Glorious Goodwood 2022- Qatar Goodwood Festival
What a week that was.........it was a bit of a rollercoaster but great fun as always and if you ever find yourself in the village of Hunston Chichester I can't recommend The Spotted Cow pub highly enough, great little boozer and Phil the landlord and his team were great to us whilst we were there. As for the betting I finish the week +6.8 points to level stakes with some hard luck stories on the last day, one winner but three each-way bets that missed out on the places by one position (4th, 9th, 6th).
Glorious Goodwood 2022- Qatar Goodwood Festival
I go into the final day of Glorious Goodwood +9.5 points to level stakes after just one winner on Friday – it was a tough day. It doesn’t get any easier on Saturday with a bundle of tricky handicaps on the card but all being well I have a winner or seven and my fancies follow.
We get underway early today at 1.05 with the 7f British E.B.F. Ebf Maiden Stakes. Classic is the odds-on jolly the well-bred colt having finished fourth on debut under what might be called a tender ride. If he comes on for the experience as you would expect he has clears claims here. The Foxes needs to settle better than he did at Royal Ascot in the Listed Chesham but looks to have a great each-way chance off the ack of his two runs to date and is the each-way selection at 11/2 (1/5th 3 places) with Hills this morning.
At 1.40 we have the 6f Coral Stewards' Sprint Handicap. We have another short one here in the shape of Lethal Levi that jumped off the page at me with the small matter 9lb in hand with his rating due to rise to 100 after this. I grabbed 6-5 this morning. Pierre-Louis Jamin takes off 3lb again and Karl Burke knows what he is doing with horses such as this. Nelson Gay can grab a place.
The stayers are out at 2.10 for the 1m6f Coral Summer Handicap. The Johnston yard love this race and have thrown three darts this season; Soapy Stevens, The Mexwecan and Golden Flame. The Mexwecan is back down to a mark lower than he has won off in the past and the visor goes on which if it brings a little improvement out of him makes him an attractive each-way punt at 16-1 (1/5th 5 places). Stablemate Soapy Stevens is the form horse but will need to improve again off a career high mark of 94.
The race of the day is the 1m6f Group Two Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes. Aidan O’Brien hasn’t sent many over this year but has the favourite here in the shape of Emily Dickinson and she has to be taken seriously. One of the Dirty Dozen runs through and I have to be on here. YesYes makes her belated seasonal debut and is the bet at 10-1 each-way (1/5th 3 places). As I said on the Dirty Dozen page she came up just short of Group One class but it was noted John Egan said of her when winning the 1m6f Listed Chester Stakes "She is a very big filly and did very well to win round here when she's fully matured, she'll be very, very nice. I wouldn't say she needs cut, but she went on it. She may go equally as well, if not better, on good ground and I think she's got a nice future."
The big handicap is at 3.30 the 6f Coral Stewards' Cup and we have the usual mix of progressive handicappers and Pattern class performers to pick from. I think the pace may be drawn high here. C&D winner Mr Wagyu is one that is likely to be out the stalls quick and has chances but is on a career high 106. Winner of this in 2020 Summerghand is on an 8lb lower mark than when winning then and 7lb lower than his last win, but that was in 2021 which is a slight concern. His fifth in the Wokingham Stakes (Mr Wagyu fourth) was a decent effort and being drawn in stall ten means Jason Watson can but his mount where he wants early. At 14’s he is the each-way pick (1/5th 8 places) with Hills.
The 7f Medallia Handicap at 3.55 is a tricky little heat with just nine runners but all with chances. Koy Koy got up to win on the line at HQ a couple of weeks ago, tipped on here, and looks in fine form. He ran loose at Newmarket before that win and effort can be upgraded, I think when you take into account he’d done a mile or so before winning! Hopefully he won’t mess about today and can win again, I have the 4-1 early. Positive Impact and Galiac head the dangers.
