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July 2021

Goodwood Festival – Day 4

Good morning all,

This is one of the busiest weeks of the year for me, second only to Royal Ascot (in a normal year anyway) as I’m moving around the country working for the latter half of the week. I’ve already been to Sandown and Epsom last night, and now for the next two days it’s going to be Goodwood all the way. Hoping for dry weather! (Update – I have never, ever, got so wet as I did at Sandown Wednesday night.) 

The rain at the beginning of the week means we’re dealing with ground with some cut in it this week. As of 6.30am this morning, we've had another 3.6mm in the night, but it is very blustery and the ground remains simialr to what it was yesterday.

It’s a decent Friday card, so let’s see if we can find where the value lies. 

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Qatar Goodwood Festival – Day 3

Good morning all,

A tricky track, tricky races and more tricky weather and you have the makings for a punter's nightmare.

The weather was better at Goodwood on Wednesday. At this time of year, the ground can dry out quickly. In the short term that’s not necessary a good thing. The going can get “gluey & holding” and not all horses act on such a surface. Forecasts for the rest of the week are sending out mixed messages. Some continue to predict a mixture of sunshine and scattered showers. The worst type of forecast for us punters is “scattered” showers. Meanwhile others talk of light rain late Thursday evening through to Friday morning.  

It was a clean sweep for the classic generation in the yesterday’s Sussex Stakes. With Alcohol Free just getting the better of Poetic Flare inside the final furlough. The winner is a tough filly. Who was the best horse on the day and became the first of her sex to win the race since Soviet Song in 2004.

Back to Thursday’s action. It’s day three of the Goodwood Festival and there’s more racing at the Galway Festival.  The feature races of a seven-race card are the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes (3:35) and the Group 2 Unibet Richmond Stakes (2:25).

Over at Galway. It’s more National Hunt action. The highlight of an eight-race card is Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap (6:15) with €147,500 on offer to the winner.

Inside the main piece, I have taken a look at the first four races at Goodwood.

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Qatar Goodwood Festival – Day 2

Good morning all,

The dry spell of summer weather has ended in spectacular fashion. There were going changes at both Goodwood and Galway on Tuesday morning after heavy showers hit both tracks.

Goodwood changed its going description to heavy, soft in places. With a further 16mm of rain falling on the track on Tuesday morning. In addition to the 33mm that fell over the weekend.

Across the Irish Sea at Galway. It was a similar picture. The going description on the flat track was changed to soft and the jumps course to good to yielding after 15mm of rain fell overnight.

The going change at Goodwood is significant. It led to a fair number of non-runners on Tuesday, and we’ll likely see more on Wednesday.

The softening ground meant no Stradivarius and no Spanish Mission in the Goodwood Cup. That left Trueshan as the clear favourite for the Group 1 staying contest.

Despite being keen through the race. He proved too classy a stayer for his remaining rivals. The further he went the stronger he was. It was a significant first Group 1 success for trainer Alan King and a second for jockey Hollie Doyle.

The highlight of day two of Qatar Goodwood Festival is the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes (3:35). English 2,000 Guineas & St James Palace Stakes Winner Poetic Flare heads the ante post betting. However, the change to more testing conditions may not suit the 3-year-old who looked so impressive on fast ground at Royal Ascot.

After two day’s flat action at Galway there’s a change of code today. The National Hunt horses are centre stage with the feature race of an eight-race card being the Tote Galway Plate (6:15).

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