Goodwood Festival – Day 5

Good morning all,

It's dry outside my window this morning (I'm virtually on the track, don't forget) and it's dried out a touch in the night, but it's still good to soft in the main at Goodwood for Stewards Cup day.

My thoughts on the final day on the main piece.

1.20 Goodwood – 7f Handicap

If it stays dry (which looks unlikely) then I’d probably be with the fast-improving Spirit Of Bermuda, winner of his last two and the form of his latest Newmarket win was franked when the second, Rising Star, won at Musselburgh on his next start. That improvement has all come on quick ground though, so any further softening might count against him. 

I’ve been thinking for a while that there’s a good 7f handicap in Just Frank when the ground has some cut in it, and this might be his chance. He might be one of those awkward horses for whom 6½f is actually his ideal trip, but if he’s going to get 7f it’ll be on a track like this. He’s run perfectly well on ground quick enough for him on his last two starts, and the addition of cheekpieces can be viewed as a positive too (Les Eyre 1-6 in the past year applying them, and one other placed). 

1.55 – 6f Stewards Sprint Consolation

Speaking of adding cheekpieces, Ruth Carr does the same with Embour here, a trick that worked for Poyle Vinnie back in 2018 (although he had worn blinkers previously) and it isn’t impossible she could repeat the feat here. Running respectably without threatening this term, he’s got some decent Goodwood form to his name and isn’t without hope. 

Kimifive is one I’ve been banging on about for a few weeks now, and last year’s Stewards Cup runner-up is a pound lower this time around. He doesn’t win enough to be totally confident about but it’ll be a surprise if he’s not involved in the finish, and with extra places on offer, looks one for the each-way players. (Updated 8.40am – he's out, annoyingly.)

Mr Wagyu wouldn’t want it soft, but good to soft would be fine, and for a sprint there’s not much pace on early, which gives him a fighting chance of making all from a decent draw. Quite simply he’s a very consistent sprinter that always runs his race, and although this will require a new personal best from him, that’s far from impossible. 

2.30 – 1m6f Handicap

David Menuisier has had a good week and Nuits St Georges might be another one for him. 

He looked an out-and-out galloper when scoring at Salisbury on his latest start, and will stay two miles in time no problem, but with the ground likely to be ideal for him, I take him to defy another 5lb rise. 

Prince Alex has form that ties him closely to Nuits St Georges and he has his first outing for Michael Bell today. On weights and measures  he has the beating of the Menuisier horse, but I feel the latter is improving quicker and can score. 

3.40 Goodwood

A good renewal of the Stewards Cup, with some classy sorts at the top of the weights.

There’s a little pocket of pace low, with Major Jumbo and the speedy Punchbowl Flyer looking likely to take them along and if low numbers hold sway in the Consolation, then Punchbowl Flyer to make all isn’t the worst shout. He seems to need spoke cut, which he’ll get, and has already taken one big-field spring this year when making all at Haydock in May, beating the well-fancied Bielsa in the process. 

I do like the chances of Hurricane Ivor here. He had some good 2yo form in France and looked like making up into a quality sprinter, and nothing he’s done for William Haggas this year has convinced me otherwise. Second in a high-quality sprint at Ascot three weeks ago, doing everything but win, I get the impression he’s been laid out for this and can take it before he steps up into Graded company. 

I shall have my inevitable fiver on Tinto as well, as he’ll drop in one of these days when he doesn’t blow the start completely, and down the foot of the handicap the 2018 runner-up (and 2019 fifth, lest we forget) Justanotherbottle is well enough handicapped to be given consideration too. 

Today's selection – Embour (e/w) 1.55 Goodwood

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Good luck with all your bets today,

David.

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