The lucky last of the day and the week, race number 36, is the 1m1f Federation Of Bloodstock Agents Handicap and it’s another puzzle! Ajero has taken well to the Turf. A winning hurdler he has four little ducks next to his name for his runs on the Flat this season and will surely be in the mix again with Jim Crowley on-board. Forest Falcon won the first of the week back on Tuesday over 1m2f and though up 5lb for that win Harry Davies' 5lb claim wipes that off here. He won very well on Tuesday and a similar effort would see he go close here as well and Charlie & Mark Johnston's charge could bookend the meeting. Rainbow Colours also ran here on Tuesday when second to the impressive Crystal Caprice over a mile. That was a decent effort and off the same mark here of 77 she has to be considered as she is clearly thriving. I think she is the Johnston one to be on and have the 12-1 each-way (1/5th 5 places) with HillsEXTRA
I noted Will Buick is at HQ on Saturday and Art Of Magic goes in the first at 1.20. I tipped her on debut when third and I am on again at 100-30 this morning. By Invincible Spirit, a decent sprinter in his day who won the G.1 Sprint Cup At Haydock, she is out of Hand Puppet who won a race in France in her career and there is enough on the page to suggest she should win a race or two – her half-sister Independent Act was a winner at two.
Friday - Glorious Goodwood 2022- Qatar Goodwood Festival
I go into day four of Glorious Goodwood +14 points to level stakes so any winner from here on in is profit – I just need to find a winner or ten over the next two days and fourteen races. So far so good as they say and the fancies for Friday on the Downs follow.
We get underway at 1.50 again with the 2m4f Coral Goodwood Handicap, round and around they go. Withold aint exactly set the world alight this season, the nine-year-old was fifth last time behind Reshoun but is 5lb better off with that one here and 2lb lower in the ratings than when finishing second in this contest last year he is a danger. Super Superjack has clearly benefited from stepping-up in trip and this marathon could suit him perfectly. He will be out the back early but hopefully can pass them all up the straight as he did when winning here over two-mile earlier this season. I am on at 100-30 this morning with Hills.
It’s a mile at 2.25 for the Group Three Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes. Sonny Liston is one of the Dirty Dozen for this season and was my big odds ante-post punt for the Derby and in truth hasn’t scaled the heights I thought he might, his last run was in the big one at Epsom when down the field and clearly not getting the trip. Drops back to a mile here, been running over further all season, and the colt has something to prove now. Checkandchallenge never got involved in the 2,000 Guineas but put in an eye-catching run at Sandown last time getting going too late and running on strongly into second. After just four starts, he is fancied to improve passed the rest of this field. I have the 15-8 with Hills.
At 3.00 it’s a typical big field Goodwood handicap in the shape of the Coral Golden Mile Handicap. The form of the win for Sinjaari last time will hopefully have been given a boost in the 2.25 but the gelding looks up against it off top-weight in this. Noble Dynasty is one I have talked of before and looked in rude health winning at HQ last time. The son of Dubawi is 6lb well-in under a penalty here and has a nice low draw. Buick is in the saddle for boss Charlie Appleby and hopefully it can be a quick double for the lad. I took 11-4 on Thursday evening.
The Group Two King George Qatar Stakes over 5f sees the speed merchants lining-up. Lazuli is an old favourite of mine but was disappointing in the 6f G.1 King's Stand Stakes last time and has to give weight to the entire field under race conditions. He did look good though when winning the Jebel Ali Port Group Two Stakes at Meydan and the five-year-old might just be capable of giving away the weight to this field dropping back to the minimum trip. I thought the 7-1 Hills were going on Thursday was too big and took that. I am a bit Buick heavy on Friday but he is riding brilliantly and has a good book of rides. Course and distance winner Raasel looks the biggest danger but it would require a career best for the improving five-year-old.
Guess who’s riding my fancy in the 4.10. It’s 1m4f for the Group Three L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes and Rebel's Romance for Appleby and Buick is the one here; I grabbed 6-4 with Power overnight. He found something like his old form winning a Listed race at Newmarket last month, his turf debut, from re-opposing stablemate Kemari. He should prove to strong for this field and there is likely more to come from him this season on Turf. The other Appleby runner Global Storm can make it a 1,2,3 for the yard.
The 6f Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Nursery at 4.45 is a tricky heat and I can make a case for several here. The early pace looks likely to be from the middle-high drawn stalls. Knebworth was quietly fancied by a few for the 5f Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last month but finished down the field never really getting involved. Bolt Action was sixth in that and despite having top-weight here has to be shortlisted. He was staying on over the five there and the form of that race looks pretty decent. A slight concern is the yard isn’t in great form but he is a tentative pick at 7-2 with Power this morning.
The lucky last on day four is the 1m4f Oliver Brown Handicap. Omniscient has a 6lb penalty for his win eight days ago but is still 8lb well-in in theory on official rating. Sir Mark Prescott likes a winner here and knows how to play the handicap game. The gelding looked to have a bundle in hand when winning at Yarmouth last time and is the pick at 85-40 early. Caius Chorister and Night Of Luxury head the dangers.
