It’s good to be back. After a disaster of a July Festival (standard) I felt like having abreak from the blog for a bit ready for Goodwood and I can’t believe it’s that time already. Goodwood is my favourite festival of the flat season so hopefully we can get a few winners on here. Day 1 isn’t a strong betting day but there are a couple I fancy and will back which are obviously below.
2:00 bet365.com Stakes
A tough race to open up the festival with but Luca Cumani has two outstanding chances at a festival where he usually does pretty well in. DANADANA has taken his last two handicaps, the form of which has worked out really well. He beat the very smart Qaraaba at Newmarket and then followed up in the Zetland at Redcar from Mid Mon Lady (rated 102). That is also now his rating but he had plenty in hand there and connections have clearly been waiting for better ground. Kieren Fallon has chosen to ride him and in my book he deserves to be a clear favourite, making his price quite appealing. He is joint favourite at 6/1 with Las Verglas Star who has shown he is in good heart with a couple of good 2nd’s lately. He was a close 4th off 1lb higher at this festival and he should go nicely off bottom weight though for me his price is most certainly right. It’s hard what to make of Cai Shen but I do feel this trip stretches him a little and I don’t think he’s that well handicapped either off 105. His best efforts have clearly been at Ascot and he may just be a horse to catch there only. Kirthill was a notable eyecatcher at Royal Ascot in the Wolferton which for me is the best handicap run this season. The faster ground should suit and he has the ability to go close. Mark Johnston’s yard have started to fire and he is represented by three in this. Landaman has won his last two, both from the front at Beverley but this would need a major step forward off 9lb higher in far better grade. Oceanway meanwhile is well handicapped on last year’s form but has been very hit and miss this year and didn’t particularly seem to enjoy this track when he contested in last year. Saying that his best form by far this year has also been on a tight track and he also has good form on better ground. Finally Licence To Till put up a career best when leading from the front at Chester and though he ran okay at Newmarket after that, the race was perfectly set up for him and he also has a poor run since to overcome. Don’t Call Me would need by far a career best while also needing to prove his stamina meaning he is best avoided. On his Australian form, Retrieve is well handicapped and the better ground could see a better effort. However it’s very hard to have confidence in one who has declined quite a bit since joining Godolphin. Kings Gambit has been given a chance by the handicapper and he would certainly be dangerous if bouncing back for a stable who know how to get one ready for a big handicap. Start Right has a squeak of a place if coming on for his first run back since flopping in headgear in the Lincoln. This is a huge ask for Specific Gravity on his seasonal reappearance while blinkers need to have an effect on King Torus who also has the trip to prove. Pivotman also tries blinkers but has been in terrible form this season however one i’m willing to give another chance to at a price is SILKEN THOUGHTS. She doesn’t seem the most consistent of types but was very unlucky not to win her penultimate start at Yarmouth before disappointing next time at Sandown. For that run she is a huge price when it’s not out of the question that she isn’t badly treated at all. I said last time a stronger pace would suit but it ended up being a muddling race. This should suit though and I think she can outrun her odds. The two I haven’t mentioned are the old boy Nanton who may just be finding that time is catching up and Right Step who started the season well with victory in the City and Suburban but has been below par since.
Advice – Danadana 4pts win @13/2 Stan James
Silken Thoughts 1pt e/w @33/1 generally
2:35 – Bet365 Gordon Stakes
An interesting little race where he see a number of St Leger hopes take their chance. Michelangelo has always been well regarded and broke his maiden in a listed race here before going on to land a big pot at Newmarket, albeit in a race that lacked a lot of depth. The step up to 1m4f is ideal but he seems plenty short in this. Noble Mission beat him on his debut at Newmarket and has since finished 2nd over that C&D and then 2nd to stablemate Thomas Chippendale in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, his first try at 1m4f. Whether 12f on good ground is ideal for him remains to be seen but he should run his race. Girolamo represents the same connections of Danedream who famously landed the King George just over a week ago. This colt was 3rd in the German Derby and is officially rated 114. It seems hard to gauge his chances and thus I couldn’t have too much confidence in him. Instead at double the price I’m chancing ENCKE for Mahmood Al Zarooni. This horse has always been well regarded and justified short odds to win a decent handicap off 90 at Sandown on good to soft ground. It certainly wasn’t as easy as expected but he ran on really well and is well worth a chance in this grade. He is beautifully bred, should appreciate the better ground, extra two furlongs and the come on for the run. We really don’t know how good he is and for that reason he is worth a tiny win. Elsewhere Farhaan was outstayed when behind Noble Mission on his last start and whether the extra trip will suit him is a question mark. Ed De Gas has been held the last twice in decent grade while Minimise Risk is another who doesn’t seem good enough.
Advice – Encke 1pt win @10/1 Bodog
3:10 – Bet365 Lennox Stakes
It’s very hard to look past Chachamaidee who is virtually the one to beat on official ratings and seems to be a 7f specialist. She has a lot of gears and ran out a very comfortable winner of the Oak Tree at Goodwood last year. The tough Libranno has won his last two, including when beating Edinburgh Knight and Majestic Myles last time at Newmarket, the former going on to finish 2nd again, this time in a big handicap at Ascot and the latter taking a Chester listed race. The interesting one is Foxtrot Romeo the 3yo who’s best run was on fast ground chasing home power in the Irish 2000 Guineas. The form hasn’t worked out well but there’s nothing to suggest he isn’t up to running to his mark of 114 and the step down to 7f should be fine for one with such speed. He seems pretty good value at 5/1. Firebeam steps back up t0 7f after a good run over 6f but he regularly seems to enjoy ground with cut while Mac Love the old timer is getting on and would be a surprise winner even though he did show promise on his reappearance run at Epsom two months ago.
Advice – No Selection
3:45 – Bet365 Molecomb Stakes
Unoriginal but MORAWIJ is favourite and I fully expect him to win this even though his price just about seems right. He ran a cracker in the Norfolk when racing on his own throughout and made no mistake, albeit in an average race, to win last time. I’ve seen much better renewals of this race and he looks well above the standard of the rest, especially considering that the faster ground will be much more to his liking too. The consistent Hototo will give the favourite the most to do and ran a cracker on heavy in the Super Sprint last time giving weight to many. Jadanna ran well at Royal Ascot but showed she stayed further too when a close 3rd in the Cherry Hinton on heavy over 6f. Whether this thorough speed test is to her liking remains to be seen. It wouldn’t surprise me if Lyric Ace ran nicely for Hughes and Hannon while Dylanbaru is not badly priced. Dominate has been looked over by Richard Hughes and that seems significant. The rest, led by Bungle Inthejungle have more to find if they’re to win.
Advice – Morawij 3pts win @7/4 generally
Morawij (7/4) Dandana (6/1) 2pt win double @18.25/1 generally