image, we have condensed the entire form history of the race into a screen which doesn't even require scrolling to read. If you're not using Geegeez Gold, can your form tool do that? Now, clearly, it has its limitations, and that's why I use it in conjunction with Pace and Full Form Filter, but it's an extremely powerful - and flexible - snapshot of a race, regardless of how big the entry.

Our high drawn horse numbers are 3, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 24, 25, 26.

Of those, Swiss Cross and Valmina could be most interesting. Both have a line of amber and green, though Swiss Cross does have a single black mark on his previous course record. That was a midfield run in the Stewards' Cup, the most competitive sprint handicap of the season, where he was beaten just five lengths over six furlongs. Far from conclusive evidence he doesn't act here.

Swiss Cross is within three pounds of his last winning mark, and I can see from Full Form Filter, sorted by wins, that he's won three times off marks higher than today's, including twice earlier this year.


It could be, looking at those wins, that he's more effective at six than five, but he has won over five (on the all weather) and he'll finish his race off better than many, most likely from a prominent starting position (see pace above).

Valmina is more of a late runner - see the pace score of 4 above - and he's another more effective at six furlongs than five. Still, he'll get towed into the race by the speed on his side, and he's dropped to an attractive rating.

One other trick I use in races like this, is to hit the 'TODAY' filter in Full Form Filter, and then scroll through the card to see which horses have the best record under the combination of today's class, going and distance. Powerful Wind showed himself here, though he's been thumped on four other occasions in that combo.

If I was to take one from the 'wrong' side of the track (it often pays not to be too dogmatic about pace and draw), I'd look to the top line of that Instant Expert image, and the strong profile fit of Tidal's Baby. He's a course and distance winner - one of only two in the field - and he is within five pounds of his last win. It's possible that he might be outpaced by the other side of the field, but at 16/1 it might be worth the chance.

You may consider the above conjecturing confusing, and fair enough if you do. But keep in mind that we've just sliced and diced a 26 horse sprint, by pace, profile and full form. And a practised hand can do that in about ten minutes. Seriously!

Clearly, this is going to be a much more impressive exercise if the winner has been typed out by my aching digits in the above, but in such contests I'm looking:

1. to be right about the draw, which gives me a chance of...

2. narrowing down the field to a workable size, which gives me a chance to...

3. scout the overall form profiles of those horses drawn perceptibly well, which in turn allows me to...

4. check the finer details (individual runs/filters) and hone in on a bet.

Although nothing stands out especially in this race, I do think a number of the fancied horses may be poorly drawn. And, if that's correct, there's masses of value in the prices of the high drawn beasts.

If I'm right about that (remember, don't be too dogmatic about the draw/pace setup!), then Swiss Cross and Valmina might be getting cheered by a few of us for a few quid.

Two each-way needles in a herd of horses haystack: Swiss Cross 16/1 Skybet (BOG, 5 places) / 18/1 BetVictor (4 places, BOG) - Valmina 28/1 bet365 (BOG, 5 places) / 33/1 PP (4 places, BOG)

bet365 and SkyBet are paying FIVE places, Best Odds Guaranteed, on this race!


Good luck with Day 1. It's a brute of a day, and in the main it may pay to keep stakes small outside of the pair of Group races. I think Toormore has a really good chance to get back on track in the Lennox, and I'll be hoping to hit pay dirt somewhere in the 'caps.


p.s. who do you fancy? Leave a comment and let us know!

Glorious Goodwood 2012 Preview, Trends and Tips

Glorious Goodwood 2012 Preview / Tips

Glorious Goodwood 2012 Preview / Tips

Glorious Goodwood 2012 Preview, Trends and Tips

It's one of my favourite meetings of the year, on one of the most beautiful racecourses in Britain (if not the world), and I'm looking forward to being there on Friday and Saturday.

From a betting perspective, there are lots of things to be aware of at Glorious Goodwood. Course constitution, pace favouring styles, draw biases, horses for courses, top trainers and jockeys... and that's even before we look at any of the big race trends, or take a single line of form to study!

Luckily, here at Geegeez, we like to help with the heavy lifting, or at least the data crunching. So, in this evolving post, I'll start with the general 'need to know' information, and then build it out through the week into a full preview, trends and tips piece.

If that sounds fair enough, then let's get cracking, starting with a word on the course constitution...

Glorious Goodwood Course Constitution

Goodwood Tips

Goodwood Tips

Goodwood's racecourse is marked off within the Sussex Downs and, as such, it's no surprise to note that it is an extremely undulating strip. There is a straight piste, on which all five and six furlong sprints are run; but all other races are run around at least one very sharp turn.

Goodwood has two different home bends, the sharper of which is the inner loop.

It generally takes quite an agile horse to act on such a demanding course, and it's certainly the case that not all horses are suited by this track.

Glorious Goodwood Pace Analysis

There is a very distinct front-running pace bias at Goodwood. Indeed, the excellent Proform software tells me that horses who led in their races won 15.56% of the time. Compare this with those who were prominent, at 10.26%, and hold up horses who have won just 7.21% of the time.

This means that front runners win 50% more often than prominent racers, and more than twice as often as hold up horses. If you fancy a horse which comes with a late rattle at Glorious Goodwood, you're going to need more than a slice of luck!

Oh yes, I should also point out that a pound on all horses who led in their races here since 1997 would have yielded a profit of 220 points at industry starting price. Favour front runners.

Glorious Goodwood Draw Bias

There may be a slight advantage to be drawn low on the straight course, i.e. over five or six furlongs. However, in reality, it is probably more important to be drawn close to the early pace in the race over such distances.

At seven furlongs and a mile, there has tended to be a considerable bias to low drawn horses overall, although this has been a little less apparent in recent years.

Beyond a mile, there is very little difference in draw position in terms of the final result.

Again, though, it bears repeating that racing on or very close to the pace is beneficial.

Horses for Courses

I felt certain that this would unveil a nice angle to go to war with this week at Glorious Goodwood. But, despite cutting the data in a host of different ways (which in itself is not a great thing to do, essentially forcing the issue), I was unable to find an edge here.

There is a marginal advantage for previous course winners (10% strike rate) over those who have run here before without winning (9% strike rate). But that's nothing with which to underwrite your wagers.

Goodwood Top Trainers

There are certain trainers who target this meeting with great effect. Those with a 15% strike rate with their runners during July and August (note, this includes other meetings hosted at the track during those two months), and who show a level stakes profit since 2008 are:

Sir Henry Cecil, Mahmood al Zarooni, Roger Charlton, Gerard Butler, Brian Meehan and James Given.

Horses saddled by that sextet should all be noted.

Two year old specialists include Ralph Beckett, Brian Meehan, David Nicholls and Richard Hannon.

Handicap specialists include Sir Michael Stoute, Roger Charlton, Willie Muir, Willie Haggas and John Best.

Goodwood Top Jockeys

When considering who rides Goodwood the best, I've looked at all races at the track since 2008, irrespective of the calendar month in which they were run.

On horses priced 12/1 or shorter, the following jockeys all have good strike rates and show a level stake profit:

Richard Hughes (23% strike rate, +48.83), George Baker (21%, +26.25), Liam Keniry (18%, +33.5), and Johnny Murtagh (42%, +28.72).

Those jockeys who have performed best on outsiders, defined in terms of profit on horses priced 14/1 or bigger since 2008, are:

Tom Queally (five wins, +86.00), Dane O'Neill (three wins, +32.00), and Ian Mongan (three wins, +17.00).

Glorious Goodwood Day One Preview and Tips

2.00 - 1m2f Handicap (Class 2)

A typically tough handicap kicks the week off, and it might pay to just try and get through the placepot opener here, as there are likely to be plenty of hard luck stories in such a big field.

One who will be primed for a bold show, and whose run style from the front suits the track, is Mark Johnston's Landaman. Johnston always brings a battalion to Goodwood, and he'd love to get the week off to the best possible start.

This is a big step up from the Class 4 and 5 handicaps which comprised the first two legs of Landaman's hat-trick attempt, but those two wins were at the similarly undulating Beverley and, if he can get to the front here, he should go close with four places being paid each way.

There are loads and loads of dangers, and I'm not going to pretend I've been through the form here with a fine toothed comb. What I will do is repeat my introductory warning about backing hold up horses in big fields here. There are nine closers in this field, which means half of the eighteen will be climbing over each other to get a run, and you'll be luckier than the odds you've taken if you get your winner from far back.

Side with pace, and you'll at least get a run for your lolly. Aside from Landaman, the other pace here is from Cai Shen, King's Gambit and Pivotman; with Retrieve and Oceanway likely to be thereabouts.