Thursday - Glorious Goodwood 2022- Qatar Goodwood Festival
I am going up with what are the provisional fancies I have for Thursday, Ladies Day, very early due to the travel problems mentioned for Wednesday in case I am stuck somewhere on the Sussex Downs with no Wi-Fi. These bets, other than those actually placed and quoted, could change but as of Tuesday night this is the plan. The Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes is the highlight of day three
The 1m2f Coral Kincsem Handicap gets proceedings underway on Thursday at 1.50. Charlie Appleby has a few in here but Warren Point looks the stable number one. He has won two of his three starts to date his only defeat being by stablemate Wild Crusade at Ascot last time. With just three starts to his name there is obvious improvement to come and he is the pick in a tricky opener. I fear Blue Trail who I have backed before and recent Sandwon winner Vee Sight.
At 2.25 we have the 6f Group Two Richmond Stakes. Noble Style was pencilled in here but he hasn’t made it sadly. Marshman won well on debut at Ayr and Al Karrar was impressive winning on debut at Windsor and they are the two that could be anything as they say. Royal Scotsman was third in what looks a fair G.2 Coventry at Ascot, second and fourth have both won Group races since, and that is the best form in the book. Jim Crowley is in the saddle again as he was at Ascot and when the colt won over this track and trip prior to that run in May. On what we know he is the one to be on.
It’s a mile-and-a-half at 3.00 for the Group Three John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes and New London can advance his St Leger claims in this. He got back to winning ways at HQ last time having found the tight turns of Chester not to his liking back in May. This track is tight enough but the 1m4f course aint too bad and the run-in should give this colt plenty of time to get into top gear. Power were biggest at 15-8 Tuesday night and I have that. Hoo Ya Mal is top-rated but I fancy his rating flatters him and the selection can improve passed him.
Race of the day is the 3.35 the 1m2f Group Two Qatar Nassau Stakes. Unfortunately like the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday we have an odds-on jolly in the shape of Nashwa who got up to win the G.1 Prix de Diane Longines last time having looked a non-stayer over the 1m4f in the Oaks prior to that when third. She is the obvious pick especially with the weight-for-age allowance. Concert Hall won a Listed heat at Navan at the start of the year and has subsequently run well in defeat in all the big filly races this season, third in the Irish 1,00 Guineas, fourth in the Oaks etc....... She probably isn’t quite top-class but she sure is consistent and should be able to place-up in this field. I have the standout 16-1 on Tuesday evening each-way (1/5th 3-places) with Power. Dreamloper is the best of the older fillies and mares but has to give the three-year-olds 9lb.
The two-year-olds face 7f at 4.10 for the Jaeger-Lecoultre Nursery. True Statesman has top-weight after a couple of wins but you had to be taken by the way the son of Churchill won at Chester over the trip last time and Mark Johnston does like a winner here - as seen in the opening race Tuesday. Ryan Moore is booked suggesting connections are messing about and he looks a solid bet to me. I took 4-1 on Tuesday evening.
It’s a sprint handicap at 4.45 over the five strip for the World Pool Handicap and I have no opinion as of Tuesday night. To say the 5.20 the 7f Tatler EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes is a puzzle is an understatement with nearly half the field making debut and only three with more than one run under their belt! That's another race I will update on on on Thursday.
Update: I have 5-1 about Warren Point Thursday morning and 11-8 about Royal Scotsman. The bets for the last two are Dusky Prince at 13-2 in the World Pool Handicap and Zarga at 3-1 in the Tatler EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes
Wednesday - Glorious Goodwood 2022- Qatar Goodwood Festival
It was a winning day on day one, which looked unlikely after the first three results, but we found three winners on the day and I will take that. We are as is tradition for a few of us now trackside on Wednesday for Sussex Stakes Day though it’s slightly different this year with the train strikes causing travel chaos – it's a case of get here if you can as Oleta Adams once sung.
We will be there and the fancies for the day follow.
We get underway at 1.50 with the 1m4f Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Handicap. Secret State caught my eye in the entries having completed a hat-trick of wins when winning the 1m4f King George V handicap at Royal Ascot – tipped on here. The form of his Ascot win was franked when the second won the G.3 Bahrain Trophy Stakes next time so the 7lb rise in the ratings should be fine. I took 9-4 early on Tuesday with Betfair. Soulcombe gets in with bottom weight and can get in the mix.
