‘Glorious’ Goodwood is over for another season. The weather was dry, and to be fair to Clerk of the Course he got the watering right.
There were few hard luck stories over the first three days of the meeting. However, the removal of the false rail and the cutaway for Friday & Saturday witnessed more trouble in running.
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Inside today’s main piece I look back on a week of racing on the Sussex Downs. Plus, there’s a preview of today’s feature race Fitzdares Sprint Series Final Handicap at Windsor and has attracted a maximum field of 16 runners.
ITV seemed to be ‘bullish’ about the attendances at Goodwood. Mind you when are they not? I must confess I haven’t seen the figures, so I don’t know the course fared over the five days. However, I would think the Goodwood management will have been disappointed with the field for Saturday’s Stewards Cup consolation race with just 12 being declared.
The Cambridgeshire and the Bunbury Cup consolation races have both fallen by the wayside after good starts. I wonder if this race will end up suffering the same fate. The size of the field probably wasn’t helped by this evening’s Fitzdares Sprint Series Final at Windsor where there’s £13,000 more prize money on offer to the winner.
Commanche strikes again
From a punting perspective I was happy with the meeting and the week as a whole. I would have been even happier if I had added Commanche Falls to my Stewards Cup portfolio. He was on my shortlist off four but I went with the other three.
I was pleased with Regional’s run in third, he fared best of the hold up horses but just wasn’t as well positioned as the two who finished in front. However, I was disappointed with Inver Park. He was drawn in 15, the winner in 19 and I had expected jockey Ben Curtis would come near side but instead he went right and joined the group far side. In the circumstances he did well to finish 8th.
I went with one drawn low in First Folio. I was hoping that those drawn low would go to the fair rail, but they didn’t and that was their chance gone. I’m not sure Goodwood suits First Folio either as both his career wins have come on flat tracks.
Take nothing away from the winner, 2lb higher than last year, he became the first became the first horse since 1968 to win the race more than once. It must go down as the trainer performance of the week. Interestingly winning trainer Michael Dods is now 3 from 3 with his runners at Goodwood in the past five years.
Stewards Cup Eyecatcher:
Great Ambassador third in last year’s race, finished 6th in this year’s contest. Like 12 months ago he was drawn on the wrong side of the track. Given his track position he did well to finish as close as he did. He’s the one to take out of the race and should be able to land a nice pot when he gets more luck with draw.
There are three Group 1 ‘s at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and one of them the Goodwood Cup produced the race of the week, if not the season.
Kyprios probably didn’t get the attention from the racing media he deserved for winning the Ascot Gold Cup. Well, I hope he gets more now. He’s the best stayer around after a battling success in Tuesday’s race. He’s only a 4-year-old and if he stays injury free looks set to dominate the division for as connections want.
What next for the winner?
The Irish St Leger looks the most likely next target for Kyprios. After that it could be the stayers race on Champions Day. However, I have a feeling that he may swerve Ascot and head to Longchamp for the Arc. Aidan O’Brien doesn’t look to have many f not or this year’s race so it’s beyond the realms of possibility that he could be routed to Longchamp.
The “lads” will want a runner in Europe’s premier middle distance race. Apart from the filly Toy. I don’t see Ballydoyle having any other Arc contenders and they have previous for such a decision. Order of St George won the 2016 Ascot Gold Cup and finished 3rd to Enable in that season’s Arc. Even further back in time the likes of Ardross and Westerner have won the Gold Cup and ran well in Arc’s.
Same may consider runner-up Stradivarius an unlucky loser. Granted he finished only a neck behind Kyprios and was away from the winner in the closing stages. However, Kyprios ran faster than he did in the final furlong, so I think that’s about as good as he is now.
Trueshan was 1 ½ lengths back in third. Connections decided to run him on what was a quickish ground. He ran to an RPR of 120 which is a few pounds below his rating on soft ground. Rain softened slows the others down which helps him. When we get rain in the autumn, we’ll see the 6-year-old at his very best. Mind you we aren’t likely see the Kyprios on such going.
