Well it’s been a tough week on the punting front this week at both ‘Glorious’ Goodwood and Galway.
A profitable day on day 1 at Goodwood having the 3rd and 5th in the Stewards Cup (both each way). Then getting the 2nd and 4th at big prices in the big handicap hurdle at Galway on Saturday. Which meant I went into Sunday’s racing just about breaking even on the week. It could have been a lot better but it could be a lot worse. Hopefully some of you were on Growl each way in the Stewards Cup at the advised 20/1.
This week’s article I highlight the claims of two handicappers from Goodwood who look worth following in the coming weeks.
Lightning Strikes At Goodwood
Well Goodwood had glorious weather and some glorious action on the track. My highlight of the week was Lightning Spear’s win in the Sussex Stakes. Yes, there were better performances during the week, Battaash’s back to back wins in the Group 2 King George Stakes being one. But I had backed Lightning Spear at 11/1 in the morning.
The 7-year-old deserved to win a Group 1 race. He had run in 15 Group 1 races round the world before Goodwood without winning. Although he's gone close this season to breaking his hoodoo beaten a short head in this year’s Lockinge Stakes ¾ length in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
I suppose if the son of Pivotal was to break his Group hoodoo it was likely to be over a mile at Goodwood. Twice a winner at the course. His form figures over C&D now read 61311 and his August form figures are now 11311.
This years Sussex Stakes wasn’t the strongest and the winner got the race run to suit on going that he likes. Jockey Osin Murphy got the horse to settle well in the early part of the race and got the cover he needed before producing a nice turn of foot to lead inside the final furlong.
It was a second Group 1 win in the UK for the jockey and the owners Qatar Racing this year after Roaring Lion’s success in the Coral Eclipse.
The third home Lord Glitters was arguably a bit unfortunate. The 5-year-old wasn’t suited by the slow early pace, having to make his effort out wide. He finished off his race strongly and did well to get within 2 lengths of the winner at the line. He’s certainly up with the best older milers in Europe and there is a Group 1 race in the horse, most probably abroad.
Goodwood Notebook Horses:
As ever the big field handicaps at Goodwood have their fair share of hard luck stories and two horses who look worth putting in the tracker are Firmament and Glenamoy Lad.
Firmament hasn’t won for two years but has run plenty of good races in big field handicaps in that time. It was more of the same in the Unibet Golden Mile handicap on Friday as the 6-year-old hit trouble two furlongs out when making his effort, before staying on well, to finish 7th, beaten 3 ½ lengths, behind the winner Seniority.
His last win came at York’s Ebor meeting and he also finished 3rd in the same handicap last year. He’s dropped down to winning mark when all the cards fall right. He’s one to note at the Ebor Meeting.
Glenamoy Lad trained by Michael Wigham, had gone into my tracker after a comfortable win at Newcastle back in November. That Newcastle win made it 3 wins from 4 runs in handicaps since switching to the trainer.
The 4-year-old was making his seasonal reappearance in the Stewards Cup, from a 10lb higher mark than for his last win. He travelled well for most of the race and looked sure to play a part in the finish when not getting no sort of run two furlongs from home. That ended any chance he had and he eventually finished three lengths behind the winner in 10th.
He looks the sort to follow in these big handicap sprints between now and the end of the season. With races like the Portland Handicap and Ayr Gold Cup likely to be on his radar.
Monday’s Racing & Selection:
It’s a Bank Holiday in Ireland today so there are race meetings at Cork (jumps) and the flat at the Curragh. Over this side of Irish Sea there’s flat racing from Windsor and Carlisle and a jumps card at Newton Abbot.
6:30 – Considering the good to firm ground this 6f Class 3 handicap has attracted a big field of 13. I am not sure how many of these will actually run but it still looks a competitive race. Daschas trained by Stuart Williams won here over C&D three starts back before a disappointing run at York when sent off the 4/1 favourite. Bounced back to win at Ascot 24 days ago. The 4-year-old remains a progressive sprinter and is just 3lb higher than at Ascot.
As much as I respect the Williams horse, I prefer the win chances of the John Quinn trained Shaheen. The 3-year-old is another progressive sprinter. At his best on good to firm ground. All four of his wins have gone on quick ground with form figures 13112. He’s also 2 wins from 2 runs in Class 3 handicaps. As long as the going remains on the quick side he looks capable of going close. Trainer John Quinn has his horses in great form with 8 winners from 28 runners 29% +34.50. He’s also 1 win from 3 runners at the track in the past 5-years.
At a really big price I wouldn’t rule out Reckless Endeavour, trained by Jamie Osborne. The trainer's horses are really going well – 5 winners from 8 runners 63% +28.75 in the past 14. days. He also has a decent record here with his 3yo+ horses – 10 winners from 34 runners 29% +46.85 A/E 1.99 13 placed 38%.
The 5-year-old has been doing most of his running of the all-weather of late but wasn’t disgraced when 11th in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot, before running poorly in the Bunbury Cup on his last start. Drops in class here and is on a competitive mark if he can recapture his best. Given the trainer’s recent form and course record, I can’t resist an each way play on his chance here.
Reckless Endeavour – Each way
All that’s left is to wish you a profitable weeks punting.