The Duke – Goodwood Day One

Glorious Goodwood is set amongst some of the most wonderful countryside, with panoramas stretching for miles, although this summer the vistas are a lot drier than in previous years. The rolling green has been transformed into a ruddy yellow, making the speedy sprints go with a whirr.

History and racing go hand-in-hand, particularly in this pretty place on the Duke of Richmond’s estate.

Stradivarius will be looking to strike his own historical note on the opening day, as he looks a very strong favourite for the opening day feature, the Group 1 Goodwood Cup. He won the Ascot Gold Cup in fine fashion and while that form doesn’t always directly transfer to this rather different course, it’s hard to oppose.

Torcedor is respected too having chased home Stradivarius at Ascot. Call To Mind is in The Queen’s famous silks. He’s in good form having won at Belmont in the USA last time and he’s got a squeak having won on his only start at Goodwood last year.

Both the Vintage Stakes and the Lennox Stakes are wide open.

The Vintage Stakes has plenty of juveniles with potential so we won’t dwell too long on it, but Blonde Warrior is a double figure price for a trainer who has won the race before and who has good form after hosing up over this trip at Doncaster last time. Dark Vision is another to note after some good market support this week.

In the Lennox, Here Comes When has some of the best Goodwood form having won the Group 1 Sussex Stakes last year. That was on soft ground though and we’ve got very different conditions this week.

Roger Varian’s colt Emmaus has been winning in lower grades so represents one with potential but he has his own quirks. Suedois loves fast ground as he showed when winning a Grade 1 in America last season. He seems to love tracks which keep him interested and this seven furlongs should do just that so he could run a big race. Of the Godolphin pair, Dutch Connection loves Goodwood but recent form isn’t flattering while D’Bai drops in grade after a reasonable run in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Both could hit the frame.

Tip Two Win is favourite after demonstrating that his runner-up run in the Guineas was no fluke with a fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes. Sir Dancealot was also fourth in a Group 1 last time, in the July Cup at Newmarket.

All in all it’s a real conundrum but I’m quite keen on Suedois to make it happen.

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