Tentative Selection (each way): Landaman

2.35 Gordon Stakes (Group 3)

One of the pre-eminent St Leger trials, this three year old mile and a half Group 3 is generally a solid affair, with horses priced 4/1 or shorter winning eight of the last ten renewals.

Thirteen of the last fifteen winners were placed 1-2-3 on their last start.

Seven go to post here, and my first thought is to chuck out the three at double figure odds: Farhaan, Ed De Gas, and Minimise Risk. They will almost certainly not be good enough.

From the remaining quartet, the favourite - Michelangelo - is a likeable and progressive type, representing the same connections as last year's St Leger winner, Masked Marvel: Johnny G and former Abba band member, Benny Nielsen.

Michelangelo was thrown in at the deep end on his debut, when a close third in a Listed event at Newmarket, behind Noble Mission, who also lines up here. Since then, he's gone on to win his next two starts, firstly in a mile and three furlongs Listed race here, and then in a very valuable conditions race at Newmarket.

Having proven he acts on the track, and shown a really taking turn of pace to close from the back last time, Gosden's horse looks hard to beat here.

The second favourite is the aforementioned Noble Mission, from Sir Henry's revered yard. Like Michelangelo, a son of Galileo, Noble Mission has done most of his racing on turf with the word 'soft' somewhere in the going description, and the expected slightly faster ground may not be ideal.

Having said that, he does have higher Racing Post Ratings than Michelangelo, if not the same scope to improve.

Next in, and a very interesting contender from the Danedream Team of trainer Peter Schiergen and jockey Andrasch Starke, is Girolamo. The top German stayers are generally close to the top of the global staying tree, and Girolamo has high class form.

In fact, he has arguably the best form in the race, having finished third - beaten just a half length - in the Group 1 German Derby, a high class race always. He's by Dai Jin, himself a German Derby winner, out of a Surumu mare, a pedigree which screams middle distances, and my one reservation is whether this hold up horse will have the gears to quicken past some smart opponents.

The final runner worthy of closer inspection - to my eye, at least - is Mahmood al Zarooni's Encke. A progressive thrice-raced horse, he was last seen when winning a Class 3 handicap over ten furlongs at Sandown. Obviously, this is further and a much classier race but, on breeding at least, Encke should cope with the trip fine.

Whether he's good enough is another question entirely and, against some equally progressive rivals, I'd be happy enough to let him beat me if he's good enough.

So, and excuse the laboured Abba puns here, the winner takes it all. Can Michelangelo prevail, or will he meet his Waterloo? Personally, I think he's a gimme (gimme gimme) in this field, and expect him to prevail.

Selection: Michelangelo

3.10 Lennox Stakes (Group 2)

A seven furlong Group 2 for 3yo+. Eight of the twelve winners were placed 1-2 last time; three to five year olds have won all twelve; ten winners had run between sixteen and sixty days ago; and ten winners came from the first three in the betting, though only two favourites.

Those trends push us squarely towards Chachamaidee, Foxtrot Romeo, and Libranno, though the only one to tick all boxes is Libranno.

From the uber-powerful Richard Hannon/Richard Hughes axis, Libranno is on a hat-trick and has three seven furlong wins to his name, including a Group 3 over this piste. He's a horse I've always liked and he must be a player here, on ground he'll like (all seven career wins with the word 'good' in the going description).

Against him, Foxtrot Romeo may be most interesting. Second in the Irish 2000 Guineas and a close up sixth in the St James' Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot - both Group 1's over a mile - this drop back in trip/down in grade should suit perfectly.

For all that he's classy however, Foxtrot Romeo has only won one of his five races, and there is a definite doubt about the quality of the three year old Classic horses this term.

Chachamaidee, a game mare from the Sir Henry team, is a course and distance winner at this meeting. Her Oak Tree Stakes victory was against the girls, and I doubt she has quite the toe to see off the boys here, especially when she'll be trying to give them a head start with her closing style.

Libranno is the one who goes from the front, and I think he'll prove hard to pass. If any of the rest can do that, it's most likely to be Foxtrot Romeo. But Hannon and Hughes look good at 9/2 or thereabouts.

Selection: Libranno
Main danger: Foxtrot Romeo

3.45 Molecomb Stakes (Group 3)

The first juvenile race of the week, over five furlongs, the Molecomb has been won by some speedy saplings indeed. The likes of Monsieur Chevalier and Fleeting Spirit in the last few years have gone on to take high rank in the senior division subsequently, and it's possible that one of this collective will replicate their success.

The one with the best form chance is probably Morawij. Winner of two of his three starts to date, his sole defeat was when fourth behind the precocious Reckless Abandon. The latter is unbeaten in three now and, since learning not to veer across the track, has managed to beat up a good group of juvies in a Maisons Lafitte Group 2.

Second there was Richard Hannon's Sir Prancealot, so he has a strong barometer of the form here. Hannon saddles two, Lyric Ace and Dominate, and - whilst it might be reckless abandon to write off anything aged two from his stable - they don't look quite up to winning this.

Eleven of the fourteen winners had finished first or second last time, so favour a strong recent finish. There have been six winning favourites, and thirteen of the fourteen winners were from the top six in the market.

Interestingly, perhaps, ten of the fourteen winners had had at least four runs prior to bagging the Molecomb; and eleven winners had run within thirty days of lining up here.

If you can forgive Hototo his lacklustre effort on heavy ground last time - and that is easy enough on the balance of his form - then he must have a decent chance on his previous Windsor Castle win. The second that day, Alhebayeb, franked the form when winning the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket, and the third and fourth from the Windsor Castle look to have plenty on to reverse form.

One who ticks a lot of boxes at a huge price is Alan Brown's Lady Ibrox. I'm not suggesting she can win, but she might run close and has been in the frame mainly over five furlongs in all five of her starts since her debut.

Selection: Morawij
Next Best: Hototo
Interesting outsider: Lady Ibrox

4.15 Maiden

A six furlong maiden, and not an especially good one historically, either. Another race where placepot survival is my personal imperative, and one which revolves around the five-handed Hannon entry.

Hannon, despite winning last year, has a poor record in the race. He has, though, peppered the places in previous years, so it's difficult to write his squad off. And probably foolish too.

The problem is in trying to assuage which are the favoured runners: a problem which is not especially exacerbated by jockey bookings. Stable first choice jockey, Richard Hughes, is the top man at the track and he has been handed the job of steering and urging Millers Wharf, not obviously the form pick of the Hannon battalion.

Hannon has employed Ryan Moore to push and shove atop the unraced Raging Bear; Neil Callan to cajole and harass Bold Prediction; and stable support riders, Sean Levey and Pat Dobbs, to bob and weave on Keep Calm and World Record respectively.

Quite where all that leaves us I don't know. I surmise that Millers Wharf may be showing most at home; and that Raging Bear may be considered useful; and that Callan has been requested by one of his guv'nor Roger Varian's main patrons, Clipper Logistics, to ride Bold Prediction.

Consequently, I will be most interested in Millers Wharf, in a race which hasn't been won by a newcomer in the last ten years.

For the placepot, I will be going three or four deep, and Saint Jerome will definitely make that squad. Once raced, when an encouraging sixth in a much better maiden than this, Saint Jerome comes from the Marcus Tregoning yard. Tregoning may be struggling overall just now, but he adores a Glorious Goodwood winner, and this fellow has the pace to lie handy, and will be sticking on when others have had enough.

Token offering: Millers Wharf, Saint Jerome

4.50 Handicap (Class 3)

Twenty runners over a mile, and I'm drawn (if you'll pardon the pun) to those berthed low with a preference for making or tracking the pace.

Step forward, the perennial pacemaker, April Fool, from his trap five position. Absolutely certain to make the running, this fifteen-time winner has conditions in his favour. My one reservation - and it's quite a big one - is that he's never won in a field bigger than twelve. It's possible he can go uncontested from the front, but fairly likely that something else will at least bustle him up in the early exchanges.

Askaud could fit the bill, and goes very well here, as she showed when winning a seventeen runner handicap at the Glorious meeting last year. She came back to form with a fine second at York last time, and from box two can get a handy position ready to make a challenge.

This is a race where run style and/or draw counts meaningfully against a number of the runners, and I think Askaud might run a big race.

As ever, I'm not prepared to delve deeply into the form book of all twenty protagonists, because I don't consider it a good use of my writing time and your reading time (these races are not my forte). I'd far rather find one horse at a price which ticks a lot of boxes and take my chances that way. Feel free to look elsewhere if this strikes you as lazy! (It isn't, it's just a case of using time optimally).