We are on the 7f for the Group Three Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes at 2.25 and it is quite the puzzle. Oscula was desperately unlucky not to win at the weekend, headed in the shadow of the post, and as I said then when I tipped her she has been the model of consistency lately. If her recent busy schedule hasn’t taken its toll, and I doubt George Boughey is running her for the fun of it, she has to be considered getting the weight-for-age as the three-year-olds do. Stall two gives Buick the chance to get her in a great position early and she looks a fair each-way punt at 7-1 with Hills (1/5th 6-places). Heredia is another 3yo whose chance is obvious but she was behind Oscula on her last start at Sandown. She was impressive winning at Ascot but that result may have flattered her. Of the older generation Soft Whisper is one I have talked of and backed before, tipped her when she won a Listed heat at Chelmsford City last time. Giving the younger generation 7lb is a big ask and being drawn in stall 16 aint helped for one that likes to be prominent.
The two-year-old speedballs are out for the 3.00 the Group Three 5f Markel Molecomb Stakes. Rocket Rodney looks the one here, and he’s priced accordingly, but he looks impossible to oppose. A track and trip novice stakes winner before finishing a close second to Little Big Bear in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot he won well at Sandown in the Listed Dragon Stakes after that. I have a bit of the Evens overnight. Walbank was second in the G.2 Norfolk Stakes at Ascot but the form of that race is poor, nothing has come out and won since, so probably needs to improve again to trouble the selection.
3.35 Group One mile Qatar Sussex Stakes. So often marketed as the Dual on the Downs this year it looks likely to be the stroll on the Downs with Baaeed long odds-on. We do get to see the best racehorse in Europe, possibly the world right now, the four-year-old having recorded his fourth Group One triumph in a row with victory in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot but with only 7-runners it is a bit of a disappointment this year from a racing point of view. I have tipped Modern Games every run this year, all in France, and the G.1 Poule d'Essai des Poulainswinner does of course get the weight-for-age allowance here that give him a chance of being the one to follow home the jolly. The eight-furlongs certainly looks his ideal trip and his prominent running style will help round here. He will almost certainly be picked off by Baaeed but might just be able to hold the rest off, and at 20-1 with Hills I am on each-way (¼ 2-places).
The 1m2f European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies' Handicap is due off at 4.10 with just the nine-runners but all have a chance to my eyes. Scorpio makes handicap debut for Brian Meehan following three okay runs in Novice and Maiden company and her opening handicap mark of 74 may be very workable. To my eyes she has looked likely to be suited by a step-up in trip, which she gets today, and the booking of Hayley Turner can certainly be seen as a positive. She is a speculative each-way punt at the 33-1 (1/5th 3-places).
We are back with the two-year-old speedsters for the 5f British EBF Alice Keppel Fillies' Conditions Stakes at 4.45. The Platinum Queen made it two wins from three starts winning well at York earlier this month, sandwiched in-between was a run in the G.2 Queen Mary Stakes in which she fluffed the start and was never really involved. She is the clear form pick on what we know and I am on at 10-11 as I think this one will get shorter and shorter.
The lucky last at 5.20 in the 7f World Pool Handicap and it is a real headscratcher with half the field in with a chance on paper. Stockpyle is a three-year-old colt on the up and gets in here off bottom-weight with a mark of 83. He generally likes to be up with the pace which won’t hurt in a big field like this run this 7f course and he is drawn in 7 giving De Sousa every chance to get his mount in a decent position early. The yard is in form and he is the tentative pick at 11-2. Wild Lion, The Attorney and Mums Tipple are just three that are feared.
If you are staying in the area, as many will be with the Rail strike, I am told after the racing there is the annual cricket match between Lord March Racing XI and the Lord’s Taveners, set in front of Goodwood House if you fancy.
Tuesday - Glorious Goodwood 2022- Qatar Goodwood Festival
Day one down on the Downs …......It’s an eight-race card again as they did last year, as if this week isn’t tough enough with the seven race cards, at least it’s only today I suppose. We start the week on good-good to firm in places with the weather forecast for light cloud and a slight breeze with some sunshine as the week goes on; pretty much perfect weather.
We get underway at 1.50 with the 1m2f Coral Chesterfield Cup Handicap the sort of handicap puzzle we can look forward to all week. Legend Of Dubai won well at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance but faded out of contention in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot last time and is a bit of an anomaly. The four-year-old remains open to further improvement though, especially stepping up to 1m2f, has won over further, and he might be thrown in off a mark of 96. I have the 7-1 that was about Monday evening. Just Fine may find things happening a bit too quickly but is feared.
