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Qatar Goodwood Day 2 & Galway Plate Preview’s

Morning all,

Sadly, there’s no “dual on the downs” in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes (3:35). It’s a shame for the race that 2,000 Guineas / St James Palace Stakes winner Coroebus had a setback at the weekend and has been forced to miss the  race. So instead of a real race we likely have a procession of 1/5 favourite Baaeed.

Besides day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, it’s another evening at Galway and arguably the most competitive race of the day the Galway Plate Handicap (6:40).

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Inside today’s main piece. I have had look at the Goodwood feature races and a more in-depth look at Galway Plate. Plus, you’ll find my Goodwood Placepot selections.

Qatar Goodwood Festival – Day 2

2:25 – Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) – 7f

Iwant to take on recent Chelmsford Listed winner Soft Whisper here. Heredia looked a Group filly in waiting when winning the Britannia Stakes (Handicap) at Royal Ascot. Maybe the race came to quick when she was a disappointing 8/11 favourite in Sandown Listed race earlier this month. She’s worth another chance albeit stall 12 isn’t ideal.

Heredia’s biggest rival could be French challenger Samahram who has a nice draw in stall 5. Frankie Dettori has been booked for the 3-year-old who made it 2-3 when winning a Listed at Longchamp last month. This has been aim for hers since that success and her owners Al Shaqab Racing are the sponsors of the festival and they have won this race three times between 2015-2017 with French trained horses. Quick ground an unknown but must be on the shortlist.

3:00 – Markel Molecomb Stakes (Group 3) – 5f

An interesting renewal of the Molecomb despite just the 8 runners. Rocket Rodney is a worthy favourite. The colt was a neck 2nd of 24 to the smart Little Big Bear in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. He then comfortably saw off five rivals in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown last time. He holds Eddie’s Boy who has since boosted the form when making all to win the Super Sprint at Newbury.

A bigger danger to the favourite looks to be Irish challenger Studio City. Trainer Michael Callaghan won this in 2020.  A good winner at Navan last time Studio City now runs in the colours of Al Shaqab. Ryan Moore booked, and he looks set for a good run.  Interesting to see Richard Hannon drops Trillium back to 5f after her recent win at Newmarket over 6f.  She looked smart filly that day and shouldn’t be underestimated.

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3:35 – Qatar Sussex Stakes (Group 1) – 1m

A probable procession for hot favourite Baaeed.  Sadly, there’s not an each-way option here but for those looking at the forecast or without the favourite market there are a few options.  

Alcohol Free won this last year and won the Group 1 July Cup over 6f last time. Angel Bleu won around here last season so there are no issues with the track, but he would be of more interest on an easier surface in this company.

Japanese challenger Bathrat Leon could get into the money. The 4-year-old won the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on dirt in Meydan in March. He made all to win last time but will find competition for the lead from Order Of Australia who won the Group 2 Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh 10-days ago.

Modern Games won the French 2,000 Guineas on his seasonal return and just failed for stamina when 3rd of 15 in the French Derby. Found things happening a bit too quickly down to 7f when a 1 ½ length 5th of 11 to Tenebrism in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville last time. Hard to see him being good enough to beat the favourite but could be the one for the forecast or without market.

Galway

6:40 – Tote Galway Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade A) – 2m 6 ½ f

Plenty of the 22 runners like to be ridden prominently so there should be a strong pace. That said you don’t want to be ridden too far back around here.

The ante post market is headed by the Emmet Mullins pair of The Shunter & Cape Gentlemen. The first named is solid enough and was a 4 ¼ length 4th of 22 in this race last year, off today’s mark. Cape Gentleman is a bit of unknown he’s very much unexposed over fences. He’s won two of his four starts over the larger obstacles but hasn’t been seen since falling four out in the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in November. He’ll be fit enough for his first start for 241-day and could be well on a good mark off 152.

Willie Mullins who won this 12 months ago has three. The best of his trio look to be El Barra & Easy Game.

Easy Game was a length runner-up in the race 12 months ago and is 3lb higher this time around. He’s been well placed to win his last four starts and given his track form he’s got to be respected despite top-weight.

El Barra made it 2-5 over fences when winning a valuable novices' handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival last time.  Now 10lb higher but is going the right way and is the choice of Paul Townend.

Others in the mix

Exelerator Express stays 3m so will probably need the forecast strong pace to materialise to win.  Needs to jump better in this field than he did at Perth last time but the first time cheekpieces are applied and he has each way claims.

We haven’t seen The Jam Man since he bolted up in the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in 2020. He’s an interesting one in the first-time blinkers and is another with each way claims if the headgear has the desired effect.

Gordon Elliott has won this three times since 2015. He saddles three in Ash Tree Meadow, Hurricane Georgie and Battleoverdoyen.  Hurricane Georgie completed a hurdles/chase hat trick when winning the Midlands National Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan 19-days ago. A 12lb rise makes life tougher but she’s in form and remains unexposed beyond 2m 6f.

Ash Tree Meadow is the shortest of the three in the ante post betting. The 6-year-old is only a novice but come into the race bidding for a four timer over fences. This is a big ask for an inexperienced horse, but he’s impressed with his jumping on his last two starts. His stamina for an extended 2m 6f must be taken on trust. However, he looks a smart chasing prospect and mark of 144 could well underestimate him.

My three against the field are El Barra. Ash Tree Meadow and at bigger odds Exelerator Express.

Goodwood Placepot

Tuesday’s Placepot went down on the second leg. Hopefully some of you were on Sandrine and the John Quinn Goodwood Festival micro angle qualifier Lord Riddiford who both won at 12/1.  Today’s card looks trickier than Tuesday’s. However, I’m going for another attempt at the Goodwood Placepot.

1:50 – Leg 1 – Secret State, Soulcombe and Luminous Light

2:25 – Leg 2 – Heredia and Samahram

3:00 – Leg 3 – Rocket Rodney and Studio City

3:35 – Leg 4 – Baaeed

4:10 – Leg 5 – Sea Speedwell, Myristica and Peripatetic

4:45 – Leg 6 – The Platinum Queen and Cruise

Today its 72 bets 3 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 3 x 2 = 72 bets. Once again, I have used 25p unit stakes, so my total stake is £18.

I have a fair few fancies today which I will probably back in singles among the placepot contenders, like I did yesterday, especially the bigger priced ones.

Good luck with your Wednesday bets.

John

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