Each way selection: Askaud

5.25 Handicap (Class 3)

A 26 runner (!) five furlong sprint is the 'get out stakes' on day one, and the very best of luck to you if you insist on attempting to escape from any position of negative equity on this one. You're going to need it.

I'm first looking to understand which part of the track is likely to have the most early pace. Unhelpfully perhaps - or maybe reinforcing the 'no bet' status of the race - there seems to be a fairly even split of pace right across the track.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Bertoliver could be what our American cousins call 'the speed of the speed' and his rail draw in 26 might aid a bold trap to line bid. He's yet to win this term, but has won in each of his last six seasons, and has two Class 2 victories, one of which was in a big field of nineteen over Epsom's equally licketty-split helter-skelter flying five.

I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting I have a strong view on this race, and again I'm happy enough to roll with a nag for whom conditions are plum: that chap is Bertoliver.

The 'oody's, Harmoody and R Woody, both like it here and are both trained by renowned sprint trainers (David Nicholls and Robert Cowell respectively). They might go close at working men's prices.

And that's Day One of Glorious Goodwood. A relatively low key start, before the fireworks of Frankel's procession on Wednesday, and the  rest of the five day fiesta. Don't blow your stack early and, if you're lucky and/or smart enough to navigate the Tuesday card profitably, be prudent on day two, as it's a very long way home from there!

I'll be back on Wednesday morning with a full preview of the Day Two action. Good luck! And feel free to share your fancies in the comments below. 🙂

Glorious Goodwood Day Two Preview and Tips

2.00 - 2m5f Handicap (Class 2)

The opener on day two is a marathon handicap, which I think is the second or third longest in the flat racing calendar. Although it's a race for three-year-olds and up, no winner aged three has won in the last ten years, and none are entered this time either. Quite simply, this is too much of a test of stamina at this stage of their careers.

Seven of the last ten winners were aged four or five, and no winner has been older than seven. I'll be focusing on four and five year old horses, of which there are eight.

Many of the usual staying handicap suspects lock horns again here for the first time since Royal Ascot, and a number of the National Hunt trainers are represented. And it is one of these fellows who has the horse of most interest to me here.

David Pipe is a man caste in his father's ilk, and he loves a tilt at the big flat handicaps. This time he tries with a horse called Beyond, who has won three of his last four starts on the level.

The sole defeat in that sequence was in his last flat run, when seventh of 33 in the Cesarewitch, a far deeper contest than this. Pipe has switched his Willie's in the saddle, with Buick replaced by the seven pound-claiming Twiston-Davies for this venture. Ground won't be a problem, and the prominent running style ensures he ought to have every chance, a comment which won't necessarily apply universally.

As ever in the big field handicaps, I don't look to eliminate, but rather to find a horse which seems well suited by conditions and take my chances (for instance, yesterday's 12/1 winner, Landaman), and that's the case here too.

Tentative each way selection: Beyond

2.35 - Vintage Stakes (Group 2)

A 2yo seven furlong contest, won by some pretty good horses down the years, notably Sir Percy, the 2006 Epsom Derby winner. Whether there's a Derby candidate on display here, only time will tell, but those are big enough horseshoes to fill.

Eleven of the last fourteen winners were placed first or second last time out, and all bar one of the last fourteen winners were in the top four in the betting. So don't expect a shock here.

Ten of those fourteen had run within the last month, with two competing less than a fortnight ago. All fourteen winners had had between one and three prior starts.

On trends, we have a shortlist of Ghurair, Olympic Glory, Birdman and Tha'ir, and on form it looks much the same.

Ghurair won as expected on debut at the July meeting, quickening well up the stands rail. That was on soft ground and it remains to be seen how he handles this quicker surface. Despite that, he is sure to come on for the run, and Johnny G's juvies have been buzzing so far this season.

Olympic Glory is clearly the most aptly named runner in the field - and perhaps of the week - but that alone will not get him home in front here. Lucky for him, then, that he also has strong form claims, especially his last time out win in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes, again at Newmarket's July meeting. That performance was achieved on heavy ground, with just a head back to the re-opposing Birdman, and it would be difficult to split that pair on this considerably quicker turf.

Olympic Glory is a Richard Hannon two year old and is likely to be very well backed - perhaps over-bet - on the basis of his name and his connections. As such, I'm happy to let him beat me, as he's unlikely to represent value in the context of this race.

Birdman, the aforementioned marginally vanquished runner up in the Superlative Stakes, has less scope for improvement than many, having already run four times. He's a very good horse, but I'd be surprised if he was the pick of these.

Which leaves Tha'ir, Godolphin's apparent first string. This son of slick-starting sire, New Approach, has won both starts since his debut, in taking style. Indeed, after a four-and-a-half length verdict over Bircham at Ripon, he followed up by more than two lengths in Listed company last time.

That level of form leaves him something to find with the likes of Olympic Glory and Birdman, but this race will be about who improves the most from what they've achieved thus far. With that in mind, the fact that he's by a miler out of a miler's daughter, and has already won on good ground, gives him prospects at a fair price.

Maxentius was stepping up enormously on what he'd previously achieved when a well-backed third in Olympic Glory's race last time out. The level of support implied he was expected to be better on the slower surface, and I'd be loathe to back him to prevail here. That said, he has won twice on good or faster ground, albeit in Class 5 and 6 company (!)

One who just might get his own way in front at a huge price, and hang on for a place is Luhaif. The Channon stable is in great form, as evidenced by their two year old Group 3 winner yesterday. The heavy ground was almost certainly against him last time, and this will be far more suitable.

Selection: Tha'Ir
Main Danger: Olympic Glory
Possible big-priced outsider: Luhaif

3.10 Sussex Stakes (Group 1)

This is a huge anti-climax of a contest. Frankel will win, Farrh will be second, and who cares about the rest.

It teaches us nothing about Frankel, and will be little more than a schooling affair for the champ. Whilst I don't blame the horse for beating up inferior horses, nor especially the connections for sticking to what they know, there is little of sporting interest here.

I sincerely hope we see Frankel take on some decent ten furlong horses at some point. As it stands, he's destined to be called the best miler ever, but has only a limited claim in my view to be considered the best horse ever, due to the distance inflexibility of his race record.

That's not his fault of course, and therein lies the real shame of it, from my uninvested perspective. Like I say, I don't blame connections. I just wish they were even more sporting than they already have been. Yes, I'm greedy. But when you're offered so much of such a good thing, what can you do?!

(Obvious) selection: Frankel
(Equally obvious) forecast: Frankel to beat Farrh

3.45 1m4f Handicap (Class 2)

An extremely trappy sixteen runner three-year-old handicap over a mile and a half here. Sir Michael Stoute and Amanda Perrett have both won this twice in the last ten years, and are both represented here. They were responsible for the second (Stoute), third and fourth (both Perrett) last year; winner (Stoute) and fourth (Perrett) in 2010; winner (Perrett) in 2009; winner (Stoute) and second (Perrett) in 2007; and so on.

What I'm trying to say is that Mawaqeet and Trend Is My Friend, representing Stoute and Perrett respectively, and both priced at 16/1 are both over-priced purely on their trainer's records.

Clearly, this race is stronger than two deep: winners of twenty races this season alone between them, and all bar three having already scored this year.

This is a race which will see a veritable cavalry charge of late finishers clambering like ants over each other to get to the front. As such, luck will play a big part, and I'm going to side with a closer in this case, as I think they're more likely to have an untroubled (wide) passage than some.

Unfortunately, that doesn't narrow it down hugely, as there are around nine likely closers.

One very interesting horse, who is going to be a longer price today than he has all season, is Trader Jack. This fellow is clearly well regarded by connections - and when connections include master Glorious Goodwood handicap trainer, Roger Charlton, it pays to look twice - and he can be forgiven a lacklustre run two starts back in a field of 29.

Excluding that, his form is strong in this context. He has a seven pound pull for three and a half lengths with Newmarket conqueror, Stature, and that run was arguably his best of the season. This is another quarter mile, and Trader Jack is not obviously bred for such a trip, but was staying on over ten furlongs in that last race.

Dangers are everywhere in a race where it's hard to discount even a single runner, and win machines Scatter Dice and Rule Book represent top Goodwood handlers. But I'm happy enough to look a little further down the lists and ask for some jam on my (small slice of) bread, in the form of a trio of 16/1 shots.

Each way selections: Mawaqeet, Trend Is My Friend, Trader Jack

4.20 6f Fillies Maiden (Class 2)

Two wins apiece in the last ten years for Messrs. Meehan, Jarvis (M), Dunlop (J), and Hills (B). With Michael Jarvis' former yard now being run by Roger Varian, and Barry Hills' by son Charles, there are new names to look out for, but the same desire to win this contest.

