Glorious Goodwood, Day 2
1:55 – Goodwood Stakes (Handicap) 2m5f
The Goodwood Stakes is something of a throwback to the old days, with the extreme distance necessitating a flip start in front of the stands, and the runners race the wrong way up the straight before looping back to make their return journey. Maid In Rio fairly leaps off the page having won by clear daylight at Ascot last week, and is already a warm order on the early market, with the top price of 2/1 looking under pressure already. She has more going for her than most, but this extreme test is hardly ideal for a diminutive 3-y-o filly, and the others are unlikely to hand her as soft a lead as she enjoyed at Ascot. She’s the likeliest winner, but her presence gives the race a pleasing shape for each-way punters, and at bigger odds, Brockwell is the selection.
Tom Dascombe’s charge has no secrets to hide, but hasn’t had the rub of the green this year, and has slid to an attractive mark despite looking as good as ever. He was beaten only 3¾ lengths in this contest last year from a BHA mark of 92, and is now 7 lb lower. He ran well at York last time, where the bare 2m trip was sharp enough, and had previously endured a badly interrupted passage before staying on in the Ascot Stakes. He can go close now stepping back up in trip, and is attractively priced at 12/1.
2:30 – Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes (Group 3)
This race revolves around how you view Somewhat, who disappointed earlier in the campaign after showing smart form as a juvenile, but who appeared to be better than ever when finishing third in the Eclipse. Plenty have assumed that the Sandown form is misleading, but the clock doesn’t lie, and the notion that Mark Johnston’s runner is flattered by dictating at Sandown simply doesn’t hold water. Mukhadram underlined the strength of the Eclipse form with an excellent third to Taghrooda in last weekend’s King George, and there’s solid reason to believe that Paddy Power made something of a rick in initially chalking up 13/2 about the best horse in this field. His patchy profile is enough to warn against taking a very short price, but he should still be favourite for this, and remains a bit of value at the odds offered by William Hill and Betfair Sportsbook.
3:05 – Qipco Sussex Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1)
A quality contest, but one spoiled by the lack of serious rivals to Kingman, who was deeply impressive at the Royal Meeting . With the defection of War Command, Toronado is the only danger, and the race makes minimal appeal as a betting contest as a result. The only flaw in the favourite is the possibility of lightning fast ground, as he was a scratchy mover as a juvenile, and needed a chip to be removed from a fetlock joint over the winter. The feeling is that Seamus Buckley will ensure that the watering can is out tonight, as it would be a huge blow to the course if the star attraction was withdrawn at the eleventh hour. For what it’s worth, I think Kingman has moved much better since his surgery, and reckon he could handle any going these days.
3:40 – Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes (Group 2)
Highland Reel doesn’t have the prettiest of head carriages, but that tendency to stargaze didn’t stop him clearing right away from his rivals in a Gowran maiden four weeks ago. It would be tempting to suggest that he beat trees there, so facile was that twelve-length win, but subsequent victories for Hall of Fame (third) and Crescent (fourth) suggest the form is smart, and Aidan O’Brien looks to have an excellent chance of winning this Group 2 prize for the first time. Ahlan Emarati has hit the frame in a pair of Group 2 events since a winning debut, chasing home Kool Kompany at the Curragh last time, and he looks the one to pose the biggest threat to the selection.
Selection: Highland Reel
Rory Delargy 29/07/14
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Picture PA Images
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