Good Morning all.
It’s day one of the Qatar ‘Glorious' Goodwood Festival. The highlight is of course the Group 1 Goodwood Cup where Stradivarius bids for a fourth win in the race. This time he faces a real challenger in the shape of recent Irish Derby hero Santiago.
I have gone through a few of the races for you and here are my thoughts and a couple of selections.
1:10 – British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies' Handicap (Class 3) – 1m
Angel Power has improved with each of her three career starts. A winner at Chelmsford on her seasonal return she improved further for the step up into handicap company when 2nd of 9, beaten a neck at Haydock last month. Up 5lb but is unexposed and there are more races to be won with her.
1:45 – Unibet You're On Handicap (Class 2) – 1m 2f
Stall 17 may not be an inconvenience for Cape Cavalli. The 4-year-old has returned to action with career best efforts at Newcastle and latterly when running out a comfortable winner at York 19-days ago. That was a Class 4 race though and he takes a rise in class here. Up 8lb but if he gets a good pace to chase, he won’t be far away and the yards runners are going well.
Tinandali has been an eyecatcher on both his last two starts at Epsom & York. The 4-year-old held up in the rear, in the John Smith’s Cup Handicap, didn’t get a clear of runs down the stands rail a furlong out and had to be switched left. Once in the clear he ran on to finish 6th of 22. With a better passage I think he would have finished at least third. There is a race like this in him when all the cards fall right. Trainer David O’Meara saddled last years winner.
Fifth Position was third in that race. A winner at Doncaster, off 5lb lower, two starts back the 4-year-old remains progressive and interestingly trainer Roger Varian opts for the first-time blinkers. If the race doesn’t come too quick after York, he’s got a big chance.
2:45 – Qatar Lennox Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) – 7f
Sir Dancealot did me a favour when winning this race 12 months ago. He bids for a hat trick today and his run in the July Cup was promising. A lot depends on the going as he’s a better horse on a sound surface.
Duke Of Hazzard is another who seems more effective on quick ground. He improved last year to win Group 2 & 3 races over a mile here last August. Now 3 wins from 3 runs at Goodwood he clearly handles the undulations well. The blinkers that were off at Ascot last time return today for the drop back to 7f and he’s got a good chance especially if the ground doesn’t ease too much.
3:15 – Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) – 2m
This looks a match between Stradivarius & Santiago. The latter gets plenty of weight from Stradivarius and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t able to take advantage of it. However, whether Goodwood’s undulations will suit him is an unknown.
3:45 – Qatar Handicap (Class 2) – 5f
There could be a real pace burn up here with plenty who like to go from the front. Of the front runners, I do like the claims of Recon Mission. The 4-year-old won a valuable 6f handicap at York last June off today’s mark. He bounced back to form when 3rd of 10 to Nahaarr over 6f, nine days ago. He has plenty of speed, likes a bit of ease in the ground and can surely pop up in one of these races before too long. Trainer Tony Carroll won this race with Boom The Groom in 2016.
Final Venture is on a long losing run that goes back to June 2017 but his trainer Paul Midgley is 6 winners from 27 runners 22% +24.29 in the past 14-days and the 8-year-old ran well when 5th of 18 at Ascot 17-days ago. Has dropped another 2lb since Ascot and can’t be ruled out.
Celsius has been an improving sprint handicapper since winning over C&D at this meeting 12 months ago. A winner at Haydock on his seasonal return. He probably didn’t stay the 6f when returned to that venue and bounced back to form when runner-up at Newmarket 18-days ago. His hold up style wasn’t seen to best effect at Newmarket and today’s strong gallop will be more to his liking.
If the rain arrives then you can’t rule out Count D’orsay who improved for soft ground and sharp 5f last autumn. He’s just 2lb higher than his last winning mark and this track looks set to suit.
4:55 – British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies' Handicap (Class 3) – 1m 4f
A tricky 12 runner handicap for fillies closes the card.
Dancing Approach has improved for the step up to around 1m 4f winning her two last starts both at Haydock. She’s been raised another 8lb but is ground versatile, going the right way, and can’t be ruled out in her bid for the hat trick.
Tulip Fields won her first two starts of the season, including here before disappointing at Sandown. Ran better when third behind a stablemate in Listed race at Hamilton last time 12-days ago. Back in handicap company for a trainer who does well at this meeting and has a big chance.
Believe In Love is having her first start back on grass since her racecourse debut. Improved for the step up to 1m 3f when winning at Kempton when last seen in action in March. Up 4lb in a much better race but is another with claims if fully fit after a 139-day layoff.
The lightly raced Chartered hasn’t been the easiest to keep sound but impressed when winning over C&D in June last year but she never got competitive on her next start at Newmarket in November. Not without an each way chance if fully tuned up.
1:10 – Angel Power – 7/2 @ Bet365 & Ladbrokes
2:45 – Duke Of Hazzard – 7/1 @ Bet365
Good luck with your bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join himhere – https://victorvalue.uk