To that end, Charles Hills saddles Avanzare, and Brian Meehan has Flywheel, both of which are 20/1. Again, this may prove to be on the generous side, given the recent race history.

That said, eight of the last ten winners were at odds of 11/2 or shorter, so the top of the market may be the place to retain primary focus.

Pearl Sea sets a decent standard on both time and form, having been second to the decent Certify at the July meeting at Newmarket last time. That was on soft ground, but she was third on debut on good ground. With the turf here likely to be somewhere between those two descriptions today, she has a lot in her favour, and she looks placepot banker material, with the help of a few pacey horses drawn around her.

Selection: Pearl Sea
Interesting outsider: Avanzare

4.55 1m1f Fillies' Handicap (Class 3)

Despite the apparent depth of this full field fillies' handicap, all of the last ten renewals have been won by a horse priced at 12/1 or shorter, including 5.5 favourites (one joint).

So the obvious place to start is with the likely favourite, Sir Michael Stoute's Keene Dancer. She will probably be near the pace, and is obviously still on the upgrade, having had just four runs and won the last two, both over a mile but on very different ground.

Keene Dancer has a great chance.

Trail blazers have fared well enough over this course and distance historically, so let's consider Ariyfa and Chigun, who are likely to boss the race early.

The first named is trained by Noel Quinlan and, in seven runs, she hasn't been out of the first three. Her run style is such that she tends to give her all and then get mugged for the gold late in her races. Most recently she was running over a mile and this race's extra furlong is mitigated somewhat by the slightly easier track.

Chigun comes from the hot barn of Sir Henry Cecil, and will be bidding for a double for that yard in all likelihood, after Frankel's processional victory earlier in the afternoon. Chigun broke her maiden at the fourth time of asking in a Class 5 event at Salisbury.

Although that was a far lower grade race, she did win by... ten lengths! Chigun is out of a Nashwan mare, so the trip should be fine, and she has more scope for improvement than Ariyfa perhaps. As such, I expect her to lead and try to fend off all-comers.

This is a race which may be deeper in numbers than in realistic contenders, and I'm happy enough to side for small stakes with the the first two in the market, boring as that may be.

Selection: Keene Dancer
Next best: Chigun

5.30 7f Handicap (Class 3)

Another trappy big field handicap to close, and I'd normally be looking for a low drawn pace presser here. Interestingly, the five most prominent racers (was six before the withdrawal of White Frost) all have double figure draws, which could lead to a lot of runners cutting across the field. It could also lead to a late-running horse bagging the spoils.

The sole low drawn pace presser may well be John Bridger's course and distance winner, Shifting Star. Ridden by Willie Twiston-Davies, who is superb value for his seven pound claim, this 28/1 poke ought to be capable of out-running those odds. Whether he's capable of winning is another question, of course, but he makes the shortlist at a price.

Another interesting runner is Henry Candy's The Confessor. Ridden by Hayley Turner, who has had memorable rides from the front here in the past (like Boom And Bust in the Goodwood Mile last year), The Confessor could also get a prominent pitch from his eight draw.

The most interesting pair in the race are Dubawi Sound and Common Touch. The former is a very short price (2/1 in a field of eighteen), after a six length win in a seven furlong fast ground handicap at York last time.

Whilst that was an excellent run, 2/1 is a price I'm generally happy to pass up in a race like this. He is quite possibly the best horse in the field, but has top weight as a consequence. He also has a usual hold up run style (although he did race more prominently when dotting up lasr time). Trap four is a plus, but with the amount of pace in here, prominent - not trail blazing - runners could get boxed in, so he'll need luck in running.

As I say, he's a perfectly plausible winner, but 2/1 leaves very little margin for error.

Common Sound is dropping in trip, and has a record over seven furlongs of 42112, a fact which is masked to the public somewhat by recent runs over a mile giving form figures of 02807 (the '2' being in a seven furlong race).

Obviously a non-stayer at a mile, he was beaten less than a length in second over this course and distance at last year's Glorious Goodwood meeting, and you can bet your boots this was the plan. He raced off 95 last time he was here, and now has a mark of just 90.

As a hold up horse in a race which appears to have plenty of pace, this could make for a very exciting finish..!

Selection: Common Touch
Each way from the front: Shifting Star, The Confessor

Glorious Goodwood Day Three Preview and Tips

It was a live blog for Day Three at Glorious Goodwood, and you can see how that went (quite well!) here.

Glorious Goodwood Day Four Preview and Tips

Arguably the best day's racing from the Sussex track, despite the absence of a Group 1 on the card. Instead, we have three Group 3's and a Group 2, as well as the feature of the day, the Betfred Mile.

2.00 Glorious Stakes (Group 3) 1m4f

Three wins apiece for 'filthy' Luca Cumani and Mark 'Always Trying' Johnston in this race over the last fifteen years. Cumani has Quest For Peace here, though Johnston - winner of the opener on the first two days - is unrepresented.

Only four winners during that time won on their previous start, so we may need to look beyond the seemingly obvious here. Apart from that, I couldn't any other material trends.

I think this is between the Cumani runner, Quest For Peace; James Fanshawe's Dandino; and the progressive Gatewood.

The former has won over 12f on good ground in a Group 3 last back-end, races prominently, and will have the robust support of Kieren Fallon from the cockpit.

That's a few more positives than I can muster for most of his rivals, though Dandino is arguably the class of the race, having won a Group 2 last year, and run with credit in the Group 1 Coronation Cup. He's looked slightly below his best this term, but won't have many better chances to add to his Group race tally than this.

Gatewood is the pretender here, having been impressive in winning back-to-back hot handicaps, the latter a Listed affair. He's up in trip again this time, and up in class again too. Whilst he might have the ability to answer both these sterner questions, he's unlikely to be a value price due to connections and the string of 1's by his name.

Of the rest, Berling, Midsummer Sun and Songcraft have a lot to do based on past performance, and are overlooked by this punter at least.

Selection: Quest For Peace
Obvious Danger: Gatewood
Next Best: Dandino

2.35 RSA Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3) 1m

A mile Group 3, and a race where the draw has played its part over the years. To that end, all bar one of the last fourteen winners were drawn seven or lower.

All bar two of the last fourteen winners were priced at 7/1 or shorter, and ten of them were placed in the top five last time. For all of that, only two horses have won as favourite.

All except two winners were officially rated 105 or higher.

On those bases, the trends shortlist would be Aljamaaheer, Stipulate, and Tales Of Grimm.

What about form? Well, a number of these ran in the 2000 Guineas back in May, something no horse since Where Or When back in 2002 has managed to do.

But Trumpet Major may just be able to shine at this level. He's a well drawn in three, and ought to be close to the running, as he was when winning the Group 3 Craven Stakes over a mile in April, by fully five lengths.

Since then he finished an excellent fourth in the 2000 Guineas, the best form here, before a last of ten in the Irish equivalent.

Given that he's been off since then, it's fair to assume he picked up an injury there and, as we know he goes well fresh (won Craven on debut this season) he might go close with run style looking to suit.

The likes of Gregorian, Coupe De Ville, and Archbishop (amongst others) ought to make a race of it too, and it's a really tricky race in which to wager.

I have to say that I've struggled to get a handle on the three-year-old mile form all season, and this contest merely underlines my cluelessness.

In the circumstances, I'm going to side extremely tentatively with Trumpet Major, though Tales of Grimm might be reasonable value against the field.

Tentative selection: Trumpet Major
Value alternative: Tales Of Grimm

3.10 Betfred Mile Handicap, 1m (Class 2)

A strange race, and a favourite of mine, especially since we all backed Boom And Bust here on Geegeez at 22/1 last year!

Basically, you want a horse who races close to the pace, and who is drawn low. Curiously, perhaps, this is one of the strongest draw bias races in the calendar, despite being run over a mile. Eleven of the last fifteen winners have been drawn five or lower, in what is usually a full field twenty runner handicap!

Low drawn and a front runner, Xilerator, is worth a second look on those points alone. But he doesn't have much form to recommend him, and might well be better at seven furlongs than a mile. He's in no form at all either, so whilst I might be tempted into a pound win, I'm very unlikely to have two pounds win.

Of much more interest is the tough as Tyson, Fulbright, from the 'Always Trying' yard. Fulbright has won his last two, both over six furlongs and both at Newmarket.

A mile at Goodwood is not obviously what this chap needs then, but who'd doubt Mark Johnston here? In fairness, Fulbright had a 'sighter' when running four lengths behind today's jolly, Trade Commissioner, at Sandown on good to soft.

