Weekend Racing with Goodwood Saturday Preview

The Stewards’ Cup is one of the biggest sprint handicaps of the season and the highlight of the final day of Glorious Goodwood. I’m not convinced it is one of the strongest renewals of this prestigious race, however, and my each way recommendation is the veteran Sir Maximilian (3.40).

The 10-year-old is 40/1 at BetVictor who are paying 5 places, but he will carry the lowest weight in the field with his apprentice jockey Angus Villiers taking off a valuable 7lbs. He showed he was no back number when scoring at Doncaster on his reappearance back in May. Ian Williams’ charge is drawn near the stands’ rail this afternoon and the hope is that he can get a better passage than in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot when he met trouble in running but stayed on well.

In the 1m 6f Handicap King’s Advice has only lost one of his eight starts for Mark Johnston, but he has been raised another 7lbs for scoring at Newmarket last time and he is reluctantly overlooked today. Corgi looked a non-stayer in the Melrose at York last year on his sole previous start at today’s distance although he came from a long way back on that occasion.

My two against the field are Outbox and Proschema (2.25) with marginal preference for Tom Dascombe’s four-year-old who has been running consistently well in top-class handicaps of late. The selection is 9/1 with BetVictor – each way four places – and I would be disappointed if he didn’t run a big race.

Pilaster won the Lillie Langtry Stakes last season as a three-year-old, but she has not yet developed as one would have liked this term. Enbihaar carries a 3lbs penalty for her recent Haydock success and, at the revised terms, I would expect Dramatic Queen to reverse the form.

I favour the 3-year-old fillies, however, and the vote goes to the progressive Ballydoyle filly South Sea Pearl (3.00) who improved to win a listed contest at Leopardstown over today’s 1m 6f trip last time. After just five career starts she is open to further improvement and at 13/2 with BetVictor she is the each way recommendation. Manuel De Vega disappointed at the Curragh last time, but she looked to be crying out for this step up in trip when fourth in the Oaks previously.

In the concluding apprentice handicap, I feel Gifts Of Gold (5.25) can make a winning handicap debut for Saeed bin Suroor and Cieren Fallon. The selection failed to get home over 12f on his first couple of starts but made no mistake back at 10f at Salisbury last time. He drops back a further furlong today but does not look slow and has a good draw in stall five.

At Newmarket the hope is that Mia Diva (2.40) settles better than when runner up at Hamilton last time over the minimum trip when she suggested that a step up to 6f would suit. John Quinn has been among the winners at Glorious Goodwood this week including in these colours – Cobra Eye – and this lightly-raced filly is an each way selection at 6/1 with BetVictor.

It is great to see William Buick back in the saddle – first rides on Friday night – and I hope he can steer the well-bred debutante Amber Island (3.15) to victory in the 7f Novice event. Those with racecourse experience don’t look anything out of the ordinary.

The penultimate day of the Galway Festival and, at the time of writing, Dermot Weld is yet to saddle a winner at the meeting. The trainer has saddled four seconds, however, and the hope is that Time Tunnel (3.35) can go one better in the 1m Maiden than on her last couple of starts. The filly was ridden by Frankie Dettori to finish runner up at Killarney last time with the third well held and she can break her maiden tag at the fourth time of asking.

At Chester on Sunday Sermon (2.00) has been gelded since his last start when runner up over today’s C&D on fast ground. The ground was given as soft on Friday and there are showers forecast on Sunday.

The ground should be ideal for Hereby (3.40) in the extended 12f handicap. This filly is a daughter of Pivotal and won a Goodwood maiden on soft ground on her second start. Reverting to turf and soft ground she doesn’t look over-faced from a mark of 72.

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