At 2.25 it’s the Group Two Japan Racing Association Vintage Stakes over 7f. Holloway Boy was a surprise winner of the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot but certainly looked a prospect the way he won; the fact he was 40-1 though suggests it may have been a freak result. I think the best form on show was the third for Mysterious Knight in the G.2 July Stakes last time with the extra furlong here likely to suit the Dark Angel colt the way he finished there. A full-brother to a couple of winners including G.1 winner Althiqa I thought he’d be shorter than 4-1 and took that Monday evening. Appleby trained Pinatubo to win this last year.
We stick to the 7f for the Group Two Lennox Stakes at 3.00 with some decent types lining-up. Sacred is one of my Dirty Dozen to follow this season and she can get her first victory of 2022 here. This is her trip rather than the six over which she got going too late in the G.1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on her seasonal debut. I am convinced she will win a prize or two this season and I have the 15-8. Pogo is consistent and can be in the shake-up whilst Lusail getting weight enters calculations.
At 3.35 we have the main event the Group One two-mile Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes. I am sure there will be plenty of sentimental money for Stradivarius but there’s no place for that as far as I am concerned and the eight-year-old simply aint the horse he was. Kyprios looked the be the rising star in the staying division and confirmed he is a force to be reckoned with winning the G.1 Gold Cup at Ascot – tipped on here. I took a snippet from an interview Aidan O’Brien gave after the Gold Cup as I think it is significant the trainer saying “..............We think he's a horse who is going to come forward again. He's brave, genuine and a great horse. Ryan gave him a marvellous ride and had belief in him. When he really wanted him, he answered. We think he is a horse to look forward to..........” I think this one could be the major player in the staying ranks for the next few years. O’Brien also said recently "It's been the plan for him to head to Goodwood since Ascot. It's a Group 1 and the race we've had our eye on since the Gold Cup. Everything has gone well with him. He's very straightforward, really. He relaxes and stays well. He just has a great mind. We always thought he'd be a lovely four-year-old and you'd have to be very happy with all of his runs so far this year." I have 6-4 overnight. Trueshan is feared but with no rain forecast he isn’t even guaranteed to run.
It 5f for the Nicholson Gin Handicap at 4.10 and this looks tricky with several in with chances and the pace fairly evenly stretched across the track it appears. Celsius has a few of these behind at Newmarket recently but he is 5lb up in the ratings here. Indian Creek has been the model of consistency this season and intrigues me dropping back to the minimum trip here. His prominent running style no bad thing in a race such as this and I wouldn’t be surprised to see De Sousa try and make this a bit of a test and I have had an each-way investment at the 10-1 (1/5 4 places).
The 4.45 sees us staying on the straight course for the 6f British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes. Mischief Magic was a good third on debut over this track and trip in May in a race that has worked out well – four winners have come out of the race. By Exceed and Excel out of Veil Of Silence he is a full-brother to a number of good ones and I happily took 11-4 overnight. There are a few with no experience and that could be anything as they say but I think the course experience of the selection will prove very important here.
They face a mile at 5.20 for the Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Fillies' Handicap. Unusually for a race such as this at Goodwood we have a relatively short-priced favourite but she looks above average. Crystal Caprice showed she had improved a bundle for her first two starts when blitzing the field over a mile at Yarmouth three-weeks ago. By Frankel out of decent mare Crystal Zvezda an opening mark of 87 handicapping looks very workable. I have the 9-4 that was about Monday evening.
The lucky last on the extended day-one is the 6f World Pool EBF Fillies' Handicap at 5.55. Kimngrace has a track and trip win to her name but is creeping up the ratings and races here off a career high of 85. Kidwah is the one obviously open to improvement still. She won her first two starts and wasn't disgraced when third at Newmarket last time, perhaps a little too keen. Hood goes on for the first time here and if that helps her settle a bit better, she should be able to leave her opening mark of 88 behind. I took 7-2 with Power overnight.
With five days of thrilling action set against the magnificent backdrop of the rolling Sussex countryside, The Qatar Goodwood Festival – Glorious Goodwood to you and me – is one of the highlights of the flat-racing season as far as I am concerned. There is always a lovely atmosphere at what is without doubt one of the most beautiful tracks in the country with fantastic views across the Sussex Downs. There are few places in the world I would rather be in the middle of the British summertime than looking out across the Downs as top-class thoroughbred horses go racing by.