With a hint less juice in the turf here, and an easier course, Fulbright might just see it out, and he's a danger to all if he does. I backed him earlier in the week at 14's, win only, so I imagine he'll probably finish second..!

Next, let's talk about the aforementioned Trade Commissioner. He hails from the all-conquering (this season) Johnny G barn, and has the form to go very close here. But. But... he's drawn in stall 21 of 22.

Two winners have come from as high as box 15, but this is another six traps wider, and is an awfully big ask. I'd be very surprised if Trade Commissioner is able to overcome both second top weight and that draw to win here, notwithstanding the fact that he remains a horse of huge promise irrespective of his show today. [Stop press: since I wrote this, Trade Commissioner has been withdrawn, supposedly due to 'not eating up'...]

Eleven of the last fourteen winners finished in the top five last time, with six of them finishing first or second. Horses aged three (three wins), four (six) and five (four) have won thirteen of the fourteen, with six-year-olds and up being one win from seventy runners.

The one with the right combination of trends and form may prove to be Charles Hills' Captain Bertie. A four year old, drawn six, who likes to race close to the pace, Captain Bertie has won twice in his career, both over a mile, and both on ground the soft side of good.

What's more, he also won in a big field at Newbury, which bodes well for dealing with this sizeable herd. A second place in the Bunbury Cup on heavy ground last time showed he's in great heart, and he must be thereabouts.

Last year's winner, Boom And Bust, deserves another mention, if only because he did us such a favour then. But being the only horse drawn wider than Trade Commissioner gives him little hope of a reprisal here.

There are of course many other candidates, and I do of course reserve my usual right to not comb through all two dozen or so runners.

Each way two against the field: Fulbright, Captain Bertie

3.45 King George Stakes (Group 2) 5f

A decent Group 2 sprint, and this renewal looks well up to par, with the field spearheaded by crack Aussie, Ortensia, and Prix de l'Abbaye winner, Tangerine Trees.

All of the past fifteen winners have been priced at 11/1 or shorter. Curiously, only four finished in the first two last time, and only three favourites won in that time to, so look beyond the most obvious.

Winners have been evenly spread between three to six year olds, as follows: 3 - 3; 4 - 4; 5 - 3; 6 - 3. Older horses have won just once from 35 starts.

Three winners were unrated coming into this, and of the remaining eleven races in the historical sample all but two were won by a horse officially rated 106 or higher.

Much of the early pace here seems to be middle to high, which leaves probably early leader, Tangerine Trees, marooned somewhat from his starting gate of three. TT is a very fast horse, as he showed when winning the Abbaye (Group 1) last October, but things went his way there from a favourable draw.

He's hard to discount entirely, but it might just be that the race pans out on the other side of the track this time.

Those bidding for leadership on the near side will be Noble Storm, Beyond Desire, Excelette, and Hamish McGonagall; and they may well give Ortensia a nice tow into this. But the Aussie mare has yet to really fire in three runs over here, and I wonder how many times she wil have encountered a contoured runway like Goodwood in her distinguished career.

More appealing to me from the fairer sex is Angels Will Fall, a three year old filly, who was won three of her seven races, and been placed on another two occasions. She looks an out and out five furlong horse, but was good enough for third in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.

A winner last time out, she will get a pull into the race from Tangerine Trees, and may be able to use that to slingshot herself to glory.

There are plenty of familiar names in the field, including last year's winner, Masamah; Amour Propre, from the in-form Henry Candy squad; and Brian Meehan's Elusivity, who has never really justified his lofty reputation on the big stages.

Amour Propre is a five furlong specialist, with all five career wins over the minimum. He's won on all going conditions, and this undulating piste will cause few consternations for Candy's cavalier. He was second in this last year, and might go one better this time, despite getting a little long in the tooth now.

Yes, this is another ferociously difficult race on what will be a 'social day' at the track for me (read, I will be drunk). Small stakes will be accordingly wagered thus:

Each way selection: Angels Will Fall
Alternative: Amour Propre

4.20 2yo Handicap (Class 2) 7f

A seven furlong nursery and not one in which I've ever managed to find the winner!

Richard Hannon has won it three times, and plenty of the usual suspects also have a mark on the board in the last ten years: Amanda Perrett, Andrew Balding, Mark Johnston. All bar Perrett are represented again this time around.

Four of the last five winners have carried more than 9-02, and one of the top four in the weight has almost won or been placed in the last ten years.

Seven of the last ten winners had had three runs or less prior to winning this, and six of the ten had already won at least once. The material point of that second stat is that, from far fewer entries, four of ten had not yet won.

Bircham got stuck in the mud behind Hasopop last time at Newmarket (heavy), and deserves another chance to prove himself. He'd looked quite useful previously when accounting for Deepest Blue in a Ripon maiden by five lengths, and was sent off at 1-4 when turned over last time out.

Janoub Nibras has been sent off market leader in all four starts, winning the last two on the all weather at odds on. He acts fine on turf, however, and may well be favourite again here. As a Richard Hannon juvenile, he's respected despite top weight.

Sir Mark Prescott runs Oasis Cannes, a colt who has been in the first two on each of his last four starts, though only won once. The trip is fine - all of that quartet of runs were over seven furlongs - but he may just have less improvement than some of these.

One which catches my eye further down the betting lists is Andrew Balding's Zanetto. Owned by the same connections as last year's winner, Goldoni, Zanetto has had a similar preparation, with three winless runs. With today being the day - first time in a handicap as well - I'd hope that he'll threaten the places at least.

As they usually do in nurseries, dangers abound, and it's entirely possible I've failed to mention the winner.

Each way selection: Zanetto
Dangers: Bircham, Janoub Nibras

4.50 Oak Tree Stakes (Group 3) 7f

A race for fillies only, which has historically had a bizarre draw bias towards low (formerly high, before the stall numbers were all aligned). Indeed, in the last fifteen years, ten of the winners were drawn within one box of the rail (i.e. 1 or 2). Moreover, another three were drawn 6 or lower.

All bar one winner in that time finished in the top five last time out, and all except one were aged three (ten) or four (four). The other was a five year old.

The race revolves around Gamilati, Godolphin's 2011 Cherry Hinton winner. She started out this term winning two valuable races in Dubai, impressively on both occasions.

But that was back in February, so presumably she's had problems. She has also drawn a very wide stall in fourteen and, quite simply, that's far too much to tempt me into a bet at 6/4. If she wins, fair play to her, but she's no value whatsoever given the draw and the absence.

Appealing is the filly who has pulled the plum one box. She's a three year old, who looked progressive before finishing only fourth in a soft ground Listed contest over this trip. If you're prepared to put that run down to the ground, then Appealing has a chance here at a big price.

In trap two is an even bigger priced mare, Moretta Blanche, from the Ralph Beckett stable. Again, we're asked to forgive a weaker last run but this time it's harder to overlook, and I'm afraid I can't.

Sunday Nectar races from the three berth, and this French-trained, Italian-owned 4yo has a chance. She won a Listed contest at San Siro last time, and has form on all surfaces. Her racing style is usually to be close to the pace, and she looks to have a lot in her favour.

The next two in the betting, after Gamilati, are both German. Perhaps buoyed by their King George success with Danedream, the Germans have two promising fillies here in the shapes of Gracia Directa and Survey.

The former has won her last three races, including a Group 3 6f sprint at York last time. She was at the end of her tether by the jam stick there, and though she's won over seven twice in lower grade, this daughter of Kyllachy may not quite see it out here, from her draw in twelve.

Survey is a likely type here. She's been running from the front in mile races - Group 2 and Group 3 class too - and she's won a Group 3 already this season, as well being second in one last time out.

Drawn in six and with stamina and tactical position assured, she might be the one they all have to get to.

Selection: Survey
Obvious danger: Gamilati
Each way options: Sunday Nectar, Appealing

5.25 Handicap (Class 3) 5f

We close Friday's card with a three-year-old five furlong sprint handicap, and it's another case of 'The Usual Suspects'.

Brian Meehan and Ed McMahon have both won it twice, though neither are represented this time.

Aside from 50/1 bomb Obe One in 2003, all of the other nine winners were priced at 16/1 or shorter, and the last five have been 17/2 or shorter.

Jwala has the speed to lead all here, and has won at similarly quirky Bath. She's on a hat-trick, and should lead for a long way.

There is pace around Jwala, and this could bring horses like Signifer and Beau Mistral into the thick of it at the sharp end.