Coltrane travelled well into the race but didn’t really deliver in the final two furlongs. Still, he ran a good race in 4th and could yet to be seen to better effect on a flatter track than Goodwood.
It was the strongest renewals of the Group Nassau Stakes. However, 6/5 favourite Nashwa got the job done and posted a personal best on RPR’s in the process. The first part of the race was steadily run. But the filly was produced a good run down the outside to win in good style. A more strongly run 1m 2f should see her to even better effect
It would be interesting to see Nashwa up against the boys in the Juddmonte International or Irish Champion Stakes. However, that seems unlikely this season. The intention is to give her a short break and come back for Prix de l'Opera and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf
Nashwa is the clearly the best of a moderate looking bunch of 3-year-old middle distance fillies and we might not have the seen the best of her either.
It was a case of job done for Baaeed who took his unbeaten record to 9 when winning Wednesday’s Group 1 Sussex Stakes. The late absence of 2,000 Guineas Winner Coroebus robbed the race of some of its gloss.
Like his sire Sea The Stars gets the job done without being visually impressive. The step up to 1m 2f in the Juddmonte International at York is up next for the colt. At least he will face better rivals than he’s beating over a mile. A full brother to the smart 1m 4f performer Hukum he should be even better over further.
Maybe we’ll see the ‘‘wow performance’’ at York, as Jason Weaver is expecting. However, it's just as likely he’ll cruise into contention, hit the front and have to be too kept up to his work to win by 1 ½ lengths. I doubt we’ll ever see a demolition job from him. It’s just not his style.
A competitive field for the evening feature at Windsor which has £75,000 in guaranteed prize money.
6:25 – Fitzdares Sprint Series Final Handicap – 6f
A good draw has been all important. Looking at the last ten running’s of the race. Those drawn 8 and higher are 1 winner from 42 runners 8 placed and not one winner has come out of double-digit stall. Mind you Treacherous was runner-up last year from stall 12 and Charimanoftheboard was third from stall 14.
Treacherous has once again landed on stall 12. You couldn’t really fancy the 8-year-old on this year’s form but he’s 7lb lower than when beaten a short head in last year’s race. He ran in Goodwood’s Stewards Cup consolation race like he did 12 months ago and goes well on a quick turnaround.
Indian Creek’s course and distance form figures are 11021 so can’t be easily ruled out. He found things happening a bit too quick over 5f at Goodwood last week. He ran well though when 7th of 15 to Lord Riddiford and shapes like he’s on a competitive mark back at 6f.
Lequinto made it 2-2 over C&D when winning a qualifier three weeks ago. He’s up 4lb but goes well on quick ground and should be bang there once more.
Aramis Grey won a qualifier on quick ground in May and shouldn’t be far away.
Total Commitment is on a 13 long losing run but the 6-year-old put in his best performance of the year when 2 ½ length 2nd of 11 at Southwell 12-days ago and he looks to have a handy draw in stall 2. He’s well handicapped on his 1 ¼ length 4th of 24 to Commanche Falls in last year’s Stewards Cup which came off an 8lb higher mark.
Interestingly 4-year-old’s have won nine of the last ten renewals of the race, the other win was a 3-year-old.
Runners from that age group drawn in a single figure draw are 9 winners from 21 runners +44.58 17 placed. There are just three qualifiers among the 16 runners in this year’s race: Get It, Chipstead and Colmbe.
Colmbe would be of more interest on easier ground which seems unlikely.
There are no going concerns for Chipstead. Oxted’s full brother was in cracking form at around this time last year completing a hat trick of wins in August/September. Looked set for a good season but hasn’t really fired on four starts this season. He’s now 1lb below his last winning mark and Frederick Larson takes off another 5lb.
Get It gained his second win of the season here over 5f two starts back and showed he remained in form when a 1 ½ length 3rd of 10 at Doncaster last time. It’s the top-weight's first start beyond 5f but if he stays, he should go close.
Verdict: It’s the sort of race that you can have a couple of darts at going without finding one that places. My picks are Get It (7/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes) and Total Commitment (14/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes).
I will be back on Wednesday with a couple of eyecatchers from last week’s action.
Good luck with your Monday’s bets.