Before I get onto the great week of racing ahead I ought to reflect on the King George.
Firstly, it was awful to see Rewilding suffer his catastrophic injury and have to be put down. It never gets easier having to see horses suffer fatal injuries and what a blow to lose a horse with as much ability as him.
Condolences to connections and let's hope by the time you read this Frankie Dettori will have been given the all clear to ride at Goodwood this week after suffering a blow to his knee.
As for the winner, Nathanial is now a 7/1 chance with Sky Bet for the Arc after his great performance. He is improving in leaps and bounds and it's worth noting that it will be unusual if he doesn't get his favoured cut in the ground at Longchamp.
Workforce was apparently struck into coming round the bend at Ascot which could explain why he hung across the track towards the stands side. I would imagine it would have to be a really nasty cut for it to have that much of an impact on him in the heat of the battle and let's hope he is OK. He is now 5/1 to repeat his Arc victory of last year but I can't get excited about him at the moment.
Fiorente set to enhance Stoute's fine Gordon Stakes record
So onto Glorious Goodwood. The meeting, which features five days of top-class flat racing, gets underway on Tuesday.
A couple of horses to watch out for on the opening day are Fiorente who will be the short-priced favourite in the Gordon Stakes. He is popular because he chased home Nathaniel in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. There is also the added bonus that his trainer Sir Michael Stoute has an outstanding record in this race.
I fancy Strong Suit to win the Lennox Stakes for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes. This horse has been rejuvenated by a breathing operation. If running up to form Red Jazz could be his main danger. The Barry Hills stable seem to be back in form and once a stable starts sending out winners again they are to be ignored at your peril.
Duel on the Downs to decide world's greatest racehorse
Of course the race everyone is talking about is the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday - are you in team Frankel or team Canford Cliffs?
It's being billed as the Duel on the Downs with many saying that whichever colt prevails he will be the best horse in the world at the moment.
The bookmakers can barely split them with Sky Bet going 5/6 Frankel and 5/4 Canford. If the race goes to plan Frankel ought to win getting 8lbs from his year older rival, but his style of racing and slightly fragile temperament gives it an element of doubt.
Canford is a bigger, stronger horse with an extra year on his back but Richard Hughes won't be able to sit and wait to pounce on him with Frankel in the field and providing he has Tom Queally's every move tracked he can give him a proper race.
I would dearly love Frankel to keep his unbeaten tag, but something just keeps niggling with me and I'm leaning towards the Canford camp. I could well be proved wrong and I don't necessarily think I'd be getting heavily involved here, but if this race doesn't give you a tingle down your spine then nothing will! It's Canford Cliffs for me.
Drawn towards unlucky Mount Athos for Goodwood Cup
Mount Athos can go well in the Goodwood Cup on Thursday. David Wachman has done well with this horse since taking over the training of him in October where he was sold to Dr Marwan Koukash for 190,000 guineas. He has finished fourth in the Chester Cup (where he had a terrible draw) and in the Old Newton Cup, where he also had a shocking draw and met trouble in running. The step back up to two miles will suit better than the mile and a half last time and he can go well.
Riggins a Golden wager for rookie trainer Walker
On Friday the Golden Mile is the big betting race and Green Destiny is the clear favourite (3/1 with Sky Bet) for this race.
William Haggas trained him to win the John Smith's Cup at York last time out and Adam Beschizza keeps the ride. With just a 3lb penalty he is hard to ignore here and is considered a potential Group horse in the making (which is what he looked like at York). He in fact only carries 2lbs more than he did at York and is 8lbs ahead of the handicapper and the only element of doubt is the drop back to a mile as his best form has come over further and his pedigree suggests that a mile would be a minimum. Given that he is so short I think it's wise to look for some each way value.
A horse that I like the look of to run into a place is Riggins who is a 16/1 shot. He is trained by Luca Cumani's former assistant Ed Walker who won a Listed race at Kempton over a mile with this horse last November. The horse had one run in Dubai over the winter but suffered interference there before reappearing in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot where he was too free over a mile and a quarter and he has been dropped 4lbs by the handicapper for that. With William Buick on board he should be on your short list and would have a great chance if he settles better.
Also watch out for the Hannon/Hughes combination in the Richmond Stakes as they have won this for the past three runnings. They team up with Harbour Watch, who has won both his starts to date including a conditions stakes over this trip at Newmarket last time out.