Place In My Heart also has decent prospects, after back to back second places, including behind Jwala. She has top weight here, and is six pounds worse off with Jwala, so it's hard to see why the latter is at shorter odds, especially given that he is a pure five furlong horse. She herself may be better over six.

Lots in with chances here, and this is not a race I'll be piling into. Not one bit, in fact. But I will have a small each way on Jwala, as he'll go out in front and may stay out in front.

Each way: Jwala
Dangers: aplenty

And that's it. Three days of previews, plus one day of live blogging, means I'm taking tomorrow off. In actual fact, I'm on my way to the track as you read this, and will be there today (Friday) and tomorrow.

Just a couple of notes for you on the Stewards Cup.

Look for a horse with a top four finish last time out; aged four or five; having had a run in the past month; and officially rated in the 90's.

Shortlist as follows: Alben Star, Victoire De Lyphar, Shropshire, Whaileyy, Elusive Prince

Good luck!



Glorious Goodwood Live Blog

Glorious Goodwood Live Blog

Glorious Goodwood Live Blog

12pm - Welcome to the Glorious Goodwood LIVE blog!

Hi! Is there anybody out there?! 😀 Leave a comment to check in...

At each of the big meetings, I try to blog live for one of the days, in the hope of creating a more interactive experience. So, here's how this works.. with luck!

1. Trends are available below, if you want to do your own digging (positively encouraged). I'll also offer my thoughts on what I'm backing and why as the afternoon unfolds.

2. I'd love for you to comment either at the bottom of the post, or on Twitter (@mattbisogno), and I'll try to incorporate your comments into the live blog feed. (I call it a 'feed'. In fact, it's me copying and pasting!)

3. Er, that's it. Oh, and remember to refresh your page to get the latest updates. Either hit the curly arrow 'refresh' button on your browser, or try the F5 key. Both should bring up any new updates...

Hopefully it will be fun and engaging. If not, there's always the Olympics on the Beeb... 😉

17.41 - That's it from me. I've really enjoyed this, and would like to thank you all for checking in and sharing your thoughts. Hope you won a few quid or, at worst, only lost a couple of quid. It was a tough, tough day today and yet we've come out in decent shape here on the blog. I'll be back tomorrow with the Friday preview, and will be taking Saturday off as I head for the track and some beer and cheer. 🙂

17.40 - Full result. Favourite wins the lucky last (lucky for some!) -

1st 5 Silver Lime (USA) 7/2 f
2nd 3 Assizes 7/1
3rd 1 Marshgate Lane (USA) 10/1
4th 10 Fortieth And Fifth (IRE) 50/1

17.38 - First and third took the circuitous route down the outside, Traveller's Tales was murdered in the run, Assizes no excuses and a bit unlucky. Full result to follow...

17.34 - Silver Lime nicks it on the line! Assizes second, Marshgate Lane third, and Fortieth and Fifth fourth (if you see what I mean).

17.30 - They're off. And two of my pace makers are the last two!

17.24 - Fancies for Zamsky Star and Assizes from you. They're at the start and we'll be off shortly. I've really enjoyed this afternoon - hope it's added a bit of something to your day's racing too - and let's do it again soon.

17.18 - the 'lucky last' is as treacherous as ever. Here's the view:


Seven renewals, four of which were won by horses priced 14/1 or bigger. Still awaiting the first winning favourite.

Cresta Star has pace, and talent, and can run well in this one, despite being more exposed than some of the runners towards the top of the handicap. Marshgate Lane was impressive at Newmarket last time out, and will surely improve again. But he has plenty of weight to carry, even in a compressed handicap like this one.

Silver Lime looked unlucky over nine furlongs here last time, and is highly likely to make the frame. Indeed, he could well win but at the price I'd rather look elsewhere, with a saver on the jolly.

Sondeduro is interesting for Jamie Osborne. He's a huge price for one likely to make the running, and who won his last race on turf. He might have a bit to find with some of these, but won't have any problems in running, a comment which won't universally apply.

The others of interest - to me at least - are Prophesy and Traveller's Tales. The former should appreciate this sounder surface and longer trip , while the latter is worth a shot at a big price.

Each way selection: Cresta Star
Each way alternatives: Traveller's Tales, Sondeduro
Obvious dangers: Silver Lime, Marshgate Lane

17.02 - Full result, and a good result for me personally. Hope it was ok for you too:

1st 16 Stirring Ballad 8/1
2nd 1 Arnold Lane (IRE) 10/1
3rd 15 My Sharona 13/2
4th 2 Shamaal Nibras (USA) 11/2 f

17.00 - Stirring Ballad beats My Sharona and Arnold Lane.

16.57 - They're off!

16.53 - Well done to Stuart Hogg, who wrote:

Winning courtesy of Saddlers Rock, I was stuck in a meeting and couldn’t get Heavy Metal on though so gutted! But I got offered a new job then so I’m happy :) cheers Matt and good look for SOTD too!

16.52 - Lots of tips here. Campanology, Lord Ofthe Shadows, Jakes Destiny amongst others. Good luck all!

16.39 - Race six, and it's another conundrum:


7/10 carried 8-12 or more

Pace is likely to come from Hamza (with a good draw), and Bayleyf.

A super tricky handicap. Early pace and a low draw will be advantageous, and that plays into the hands of Hamza, who should be able to bag the rail. Whether he's good enough is another question. A fast ground Class 3 seven furlong win might just be a tad shy of what's needed.

Stirring Ballad and My Sharona have tougher draws but better form, and both have chances in what is a very open race.

At a bigger price, Lord Ofthe Shadows could go well.

Dinner break for me. Back in ten minutes!

16.34 - How are you getting on today? Winning? Losing? Breaking even? Still going in the placepot?!

16.31 - The 1-2-3 there was 1-3-2. Monster prices the winner and third. Really like Alan Jarvis, so very pleased for him.

16.30 - Full result:

1st 1 Annie's Fortune (IRE) 25/1
2nd 3 Botanica (IRE) 10/3
3rd 2 Arbeel 40/1

16.26 - Annie's Fortune picks up well late to see off Botanica and Arbeel. Very popular win for Alan Jarvis, awaiting SP's.

16.10 - Next race is a fillies' maiden and not one to get too excited about. Here are my thoughts...


Few trends, and very little form.

8/10 winners had already run

9/10 started 8/1 or shorter

I like the Hannon horses here. Both of them. The shorter in the betting, and the mount of Richard Hughes, is Botanica. She's run twice, and got a silver and a bronze to date, looking like a longer trip would suit both times.

She has an extra furlong to work with here, and as a daughter of Clodovil, she ought to make good use of it.

The other is Heading North, a once raced daughter of Teofilo. She was staying on over Newmarket's soft seven furlong track on that first effort, and she'll be much sharper for that. Ryan Moore does the steering and she ought to go well.

Supernova Heights is one of many dangers in a race which will more likely go to an experienced runner than a newcomer.

Selection: Heading North
Next best: Botanica

16.00 Chins up, y'all! We've three more races to go 🙂 And, if you're a member of Betfolio, you'll be pleased with two tasty winners to get August's trainers off to a flyer, and at 9.0 and 13.0 on Betfair too! What a way to start the second half of the ten month Betfolio project. 😀

15.56 - I don't think anyone fancied any of the first three there. A 'skinner' all round. At least it will be a fillip for Sir Henry, who is recovering from cancer surgery just now. Who would begrudge the great man that? Full result:

1st 8 Wild Coco (GER) 6/1
2nd 4 Jehannedarc (IRE) 25/1
3rd 9 Estimate (IRE) 3/1 j

15.53 - I HATE those races! Placepot down, with fading Hawaafez getting done in the last half furlong and finishing fourth. I think my other pick, Midnight Soprano, was fifth too.

Couldn't have had Wild Coco with six picks in the race. Very gloomy here just now. Had loads of cover in the last two placepot legs. 🙁 🙁

15.45 - you like Midnight Soprano and Good Morning Star and Hawaafez and Quiz Mistress. Good luck to all. Filed under 'please can I get through the placepot'. Feeling precarious in that context. I do not like these fillies' staying races.

15.44 - Aargh. Missed Midnight Soprano in this one. She will hopefully go well too, as she's on my placepot. Added to my token selections in the race, for what it's worth...!

15.39 - Racing link: apparently Wilson, the gold medal winner, is trained by Sheikh Ahmed al-Maktoum, surely one of Sheikh Mo's brothers!

15.38 - Race three, after a Dorset gold medal!!! This one is filed under too hard, so here are some loose views:


Only nine renewals...

