It’s the first day of Goodwood on Tuesday and the second day of Galway so plenty of great action to get stuck into.
Tuesday’s free feature of the day is the Shortlist Report, a very popular section of Geegeez Gold. The Shortlist Report highlights horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in Instant Expert everyday in attempt to flag up runners that are most likely to enjoy conditions – and therefore run to form and run well. It can be used for both win and place purposes and is completely free on Tuesday’s to all free registered users of Geegeez.
The free races for free registered users on Tuesday will be:
A nice choice of races but the focus has to be the 3.00 at Goodwood, the Group 2 Lennox Stakes run over 7f for 3yo+. There are three runners representing the classic generation, including one near the head of the market. Fourteen runners are set to go to post so expect some hard luck stories.
We all know draw and pace can be extremely important at Goodwood, especially over 7f, so let’s take a look at some draw and pace data.
The low v middle v high overview tells us that low draws have a very impressive PRB of 0.59 and account for over two thirds of the winners. High draws have given more winners than middle but the PRB figures tell a very different story with 0.49 for middle and 0.42 for high. This suggests high draws should be avoided.
The individual stall data for PRB, shown as a line graph, proves there is steady regression in performance the higher you go. It’s pretty obvious from looking at this that the lower you are drawn the better over 7f here.
Pace can be just as important as draw here and it’s hugely beneficial to be able to look at these in tandem, using the draw and pace combination heat map. The four best run styles as far as PRB is concerned all come with low draws.
Early pace from a low draw is most beneficial but gaining a lead from middle or low draws actually seems to affect performance negatively. If drawn in the middle a prominent ride seems best, followed by hold up, whilst for higher draws more patient rides are required. Dropping out and coming with a late run preferred to using up early energy trying to get a ‘good’ early position.
The pace map should tell us which runners could gain the most advantage (and disadvantage) from their early positions.
The first thing that stands out here is Space Blues, the early favourite, is drawn in stall 12 which has to be a big negative. He has the best kind of run style for that draw which is some consolation. Kinross, also prominent in the betting, has been even unluckier with the draw, as has Escobar.
Safe Voyage has arguably been luckiest of all with the draw, he’ll be emerging from stall 3 and has an ideal run style to take advantage of that low berth. Fellow pace angle Khuzaam has not been so fortunate and breaks from stall 11 giving him a less than ideal draw and pace combination.
With only two main pace angles, and one of them poorly drawn, we might see a steady early gallop and a well stacked field, likely to result in trouble in running. Those nearer the pace could get the double advantage of being well placed and avoiding any traffic problems.
Quite a few runners to get through but let’s have a quick look through them, in draw order this time.
Ran well in the Bunbury Cup last time out but that was off a mark of 100 and he has plenty to find here. He has form on softer ground but was 3.5 lengths behind Creative Force at Ascot and he clearly needs to improve a fair amount to win this. He’s a big price for one with such a good draw but his run style isn’t ideal to take advantage of it and he could end up trapped on the rail.
Extremely progressive this season, rising 25lbs in the official ratings. He seems to go on all ground types and was only beaten 2 lengths in the July Cup last time out over what was probably an inadequate test. This easy 7f is probably absolutely ideal and further progression can’t be ruled out. He probably deserves to be favourite given his low draw, compared to the high draw Space Blues has landed, but he has been played late on his last two starts and that might not see him to best effect. He did race prominently in smaller fields earlier this season and a return of those tactics would probably help his chances.
Out of form on his first two starts this season, beating just one runner home, but bounced back with a front running ride at Chester last time dropped to listed company. He didn’t beat a whole lot that day but it can’t be denied that he returned to form and if now as good as last year he clearly has a leading chance in this. He was behind three of these when 4th in this last year but that came on faster ground and given an easy lead here on his favoured ground he’d capable of reversing that form. He was only a neck behind Space Blues on these terms at Haydock last season on good to soft and he’s much better drawn than that rival (who is favourite) here.
Went close in a muddling listed race on seasonal debut over a mile but he’s yet to win outside of maiden company and has looked at his best on fast ground over a mile so serious questions to answer here despite a good draw.