Snow Fairy readied for Nassau bid by Eclipse prep
On Saturday it's the turn of the fillies and mares in the Nassau Stakes. Misty for Me heads the market at 7/4 with Sky Bet thanks to her win in the Pretty Polly where she beat Midday by 6 lengths (Midday reopposes and is 11/4 joint second fav). It appears that the Nassau trip of a mile and a quarter is her optimum and so long as drying ground isn't against her she can run another massive race.
Midday was turned over at odds on there but the winner was given a superb ride and Midday is in the process of making this race her own with wins in it for the last two years. Snow Fairy is the horse I'm going to take a chance on.
She made her reappearance in the Eclipse at Sandown where she was certainly not disgraced to be beaten by So You Think and Workforce on her first run since December (she finished 4th). At 11/4 she is a fair price given that she is sure to have come on for that run at Sandown and her presence in this Group 1 makes for a top quality contest.
To round things off at Goodwood there is the tricky matter of the Stewards Cup - a 6 furlong handicap. Lee Westwood and Chubby Chandler could have a lucrative month as their Sky Bet Dash winner Hoof It has been installed 6/1 favourite with Sky Bet to win his second big sprint within the space of a week.
Although James Fanshawe's Deacon Blues doesn't run in this race he could have another live contender with Mac's Power (8/1 second favourite).
This horse was eighth behind his stablemate in the Wokingham, but actually came home the best of the stands side group. He then race another solid race in defeat at Newmarket and is likely to pop up at some stage. It's a head scratcher of a race though and you could do worse than backing Mac's Power for a trainer who's having a great run with his sprinters.
Hughes a glorious bet to defend top jockey crown
The top jockey market is always an interesting one and Sky Bet have installed Ryan Moore as their 5/4 favourite ahead of Richard Hughes at 13/8. It's always tough to oppose the Hannon's at Goodwood and for that reason I'm going to go with Hughes as he will get first dibs from that yard.
Tempo just perfect for Mullins' mare to seal Plate glory
The Galway Festival also takes place this week for you jumping fans and it's going to be a fun few days keeping up with both that and Goodwood. The Galway Plate Handicap Chase takes place on Wednesday and Bahrain Storm is one of the leading fancies (he is also entered in the Galway Hurdle on Thursday, but is most likely to run here).
He comes here having won his last two over fences and has only had four starts over the larger obstacles - he looks well weighted though. Majestic Concorde is a horse I like. Dermot Weld trains this horse who hasn't been seen since unseating his rider in the Grand National. Prior to that, he won the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December. He warrants plenty of respect, not least because he is trained by Weld who has a great record at this meeting and in this race.
Blazing Tempo is my selection here for Willie Mullins. She is also relatively lightly raced over fences with two wins from five starts, but was a decent second to Wishfull Thinking at Punchestown in the spring when last seen.
Captain Cee Bee is also dually entered in both the Plate and the Hurdle, but this is his target after getting back to winning ways over hurdles last time out at Tipperary (significant form regards the Galway Hurdle as I'll mention in a moment). He has top weight to carry. So I'm going with Blazing Tempo who only has a light weight to carry in this competitive handicap chase.
The Real Article thrown in at weights for Galway Hurdle
The Galway Handicap Hurdle is Thursday's highlight and The Real Article could be in the news before he even lines up for the race. He finished second to Captain Cee Bee at Tipperary under a hands and heels ride and the race is to be reviewed by the Turf Club this week. It was certainly an eye-catching performance which has seen him raised 18lbs in the handicap. However, that won't come into effect until after Thursday's race which makes him look a very attractive proposition here. Gordon Elliott is always to be respected in races like this and he runs Dirar who you may remember won the Ebor last year. In fact that was the last race he won. He was beaten favourite when finishing third to Overturn in this race 12 months ago.
Canford Cliffs in the Sussex Stakes @ 5/4 with Sky Bet
Blazing Tempo in the Galway Plate
Mount Athos in the Goodwood Cup
The Real Article in the Galway Hurdle
Riggins in the Golden Mile @ 16/1 (each way) with Sky Bet
Snow Fairy in the Nassau Stakes @ 11/4 with Sky Bet
Mac's Power in the Stewards Cup @ 8/1 with Sky Bet
Richard Hughes to be Glorious Goodwood top jockey @ 13/8 with Sky Bet
Post to your View!
Be the first to post a comment on this story