9/9 winners finished first or second last time out

9/9 3 to 5 years old (3 - 2, 4 - 5, 5 - 2)

3/9 were rated in the 80's (very low)

8/9 had raced seven times or less

Pace is probably not too relevant here, and should be between Bolivia, Amaraja, and Hawaafez.

Your first 30 days for just £1

A really tough race and, in truth, not one I have a real view about. I think The Queen's horse, Estimate, will improve again; and Hawaafaz looks capable of more too.

Sir Henry doesn't have too many 33/1 shots racing, so Amaraja might well outrun those odds, despite her lowly official rating. (Low rated horses have won this three times).

Token selections: Hawaafez, Midnight Soprano
Token outsider each way: Amaraja

15.31 - Looks like a possible Dorset gold medal, via Peter Wilson from Dorchester in the clay pigeon shooting. Didn't even know it was an Olympic sport...!

15.30 - Anybody got a strong view on this fillies' race? Looks impossible to me..!

15.25 - Interesting race, and really game runs from both the winner and Electrolyser. Colour Vision maybe needs a little further...

Full result:

1st 8 Saddler's Rock (IRE) 2/1 f
2nd 3 Askar Tau (FR) 25/1
3rd 1 Colour Vision (FR) 5/2

15.21 - Favourite wins the races! Saddlers Rock, the placepot banker, does the job gamely. Massive race from Askar Tau in second, with Colour Vision sticking on well in third. Simenon, as suspected, not quite up to this class yet.

15.16 - The money is for Colour Vision, who was a Mark Johnston beastie last year, though strangely wasn't entered at Glorious Goodwood.


15.13 - They all look pretty well in the paddock, according to the TV pundits. Colour Vision with a three pound penalty. Would that make any difference here?! 15/8 Saddlers, 11/4 Colour Vision (from 3's), 4/1 Simenon, 8/1 bar.

Saddlers Rock the pick of the paddock though, according to Lydia Hislop.

15.05 - plenty of love for Colour Vision. Bits and pieces for Saddlers and Lost In The Moment.

15.02 - Race three, and the highlight of the afternoon. Here's how I see it...


Mark Johnston has won four of the last fifteen renewals; Godolphin three; O'Brien, Elsworth and Stoute two each.

11/14 winners were 1-2-3 last time out

10/14 5 to 7 years old

10/14 ran between 31 and 60 days ago

6/14 favourites won

The pace here should be set by Chiberta King and/or Electrolyser, though it will likely be insignificant.

The big race today, and not too many of these can contend with the form credentials of Saddlers Rock and Colour Vision.

Saddlers Rock was a little unlucky perhaps in the Ascot Gold Cup, and Colour Vision was a little lucky perhaps in the same race. As such, there's very little between the pair, and it may be down to who acts best on the Goodwood strip.

Saddlers is my placepot banker, and I'm not switching horses now, rightly or wrongly. I will however be laying him for a place to cover half my placepot stake.

Simenon is obviously open to improvement, but he'll need to be as the bare form of a pair of Ascot Class 2 wins is a tad shy of Group 2 Cup class form. I'll let him beat me if he's good enough.

Lost In The Moment is a good bit more interesting. This chap had a tough trip in the race last year, and went down by just a head. With better luck in running, he could well make the frame.

Chiberta King will go from the front, and he was beaten less than seven lengths last year. Alas, that was only good enough for ninth place, and although he's won a handicap here, he'd be hard to fancy for anything more than a place.

Selection: Saddlers Rock
Danger: Colour Vision
Best each way: Lost In The Moment

15.01 - Brilliant 'home' judging in the Olympic boxing by the way: Anthony Agogo gets the verdict over the Ukrainian world champ. Boxed brilliantly, but it was a knife edge verdict. Well played fella!

14.59 - Full result:

1st 5 Heavy Metal 9/1
2nd 6 Master Of War 3/1
3rd 2 Cay Verde 4/1

14.49 - Heavy Metal wins the races! Foils the five-timer for Hannon, with Master Of War beaten a head or so in second. Daylight to the rest, led by Cay Verde.

14.47 - Off for the Richmond!

14.45 - Fancies from you for Cay Verde, Ahern, Heavy Metal, Master of War, and Ginger Goose..!

Even in a race like this, there's no consensus view.

14.38 - Time for race two, and here's my view...


Richard Hannon has won the last four renewals...

Nine of the last fourteen winners won last time out.

Five favourites won in that time.

All fourteen winners had between one and four runs. Nine of them had had just one or two runs.

Heavy Metal and Euxton Hall may try to go from the front and cause a double digit upset.

Richard Hannon and Qatar Bloodstock may hold the keys here. Hannon is chasing a remarkable fifth consecutive success in the race, with Master Of War, a pretty apt nomenclature for the man himself when it comes to Goodwood juvie contests.

MoW has good form, including a soft ground Listed win last time. His two victories from four starts surrounded a respectable ninth in the Coventry at Royal Ascot, and he looks set for a bold show in the bid for a Hannon nap hand.

Qatar Bloodstock own both favourite, Ahern, and third choice Cay Verde. The favourite is perhaps a little short on what he's done so far. Impressive on debut, beating a field of early season winners, he's subsequently been turned over by Reckless Abandon and Alhebayeb.

Both of those are taking high order in the juvie sprint division, of course, and Ahern can be commended for finishing close up. But you'd have to think that Hannon has a line on that form and has chosen from his vast array of 2yo talent wisely.

Cay Verde has nothing to find with Ahern on Norfolk Stakes running, and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the step up in trip. He's not obviously short of pace, so I'm not certain this is what he's after.

The two most likely to lead are Heavy Metal and Euxton Hall, and one or both may hang on for a place. The former is a Mark Johnston runner, and respected on that basis alone; the latter a Richard Fahey runner, which is a worry with his record at the track.

Heavy Metal has plenty to find with a couple of these, and would need more than one opponent to under-perform for him to prevail, but he will be giving his all. Euxton Hall also has a bit to find with the principles, but will go quick up front unless/until the stamina gives out.

Selection: Master Of War
Bigger priced each way: Heavy Metal

14.30 - TAG had a great day yesterday following some Geegeez placed horses:

Hi Matt, what a day yesterday, thanks to luhaif, also had beyond,mawaqeet and the confessor in a 10p ew lucky 15 with pp. retuned £231.90 which included bonus of £69.20. Happy days. tag.

14.28 - I expected Grandeur to run from further back, but he showed his versatility by always being prominent. He's considered by Racing UK's experts to be a Group horse and, having won off top weight in a Class 2 handicap, it's hard to argue with that assessment.

Johnston foiled in his opening race hat-trick bid, as he only managed second... and fourth... and

14.23 - Full result:

1st 1 Grandeur (IRE)8/1

2nd 10 Switzerland (IRE)25/1

3rd 12 Blue Surf14/1

4th 6 Fennell Bay (IRE)16/1

Good enough result for the placepot, with one 'A' and two 'B's meaning all lines still running... £286,929 the final pool!!

14.21 - Grandeur gets a clean run to win off top weight. Switzerland, Fennell Bay and Blue Surf make up the places in the teeming rain.

14.17 - They're off for the opener!

14.15 - More interest for Blue Surf, who is definitely the most fancied runner in this race... amongst the Geegeez mob at least. I'm starting to warm to Wrotham Heath...

Mark also likes Queen's Estate each way; and Chris (hello!) is siding with Hefner and Grandeur, suitably tentatively...

Mal, the man behind Well I Declare, nominated Golden Causeway (4.20) earlier in the week, and has been pleased to see that horse's price contract from 18's to 8's for a trading position!

14.08 - Possible delay for the opener, as Blue Surf and Sir Glanton not with the field... Blue Surf being re-shod.

14.05 - Ten minutes to go and the placepot pool is up to £222,000. Nice!

14.01 - Excellent insight on the course from Sim here:

Hi Matt,
Due to the layout, I find that the best approach to Goodwood, is to split it into 3 different courses, you have the 5&6 furlong sprints on the straight shoot where the horse needs the ability to cope with the undulations, a good place to start is to look for good runs at such courses as Brighton, Carlisle, Catterick, Chepstow, Epsom, Folkestone,Hamilton, Lingfield, Pontefract and Ripon.

Then we have 7f & 1mile races where they also have a right hand turn to overcome, so look for the ability to cope with undulations on right handed courses such as Carlisle, Hamilton, & Ripon, Also being drawn closest to the rail is a big advantage, especially over the 7f.

Finally we have middle & long distance races where the ability to cope with undulations on right handed courses as well as having the stamina are required.
Hope this little insight is of help,
Good Luck, Sim

13.55 - More support, in comment terms at least, for Opinion from the Sir Michael Stoute yard. Sir Michael has had the favourite for the past three years, and won the race last year with Labarinto.

