There was plenty of rain on the Sussex Downs in the build up to racing yesterday and conditions are likely to be no better than on the soft side of good for the Gp 1 Nassau Stakes – one of the most eagerly-awaited races of the week at Glorious Goodwood.
I am a massive Nezwaah fan but I would be staggered if she were seen at her best on the forecast ground and last month’s Pretty Polly Stakes winner is reluctantly overlooked. Indeed. It wouldn’t surprise me if Roger Varian pulls BetVictor’s 7/1 shot out of the race to wait for faster ground.
The classic generation have won this corresponding race four times in the last five years and if dual Guineas’ winner Winter (15/8) stays today’s ten furlongs trip she is going to be very hard to beat. I think the two Godolphin fillies Wuheida and Sobetsu (3.35) are overpriced, however, and the latter gets the each way vote at 16/1 with BetVictor.
The selection appeared not to get home over an additional quarter mile in the Oaks but she was a Group 1 winner on soft ground on her seasonal reappearance at Deauville and today’s conditions will hold no terrors for this daughter of Dubawi.
In the opening 10f handicap, Hold Sway (1.50) has been gelded since his last run when he finished third to Her Majesty’s Frontispiece but I feel he can reverse the form on today’s ground with Silvestre de Souza in the plate for Charlie Appleby. The selection is 12/1 at BetVictor and I would be disappointed if he wasn’t open to further improvement.
In the Lillie Langtry Endless Time (2.25) is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time having never got competitive on ground quicker than ideal in the Gold Cup last time. This 1m 6f trip on rain-softened ground going right-handed (four from seven going clockwise) is ideal and at 4/1 with BetVictor she can reward each way support.
I’m not convinced it is a vintage Richmond Stakes and Nebo (3.00) is another each way recommendation with the drop back to six furlongs on ground with plenty of cut considered a positive having been touched off by Gustav Klimt in the Superlative Stakes last time.
Many of the main protagonists are not guaranteed to appreciate the underfoot conditions but the selection impressed when winning his maiden on soft ground at Newbury and may have found the going too quick when disappointing in the Coventry at the Royal meeting. The selection is 7/1 with BetVictor and may have most to fear from his Ascot conqueror Headway who is overlooked with doubts about the suitability of the ground for the William Haggas-trained juvenile.
Mick Channon saddled the winner of the 7f nursery a couple of years ago and Veejay (4.10) is unbeaten in two starts and did win at Salisbury on good to soft ground on debut. The colt looks to have been given a chance by the handicapper and he must go close if handling conditions.
At Stratford, Theo can race from the same mark over fences as when landing his hat-trick over timber last time at Newton Abbot but he is likely to go off a very short price for his chase debut and is reluctantly overlooked.
Pemba (3.10) represents the yard of Fergal O’Brien and ridden by Paddy Brennan who was not at his best when second on Cuirassier Dempire at Perth earlier in the week. The selection will appreciate returning to a left-handed track having jumped out to his left at Ludlow when last seen back in January.
The big betting race of the day is the Galway Hurdle and BetVictor are betting ¼ odds first five and I like the booking of Aidan Coleman for Gordon Elliot’s Timiyan (4.35) despite the fact that he is 10lbs higher than when scoring at Bellestown last month. At 8/1 with BetVictor he is another each way recommendation in what promises to be a cracking renewal of this valuable and ultra-competitive handicap.
At Nottingham this evening Prosecution (3.55) drops back in trip having finished third at Leicester over 12 furlongs last time when he travelled like much the best horse. I would expect jockey Charlie Bennett to make plenty of use of his colt who is well berthed in stall two for one who might want to race prominently.