The Duke – Goodwood Day Two

We’ll hone in on two races for the second day of Glorious Goodwood and the first of those is the Group 3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes over a rapid five furlongs.

This is a speed test for two-year-olds and there isn’t a ton of form to go on, so let’s see what we can decipher.

First of all, let’s take a market check and Soldier’s Call heads the field at 5/2 with money about for Richard Spencer’s Rumble Inthejungle (7/2 from 11/2) and Queen Of Bermuda (6/1 from 7/1).

Soldier’s Call tops the betting after a fine effort to win the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. Part of me feels like if you missed the boat that day when he was 12/1 then you could be rowing into one that has had his big run of the season.

It’s not a race that has a tradition of winners going on to victory in the Molecomb either, so I’ll bypass him. (Side note – horses who have been defeated in the Windsor Castle have actually won more often in the Molecomb in recent times).

Rumble Inthejungle finished fourth in the Norfolk Stakes and has some ability based on that run. He was in with a chance before the muscles tired a little in the final hundred yards or so. His pedigree on the dam’s side doesn’t blow me away but funnily enough his sire, Bungle Inthejungle, won this in 2012 so there is a family edge. (And referring to the side note above, Bungle Inthejungle had finished fourth in the Windsor Castle Stakes before winning the Molecomb!)

Queen Of Bermuda failed to live up to the hype at Ascot when defeated by Soldier’s Call and has a lot to prove, while Street Parade has been beating trees in two weak races at Lingfield and Yarmouth but deserves a step up in grade. I think Vintage Brut could go pretty well as the rain has eased the ground a bit at Goodwood. Conditions were maybe too quick when he finished ninth in the Norfolk Stakes and with the jar taken out of the Goodwood track maybe he can go a bit better, so he has each-way claims. Rumble Inthejungle for the win and Vintage Brut each-way.

The big race is the Sussex Stakes and there are two who stand out in the betting by a mile (ironic as that’s the trip for this huge contest) – Without Parole and Expert Eye. Without Parole is unbeaten in four starts including his latest win at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace Stakes. I’m not convinced it was the strongest renewal of that race, so he could be rather short at 7/4. He is progressive so I’m not ruling him out but as a betting prospect he’s hardly inspiring.

The time of the St James’s Palace Stakes was much of a muchness with the Queen Anne Stakes, where Lord Glitters finished a very narrow runner-up to Accidental Agent. Since then Beat The Bank (who was sixth in the Queen Anne) reversed the form and beat Lord Glitters by a neck to win the Summer Mile at Ascot. In both races Lord Glitters ran very well. He’s 14/1. It’s a shame he has to give 7lbs to the 3 year olds as an older horse but that’s the rules and it could hamper his chances. Still, I think he’s overpriced for an each-way bet.

Expert Eye finally delivered on his promise to win the Group 3 Jersey Stakes. That was a great run between horses, so I think he’ll go well at 5/2 as long as he gets into a nice rhythm. Lightning Spear has course and distance form which should never be sniffed at, while Andre Fabre’s Orbaan is the dark horse at 20/1. He could be absolutely anything so don’t say you weren’t warned. Bet wise, I think I’ll take a couple each-way at long odds on the off chance they can upset the applecart – Lord Glitters and Orbaan for me.

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