13.50 - Right, it's time to start looking in detail at each race, starting with the opener at 2.15.


Not much in the way of trends here, though all bar one of the last ten winners were carrying less than nine stone, which seems to count against a few fancied runners at the top of the handicap.

All ten winners were returned at 9/1 or shorter, and five were favourite.

Prussian looks set to lead, though it's a looong way home over a mile and a quarter here.

So we kick off with an eighteen runner three-year-old handicap over a mile and a quarter. As with all the big field handicaps here, expect plenty of hard luck stories. Racing on the pace is a good way to stay out of trouble, as is coming from far back, though you may need a map and compass to chart a route if you're adopting the latter tactic.

Prussian would make it a three-timer of opening race wins for Mark Johnston, and his front-running style is well suited to a stab at that. He's got strong form in ten furlong handicaps, though there's just a suspicion that he's better when able to dominate from the front in small fields.

In fields of ten or less, his form is 2115112, whereas in bigger fields it's 00. Hmm.

The two at the top of the weights are attempting to defy history, but have sound form claims. Grandeur and Wrotham Heath are very closely tied in on their Epsom handicap form, and there again may not be much to choose between them. If Queally goes from the front, as he has on this chap in the past, then he'll go close I feel.

Grandeur will need doors to open at the right time with his late, late show manner. Possible, but slightly off-putting in a full field like this.

Asatir is unbeaten in three for Godolphin, and Frankie rides this afternoon for the first time. In fact, he'll be the fourth jockey in as many career starts for Asatir, which is rare. The horse is progressive and goes on all ground, but is stepping up both in class and trip here, which is not something he obviously wants on breeding.

Hallings Comet is one I like here (relatively of course). He's got a light weight, comes from a very shrewd operation, and ought to devour the extra quarter mile. He'll probably be close to the pace early as well, which should help.

The other of mild interest, and mentioned by a couple of comments already, is Blue Surf. From the Perrett stable which so loves a Goodwood winner, this fellow ran his best race when stepped up to ten furlongs last time, and there will be plenty more to work on, no doubt.

He will probably need luck in running, but then so will most of the rest.

As usual, there are many more dangers than I've mentioned, so good luck with whatever you like.

Tentative each way selection: Hallings Comet
Others of interest: Blue Surf, Wrotham Heath

13.46 - Well I'm glad the charity race wasn't in the placepot, as my hope, George Baker, was fourth, under a typical 'charity rider' pilot. In truth, the horse ran well and I'm looking forward to him winning before the season is out. As mentioned, I have a hair of him this year, as he is leased to the Popbitch Racing Club, and I'm a member...

13.35 - Stop the clock! We have our first double pick! It's Amanda Perrett's Blue Surf in the opener...

Also a mention from Times Up in the Goodwood Cup for Paul D.

TEA BREAK! OK, I'm on my own here, and need tea. All this 'talking' is giving me a dry throat. Back by 13.35. 🙂

13.25 - more fancies coming in, and more horses covered! Opinion in the opener for Phil C; and Chris is going with Colour Vision in the Goodwood Cup. Still no horse with two picks for it. Gulp.

13.20 - Props for Prophesy if it handles the ground (from Graham Ashford); Wrotham Heath (from Lucky John); and Hazel Lavery too.

I don't think two people have nominated the same horse yet, which is testament to how tough a day it is..!

13.15 - placepot struck! Click the images below for full details... (click back to return to this page!)

Goodwood Placepot Perm

It was constructed like this:

Bet Builder Construction

13.06 - Putting finishing touches to placepot perm. I have very low confidence today, I have to say. Some wide open contests. And no fewer than five of the races are full of improvers, meaning current levels of form have to projected forward to what they might be capable of upgrading to... yikes.

Whinging aside, I'm nearly there with my 'hope for the best' special. Now eight deep in the opener!

12.58 - Paul Norwich City likes Beaufort Twelve in the opener. Apparently, it's not because the horse runs in the Canaries colour silks, but because he has a good draw and is well weighted. 😉

Actually, I reckon that might be a fair shout, Paul. If Kieren can keep him out of trouble, i.e. up with the pace, he's a good chance. But if he sits midfield, there's a prospect of getting horribly boxed in. 11/1 is fair enough though, I'd say.

Tony T, a far braver man than me, reckons Clon Brulee is a banker bet each way in the last. Good luck with that one, Tony. Hope you're right.

12.55 - Bankers are a good bit harder to come by... still on blowouts, Simenon is up considerably in class and, whilst he could win, he's no value at 4/1. Onto bankers, and, erm, I do like Master Of War in the Richmond Stakes, but he'd be far from banker material. It's actually really bloody hard today!

12.48 - who are your bankers and blowouts today? Any horses you really like, or want to field against this afternoon? I'm against Wild Coco in the 4.20 - didn't think she liked it here last year; and Ahern looks short enough on what he's done to date (more exposed than some of these).

12.42 - Just to say to all those asking whether I will be putting up my picks today, YES! As the afternoon unfolds, I'll be adding my selections and reasons why. It is tricky today, and I'm not hugely confident about any of them, so caveat emptor prevails.

12.38 - Philip, one of many Pennies Punters who follow Geegeez, wrote, "A bad day for me yesterday especially with Santefisio getting done by a head in the last after Le Toreador being beaten by a short head in the last on the first day. Do you ever feel like screaming, or are you the cool, calm and collected sort?"

Like everyone else, I get frustrated when I'm close but no cigar. But I feel more like screaming when I'm miles away. Basically, my view is that when you're hitting the board with nice priced horses, you are right but just not getting paid for it.

This is actually quite an important psychological point, I think, and I'd rather have a string of 2's than 4's and 5's, no matter how frustrating it may be.

Philip continued, "Can I also say something about trends. My problem with them is that although they offer some form of route what happens when a trend, say top trainers with older horses, all converge in one race. Then what do you do?"

Don't get me started, Philip!

Basically, as someone once famously observed, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. The key here is to use the data sensibly. So many stats are presented as material, when in fact they're coincidence.

In a nutshell, if you cannot rationalise the stat, it's useless.

In the case of more than one trainer being favoured in a race, respect runners from all of those trainers, but look more deeply at other factors. If you still can't find a way of narrowing down the field, then move on to another race.

You don't have to bet every race. Indeed, you absolutely should NOT bet every race. Selectivity is key. Bet when you have an edge, or an angle, or a material stat, or whatever. Next!

12.32 - couple of questions coming in now, so I'll do my best to answer as many as I can through the afternoon... First up, Scott says, "Ghanaian 4.20 & Marshgate lane 5.25. What you think Matt?"

I saw Marshgate Lane win at Newmarket on soft ground last time. He was mightily impressive, and obviously will continue to improve. Barzalona rode him that day and gets the leg up here too. Impossible race in truth, though of course this fellow has his chance. I wouldn't be too worried about the weight either, as it's a very compressed handicap, with just ten pounds from top to bottom.

Ghanaian is first time up from a trainer who does brilliantly with first time up horses (17% strike rate, +66 profit), but it's impossible to know what he's up against. I think the Hannon pair will take some beating here.

12.28 - Francis Muldoon on twitter likes Blue Surf in the opener. Trained by Amanda Perrett, a handicap trainer of note for this meeting, he's in good form, and open to improvement. Draw should be fine, and the trip is fine, so he must have a chance. It is a very hard opener this afternoon though.

12.23 - by the way, thanks a million for all the kind words regarding the week so far. There have been some nice priced winners and, of course, Luhaif finishing third at 80/1 seems to have been a pretty popular result for plenty of you. Great stuff. Let's hope we can snaffle a couple of prizes today too.

12.21 - I'm looking at Saddler's Rock as the placepot banker. What do you think? Sensible, or need to go deeper in the Goodwood Cup?

12.12 - Just perming up my firm... erm, I mean firming up my perm... I'm looking at SEVEN in the opener. Ahem.

12.05 - I've actually still got to construct my placepot perm. Seeing as we're live, I'll do something I don't normally do, and share a few tips and perhaps even the perm I'm playing.

There is a race at 1.45, but this is a charity contest. In actual fact, I own a hair in one of the runners, George Baker, who is syndicated through one of the several racing clubs of which I'm a member. I think he could run well though I don't know much about the jockey...!



Seven renewals, four of which were won by horses priced 14/1 or bigger. Still awaiting the first winning favourite.

Likely pace setters will be Cresta Star, Sondeduro, Traveller's Tales, and Prophesy. It might be hard to win from the front, but I'd expect at least one of those to hang on for a place.