Good morning all,
A perfect example today of why writing an article on a Friday that's not due to be published until Saturday is frought with peril.
I dug out what I thought were a couple of value selections, only to watch the price vanish in front of my eyes as the afternoon passed. By the end of the day, my main pick was half the price it was at the start of it. The article is on the main piece, as always, but the value has long since dried up on a couple of them.
1.50 – Unibet Stewards Cup Consolation
The fast-improving Rewayaat is favourite for this, and rightly so. His career to date has been something of a slow burn, and there wasn’t anything in particular that we saw last year that would mark him out as a huge improver this season but that’s what has happened, winning both starts since the resumption of racing and going from a mark of 71 to 85 in quick time.
His 7 length win at Salisbury last time is hard to knock. I have already read elsewhere that he was merely picking up the pieces of a strong-run race but that looks like nonsense to me. Sure, there was a good pace set by Handy Talk but he sat second to him, and when asked simply powered past him and put it to bed very quickly. Physically he looked a class above that lot and yes this is a harder task, but he is the right favourite. He needs to prove himself on the track but in truth, that’s about the only negative I can really find.
Tommy G has done me a couple of each-way favours in this race before, and I cannot desert the old boy in what is his Gold Cup. You know today is the day because De Sousa has been booked – one win and one place from three starts when he gets on board, including his third in this last year – and Tommy’s Goodwood record of 213 speaks for itself too. His most recent outing, when second to the improving Prompting, has already received a form boost (and again Friday), and he’s 6lb lower than when placed last year. There’s a lot going for him, and I don’t think stall 1 is a bad place to be. Poyle Vinnie won this from the same stall last year. (Update – yesterday's 7-1 but a distant memory, sadly.)
I realise I’m fancying the front two, which is very unlike me, so let’s throw in an outsider for good measure. The near side rail has seemingly been a pretty good place to be throughout the week, and anything that can grab it and get gone will have a chance. Step forward One Hart, quite a keen going sort that’s been trying 7f for much of the past year but has the speed for 6f, and is now on a better mark after probably being a little too high in the handicap for a while. 33-1 for a Mark Johnston horse at Glorious Goodwood would be reason enough for a second look, and if Joe Fanning can jump him out and nail the rail, then it could be game on. (Update – 22s now the top price, which makes a little less appeal.)
3.35 – Stewards Cup
Whereas I thought the consolation could be narrowed down to four or five at most, I think you could have half a dozen stabs at this and still not get anywhere near.
My old friend/enemy Tinto is the first to catch the eye. I simply cannot get him right. The ability to win a race of this nature is there, and I had him marked down for this a year ago. That came after his fourth to Celsius over 5f at this meeting last year. I was stood at the 2f pole, and as they went past me, he was stone last, all dressed up with nowhere to go. I turned away in disgust, thinking I had done my e/w money. You can imagine my surprise at finding out he’d copped fourth that evening. Since then he’s improved some 18lb and is now a quality sprint handicapper. He did disappoint in the Consolation last year but maybe that simply came too quick after the Celsuis run, so I’m happy to forgive that. Consistency is not his strong point, but if it falls right for him, he’ll have his chance, and the faster the ground the better.
Nahaarr is favourite for this after his impressive Newbury win last time out, where he came clear late on and was well on top by the end. His chance, as an improving sprinter, is obvious enough but if you watch the race back, it’s Watan that catches the eye all the way throughout the race. He travels very strongly in second spot and although slightly caught for speed at the furlong pole, sticks to it well enough for second. Whereas Nahaarr was having his third run of the year and would have been bang fit, Watan was having his first run for a year, and would surely have needed it. He’s 7lb better off with Naharr today, and given he won a maiden here on his debut, has no issues with the track. In fact, this does look like it might have been a plan all along, especially given connections. Stall 16 is fine, he’s got pace in stall 18 in Aljady to give him a tow, and at four times the price of Nahaarr, looks a bit of value. (Update – he was four times the price, now only twice.)
I rather fancied Stone Of Destiny at Ascot last time out but it was game over at the boxes, as he reared up and missed the break. He was eighth in this last year, faring best of those drawn very high, and is 5lb lower this time around. There’s one of these big handicaps in him off this mark, but like Tinto, knowing when is going to be the tricky part. He too is drawn between speedy sorts that can give him a tow in, so I have no qualms on that score.
Today's selection – Watan e/w 3.35 Goodwood
Good luck with all your bets this weekend,