FINALLY the winners came and Friday was a great day for the blog with Aussie Reigns winning at 20/1, Ortensia at 7/1 and Sunday Nectar finishing 2nd at 18/1. Elsewhere Albaqaa missed the break and had no chance, Pay Freeze ran well in a very close finish. The victory of Fulbright hurt a lot considering I was very close to tipping him but backing favourite in big handicaps is not my way. Stipulate meanwhile was unlucky after a tardy start and not the clearest of runs but it’s the risk you take at Goodwood.
3:15 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes
A superb renewal of the Fillies 1m event where John Gosden is well represented by IZZI TOP and The Fugue. The former has improved significantly this season in taking her first three starts, the latest in the Pretty Polly on heavy but she won her start before at York on good ground and simply looks a filly at the top of her game. The Fugue was unlucky in the Oaks and ran okay to finish second in the Ribblesdale but this is more her ground and probably trip too, as seen when she easily won the Middleton at York. She gets 9lb weight for age along with Oaks heroine Was which helps too. Nahrain is interesting if bouncing back from a poor performance at Ascot and she should do though whether she is back to her best still remains to be seen. Was may not be suited by the drop back down to 1m2f seeing how well she stayed over 1m4f but the ground should be much better for her than it was when last seen in the Irish Oaks. She should race handily along with Timepiece who hasn’t been at her best when beaten the last twice by the favourite. Lay Time needs to find improvement now stepped up to 10f while Sea Of Heartbreak and Clinical have failed to cut it at this level and a similar story is likely here.
3:55 Blue Square Bet Stewards´ Cup
It’s desperately hard as ever to get this down to two or three though many I like are at the high end of the weights. Hawkeyethenoo should once again run a good race as he always does in these and his 3rd at Ascot at the Royal Meeting seemed a career best. He should reward e/w punters but for a win others look more solid. Similar can be said for Waffle and what’s also worth mentioning is that both have run their career best at Ascot. One day Mac’s Power will win one of these but he’s always worth taking on as he always seems badly priced. Dungannon has a lot going for him and he was unlucky not to get a little closer in the Wokingham after being bumped while Alben Star looks progressive than many but would need a career best. Jamesie ran a little flat in the mud at Newmarket and doesn’t seem the most straightforward but David Marnane is an expert in these races and he will run his race if not hitting the front too early. Victoire De Lyphar could be really well treated off bottom weight considering he is 9lb lower than what he raced on in this last year and has a very stout trainer. That covers the main market but at bigger prices I am really keen on ES QUE LOVE to continue the superb form of the Mark Johnston yard. He’s been a revelation this season and judging on his run two starts ago is only 5 lengths off Black Caviar. I know that’s hard to take literally but it just shows how much he is progressing. Even though he shows a lot of speed, he stays well and at 5f, like last week, he is always worth opposing. He goes on all ground and Kieren Fallon is on board again after he took stablemate Van Ellis to victory in the Dash at York, one who has a very similar profile. Added with that, the old boy BORDERLESCOTT must be worth a speculative e/w. He was disappointing last time but that was a tiny race and he has still run some really good races this season when the pace is strong in particular. His record at Goodwood is superb, including taking this race back in 2006 and his 4th in the Temple is extremely strong form, including the only time he’s faced properly fast ground at a strong pace. The ability is still there but the legs to go the pace aren’t so much. However over 6f the pace could just about suit him and he is worth a couple of quid e/w. I’ve backed Shropshire a couple of times this season but now he doesn’t strike as being well treated, but he has been running close of late. Whailley is one who must go on the shortlist considering he has probably been kept for the better ground and had this race in mind. Elusive Prince bounced back in blinkers last time but whether he can do the same again in very different conditions remains to be seen. Seal Rock has place claims eve if not being strikingly well handicapped. He did run a good race here in October though and seems to enjoy these types of races but his Pontefract win where everything was right for him means he may have to drop a few more lbs first. Lui Rei has been in good form this season, notably when taking a handicap. Palace Moon has decent claims off top weight with the William Knight yard being in good form while Imperial Guest has his best form at 7f and although he will be staying on, it could come too quick for him. Money has come for Oasis Dancer and Lexis Hero while Atlantic Sport may be worth another chance but could have done with more rain too.
Advice – Es Que Love 2pts e/w @18/1 generally
Borderlescott 1pt e/w @25/1 Sporting Bet
For the rest of the Goodwood card, many know I like Piscean and he always runs well at Goodwood and is well handicapped. However he has been very poor on his last two starts. Only if there is support in the market will I have a speculative e/w. Like I said above I like Izzi Top in the Nassau and I also think the two favourites in the last two races should win. DOMINATE ran here on Tuesday for the Hannons and goes in off 82 before he is re-assessed. That means he is thrown in basically and 6f should suit a lot more. Meanwhile LANDAMAN also ran here on Tuesday and won the opening handicap in superb style. Off a penalty with Michael Murphy taking off 7lb, he still looks to have a huge shout to end the meeting where it started. Thus a treble is not a bad bet at all.
Advice – Izzi Top/Dominate/Landaman 2pts win treble @22.51/1