ANOTHER exciting day at Goodwood awaits us. Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) gives us his best bets.
14.00 Goodwood | Channel 4
The opening race of Friday is the Group 3 Betfred Glorious Stakes over 12 furlongs. There are seven runners in this but it looks like a three-horse race to me amongst the first three in the betting.
The Corsican is favourite for this and deservedly so. He was a slightly unlucky fourth in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out and he is a Group 1 horse in a Group 3 here.
The one question mark about him is his stamina; it’s over two furlongs further than he has ever won before but he shapes like a likely stayer to me and there is no obvious pace angle in this, so his stamina may not be fully tested anyway. He has run twice at Goodwood before winning on both occasions and it seems to bring out the best of him.
The Luca Cumani trained Conneticut progressed through handicap races last season without reaching any dizzy heights but returned this season with a 15-length victory in a Pontefract listed race. Now that wasn’t a particularly competitive race, and the second favourite flopped, but he is clearly a horse on the up. With stamina assured, he is a serious rival for The Corsican.
Dubday is something of a legend back in Doha and came across here with a big reputation. Though he’s not set the UK racing scene alight in his two starts, he has shown a good level of form and a fantastic attitude in his races. He chased home Telescopes Shadow at Newbury before going down by a short head to Gospel Choir at Newmarket. He’ll pick up a race of some description soon but maybe not on Friday.
I expect The Corsican (2/1 Betfred) to come out on top here, and I’m going to back him while also having him in straight forecast bets to beat Dubday and Conneticut.
14.35 Goodwood | Channel 4
This is a competitive race and has left me scratching my head a little. There are a few horses in here that haven’t quite lived up to their reputations and I can find more reasons not to back half this field than back them!
Kool Kompanywas one of my favourite juveniles last season but has become a horse without a trip in my opinion and I’m not convinced connections know where to place him. He’s an honest horse but I struggle to see him getting competitive here.
Akabantay was another promising juvenile but since he was tried at Group 1 level he’s stopped progressing. He was only five-lengths behind Gleneagles in the St James Palace but that was a poor renewal bar the winner. Last time in France he was shocking and until I see some of his old spark he’s of no interest either.
Moheet is another disappointing colt. He hacked up in his maiden last season and was first seen in the Craven this year where he started favourite. He came third and looked promising but his form hasn’t picked up. Down the field in the Guineas and the Derby he was never competitive and he’s another in which the yard appear puzzled over their next move.
Latharnach chased home Gleneagles in the St James Palace but as I said earlier I don’t take this form literally. However, in saying that, he still brings very solid form into this but I can’t back him at these odds. He may well win, but I’m taking him on.
This leaves me with Convey. The Sir Michael Stoute yard has been quiet this season, but they may have something to look forward to later in the season with him. A winner of his only outing last season, he won a Kempton maiden in taking fashion. The fact he’s not been seen since is a worry, but he is entered up in the Champion Stakes and the fact his second start is at Group 3 level shows that connections have not lost faith.
I make him more a speculative selection rather than a certain pick, but I see him as the most interesting runner in the field at 7/2 (Ladbrokes).
15.45 Goodwood | Channel 4
The King George Sprint is as competitive as ever and has three former winners in the field in the shape of Moviesta, Kingsgate Native and Take Cover. There are 15 runners and it’s 5/1 the field so if we find the winner, the pints are on the bookies this weekend.
Muthmir is the likely favourite here and is a high-class sprinter. He won a Chantilly Group 2 early in the season and has continued in good form since. Third in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, he then finished down the field in the July Cup. I can forgive him that as he is a five-furlong specialist and he is the horse to beat here.
However, he is conceding upwards of 4lbs to his rivals and in a tight race on a tricky course where trouble is easy to find, I am opposing him.
There are reasons for backing many of these and sprinters seem to share the big pots around so picking the winner of a big field five-furlong Group races is a fine art. With the draw, luck in running and ground conditions all having a huge effect on the result, it’s a race to keep stakes low but there is one I’m backing.
Move In Time (13/2 William Hill) was a shock winner of the Prix De L’Abbaye last season and if you run that race another 10 times you would have seen 10 different results. Regardless, he is a Group 1 winner who avoids a penalty in this and another example of what David O’Meara can do to horses. He has only been seen once since winning at Hamilton in good style and there is reason to believe that there’s more to come from him.
The make up of the race is perfect; he is drawn central so can choose where to race and the ground is no problem. He is a remarkably consistent sprinter (not out of the first two in his last six races) and if he gets the gaps at the right time I can see him adding to his recent wins.
14. 00 Glorious Goodwood – The Corsican (2/1 Betfred)
14. 00 Glorious Goodwood – The Corsican/Dudbay Straight Forecast
14. 00 Glorious Goodwood – The Corsican/Connetticut Straight Forecas
14.35 Glorious Goodwood – Convey (7/2 Ladbrokes)
15.45 Glorious Goodwood – Move In Time (13/2 William Hill)