Glorious Goodwood – Day One Preview

Punters, I hope you don’t mind me calling it Glorious Goodwood this week, but to me and perhaps most of you, that’s what it should be called.

Qatar might have convinced FIFA to award them the World Cup, but they haven’t convinced me to call it the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Although, if any of the lads are reading, I’d dismount from my position faster than Frankie Dettori if there’s any sort of incentive? No? Glorious Goodwood it is then.

Day One. We’ll be concentrating on the big races this week, but the opening handicap is a nice way to start things off.

Ryan Moore is on board Garcia and I think he has a massive chance. He ran really well at York a couple of weeks ago having been off the track since September. That run should have put him spot on for this and I can see him exploiting a favourable mark. Oasis Fantasy was runner-up last year in this race off 5lbs higher, so he’s of interest for each-way punters, as is Eye Of The Storm if he retains ability after more than a year off the track.

The Vintage Stakes is next and I’m not surprised that Expert Eye and Seahenge head the betting. Expert Eye opened his account on debut at Newbury and he’s a nicely bred Juddmonte horse, so could have any amount of improvement in him. However, Sir Michael Stoute’s yard hasn’t exactly been banging in the winners for the past couple of weeks, operating at just a 5% strike-rate, so I’d edge towards Seahenge. He won his Naas maiden very easily and I’ll be disappointed if this son of Scat Daddy doesn’t win.

Keep an eye on Godolphin’s Zaman as an overpriced each-way chance. He ran well in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago and if blinkers bring about improvement he shouldn’t be a 12/1 chance.

Great looking race next up, the Lennox Stakes. Dutch Connection won the race last year but he needs quick ground. Librisa Breeze ran pretty well at Royal Ascot and this trip could bring out the best in him. Dream Castle remains with potential and it would not surprise me to see him in the mix.

On to the picks, starting with an each-way option. Aclaim is around 12/1, has Frankie Dettori in the saddle, is 2-2 over 7f and could take advantage of a low draw. For win only, Limato. He was beaten a length in the Diamond Jubilee and just over a length in the July Cup. That’s top level form in Group 1s and he can justify patient supporters with a win here.

The Goodwood Cup is the feature race. Watch out for any money for US Army Ranger here. The headgear intrigues me and the connections even more so.

Stradivarius clearly possesses some talent but the trainer has an eye on the St Leger later in the season with him, so this could be a run for added experience. Wicklow Brave is a marvellous dual-purpose horse, having placed in plenty of Group and Grade 1s, including wins in the Irish St Leger and the Punchestown Champion Hurdle. He’s no forlorn hope, but Big Orange is the class beast in the line-up. The Ascot Gold Cup winner has won this race for the last two years and he can make it the hat-trick.


1.50pm Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap 1m 1f 197y 4yo+ £50,000

Race odds: Garcia (5), Khairaat (15/2), Uae Prince (15/2), Murad Khan (10), Abdon (11), Eddystone Rock (12), Oasis Fantasy (12), What About Carlo (16), Speed Company (18), Baydar (20), Dark Red (20), Fabricate (25), Eye of The Storm (28), Thair (28), Bravery (33), Noble Gift (33)
The Duke’s pick: Garcia

2.25pm Qatar Vintage Stakes (G2) 7f 2yo £200,000

Race odds: Expert Eye (9/4), Seahenge (5/2), Mildenberger (11/2), Zaman (11), James Garfield (12), Cold Stare (14), Curiosity (18), Sallab (25), Watheer (28), Roland Rocks (50), Finsbury Park (100)
The Duke’s pick: Seahenge WIN, Zaman each-way

3.00pm Qatar Lennox Stakes (G2) 7f 3yo+ £300,000

Race odds: Limato (3), Librisa Breeze (4), Spirit of Valor (15/2), Home Of The Brave (8), Aclaim (11), Dream Castle (11), Dutch Connection (12), Jungle Cat (25), Stormy Antarctic (28), Oh This Is Us (33), Suedois (33)
Breton Rock (40), Jallota (40), So Beloved (40)
The Duke’s pick: Limato WIN, Aclaim each-way

3.35pm Qatar Goodwood Cup (G1) (British Champions Series) 2m 3yo+ £500,000

Race odds: Big Orange (10/11), Sheikhzayedroad (10), Stradivarius (10), Us Army Ranger (11), Higher Power (16), Wicklow Brave (18), Pallasator (20), Prince Of Arran (25), Qewy (25), Desert Skyline (33), She Is No Lady (33), Sweet Selection (40), Oriental Fox (50), High Jinx (66)
The Duke’s pick: Big Orange

4.10pm Irish Thoroughbred Marketing EBF Maiden 6f 2yo £25,000

Race odds: Tribal Quest (5/2), Rebel Streak (9/2), Oliver Reed (6), Algam (15/2), Princely (9), Lake Volta (11), Bombastic (12), Alrahaal (14), Makambe (20), George (22), Baghdad (28), Hell of A Band (40), The Great Dandini (40), Thechildrenstrust (66)
The Duke’s pick: Lake Volta

4.45pm New And Lingwood Handicap (86-105) 5f 4yo+ £30,000

Race odds: Atletico (9/2), Vibrant Chords (6), Boom The Groom (7), Dark Shot (8), A Momentofmadness (9), Love On The Rocks (10), Confessional (14), Harry Hurricane (14), Line Of Reason (14), Pettochside (16), Green Door (20), Kasbah (22), Poyle Vinnie (25), El Astronaute (28), Union Rose (33)
The Duke’s pick: Dark Shot

5.15pm Smarter Bets With Matchbook Betting Exchange Fillies’ Handicap (76-95) 1m 3yo+ £25,000

Race odds: Tribute Act (9/4), Pretty Asset (4), Amabilis (5), Ghadaayer (8), Sayem (10), Shenanigans (12), Soul Silver (14), Lincoln Rocks (16), Al Nafoorah (20), Hadeeqa (28), Angels Quest (33), Darkroom Angel (40), Queensbrydge (50)
The Duke’s pick: Amabilis

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