Ran a career best last month when 4th in the Diamond Jubilee on soft ground and probably hasn’t really stayed a mile on his other three runs this year (five of his last six wins have come at this distance of 7f). He won a small field group 3 here last season (well placed) before landing a Group 2 later in the season and doesn’t have much to find on the best of his form. He should track Safe Voyage from a good draw here, has run three good races from three visits to this venue and if you can forgive a slightly disappointing effort last time out over a mile he looks a very backable price.
Keeps improving each season and was a very creditable 5th to Palace Pier in the Queen Anne last time out. Probably just as good at 7f, he was 1.5 lengths behind Happy Power in the Challenge Stakes last year. He almost certainly prefers a sounder surface but it’s unlikely to be much better here so he could struggle to reverse form with Happy Power but he’s drawn okay, likes to race prominently and looks bigger than he should be in the betting.
Career best when landing the Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes last time out at Leopardstown and this looks his trip. He’s progressing well and capable of improving further but all his best form to date has been on sounder surfaces and he might not be ideally placed.
Duke Of Hazard
Runner up in this last year and has course form figures of 11125 but it’s concerning that the 5th came on his only run here on soft ground. He was withdrawn on good to soft ground a fortnight ago and definitely looks better on sounder surfaces so his chance may have gone when the weekend rain arrived. Would have appealed on better ground with a stronger pace promised.
Dropped 7lbs by the handicapper after two lacklustre runs this season and has been withdrawn this season because of soft ground. He looks flattered by last season’s group form and has questions to answer on current form plus his draw and run style aren’t ideal.
Won a competitive handicap over course and distance at this meeting last year and was only a neck behind Happy Power here on his next start. Not at his best in heavy ground in France on his final start last year but bounced back with a good win on seasonal debut. He was again slightly below par last time out on good to soft ground at Haydock. It would be easy to blame softer ground for some of his poorer runs but he ran so well on good to soft here behind Happy Power that it can’t solely be underfoot conditions that have held him back on a couple of occasions since. He’s been freshened up which may help and not completely ruled out for all he’d probably have preferred better ground and a better draw.
Yet to match any of his all weather form on turf, last of four in the bet365 Mile at Sandown behind Palace Pier on his last attempt, beaten 25 lengths. He’s yet to race on softer ground but it’s a stretch to back him, especially with his draw.
Run of five wins on the trot came to an end at Meydan last time out but a straight 6f wouldn’t have really suited that day and he’s best judged on his 7f runs around a bend, conditions under which he is unbeaten. Most of his runs have come on faster ground and although he was beaten on his only run on soft, that came at 10f and it was a hot maiden anyway. He should handle conditions but Safe Voyage has a good chance of reversing form based on their meeting at Haydock last season and he’s not well drawn. He’s capable of defying the draw but he’s a very poor price to do so.
Still very much unexposed at 7f and is unbeaten in two runs on good to soft so if it dries a little conditions should hold no fear. He won a Group 3 last time out but several didn’t give their running that day and it probably wasn’t the strongest of form. He still has room to improve but he’s been unlucky with the draw and if a high drawn horse is able to win, it will probably be Space Blues.
Ran well at Sandown last time out in handicap company off a mark of 103 in a race not run to suit but he’s generally best at Ascot these days in testing ground and even his peak mark of 111 last season gives him a bit to find here. He ran well in defeat over course and distance twice last season, third in both this and the Supreme Stakes (behind Happy Power). Not a bad place bet on that form but the draw is the big put off.
Space Blues is the class act in the field and Creative Force is the potential star. Both are well found in the market and at the prices both are opposable unless you are sure Creative Force will be ridden prominently. Neither are likely to be able to afford meeting too much trouble in running.
At bigger prices Safe Voyage and Happy Power make more appeal from an each way perspective. Safe Voyage has shown a slightly better level of form to date and although you wouldn’t back either on the form of their first two runs this season, Safe Voyage looked back to somewhere near his best last time and he might not even need to run to his absolute best with draw and pace advantages in his favour here. Safe Voyage is preferred but it could be worth a very small reverse forecast given possible traffic problems in behind.