My weekly look at the previous week’s horse racing. You can find my Goodwood Festival highlights and eyecatchers, an ante-post bet and Monday's tip all inside.
Goodwood Festival Review
I won’t go too overboard with the quality of racing at this year’s Goodwood Festival. Goodwood can never to reach the standard of Royal Ascot or even the upcoming York Ebor Festival. However, it never fails to produce some good performances and given the uniqueness of the track, plenty of hard luck stories.
Here are my three Goodwood highlights:
Stadivarious Strings Along Cup Rivals
Gold Cup winner Stradivarius made it a hat trick of wins in the Goodwood Cup. Becoming the first horse to win three successive renewals of the race and joining Double Trigger as the most successful horse in the race's history.
He always does just enough to win a race as he showed again on Tuesday and he now heads to York for the Lonsdale Cup and the ‘One Million Pound Stayers' Bonus’ which he won in last season.
For a stayer he’s got a good change of gear, and I would love to see him have a crack at the Arc. I’m not saying he would win Europe’s premier middle-distance race, but Gold Cup winners have run well in the race in the past with Ardross finishing runner-up in 1982.
Sadly, it seems he will end this season in the Long-Distance Cup on Champion’s Day. So, no Arc this year for the colt.
There's a good chance he will stay in training as a 6-year-old. Hopefully next season he will prove himself one the best stayers of all time and Just maybe, he will be allowed to end his career, as Ardross did, with a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Pinatubo Blows Away Vintage Rivals
Pinatubo had put in arguably the best juvenile performances of the season when winning Chesham Stakes by 3 ¼ lengths ahead of runner-up Lope Y Fernandez.
He surpassed his Royal Ascot performance in the Vintage Stakes on Tuesday. In the process posting a Racing Post Rating (RPR) 121, which was a 13lb improvement on his Chesham win.
Once taking the lead two furlongs from home he soon quickened clear of the field to win by 5 lengths from the staying on Positive at the line. The runner-up was only having just his second start.
Lope Y Fernandez finished further back than he had at Royal Ascot. Both he and fourth home Visinari have scope to better with age and racing.
Pinatubo, isn’t the biggest and looks more a 2-year-old than some of the horses that finished behind him. In that context the 5/2 for next years 2,000 Guineas looks very unattractive.
There’s a good chance he will end the season as the best juvenile, with races like the Dewhurst and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Mile on the colt’s target list.
Charlie Hills: The New Sprint King
Maybe we'll have to call Charlie Hills the “Sprint King”. Since he started training, Hills has trained high-class sprinters like Muhaarar, Battaash, Magical Memory and we can now add Khaadem's name to that list.
Khaadem, a winner of a Newbury Listed race, had been thought good enough to contest Group 1 Commonwealth Cup (7/1) but he was to run a bit flat. Subsequently he was found not to have been right.
The colt then bounced back to form when runner-up in a Group 3 at Newbury 14-days previously. Here he ran out the easiest winner of the Goodwood Stewards Cup, in recent years, storming clear of 26 rivals to win by 2 ¾ lengths.
The lightly raced 3-year-old didn’t seem to have an easy task off a mark of 10. It didn't put punters off, as he was sent off the 4/1 favourite. Landing one of the gambles of the meeting in the process.
The son of Dark Angel, produced a Group 2 level performance in a handicap. Given this was just his seventh career start whose to say he won't prove to be a Group 1 horse.
The Group 1 Sprint Cup, at Haydock, looks likely to be Khaadem’s next race, for which he’s a best priced 9/1 with Skybet.
His win paid a big complement to Waldpfad who seemed to beat him fair and square at Newbury. The German trained horse is 20/1 for the Sprint Cup with Skybet and Betfred, which looks great value to me.
‘Glorious’ Goodwood tends to produce more than its fair share of hard luck stories. Here are a couple of horses for the notebook:
Moll Davis – George Scott
Moll Davis had looked a filly ahead of her mark, after her recent Hamilton win and she should really have confirmed that on Wednesday, in the 1m 2f fillies handicap. The filly was travelling well on the inner coming into the straight but got no sort of run two furlongs out. She then found herself being shuffled to the rear and it looked like she would end up well beaten. However, she finished her race off well enough, to snatch what had looked an unlikely 5th at the line.
The 3-year-old remains on a winnable mark when all the cards fall right.
Johnny Drama – Andrew Balding
The 4-year-old was having his first start for trainer Andrew Balding, after a switch from the Ger Lyons stable. He had disappointed when down the field in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot on his previous start.
This was a much better effort, being slowly away didn’t help his chances and also didn’t get the best of runs inside the two furlongs. He was staying on well enough, when finally in the clear, to finish 6th.
A big horse with a distinct knee action, he will be better with some juice in the ground and looks worth another go over 1m 4f. The gelding's just had the six career starts, and can win a decent handicap when the going is easier.
If you want the rest of my Goodwood Eyecatchers and future ante-post bets you can join me here.
8:00 – Wild Hope, has won two of his five starts this season, both on good to firm. The latest of those wins came at Ayr, 28-days ago. The handicapper has raised him just 1lb, which gives the 3-year-old a good chance of following up.
Until next week.