Glorious Goodwood is here and day one looks to be a cracker. Following on from the heroics of stablemate Enable, Stradivarius is looking to get one step closer to his second £1MILLION bonus in the Qatar Goodwood Cup. That’s the feature contest but there is plenty more top class action on day one of Glorious Goodwood.
One Mile One Furlong, Class Two
Godolphin are looking to start the day off on a good note with the top two in the weights – Setting Sail and Mountain Hunter. James Doyle rides 104 rated SETTING SAIL. Three from seven, he ran creditably last time behind a smart winner at York after winning at Newmarket in good style. He’s gone up 9lbs but seems a progressive four year old. Mountain Hunter is burdened with the top weight of 9st10 but this Tamarillo gelding has promising apprentice Cieran Fallon on board, taking off 5lbs. He won twice in Meydan over the winter and returned to England with a fifth in the Wolferton Stakes.
Mark Johnston has a good record in this and the yard is flying. His representatives ate Aquarium, who has been badly out of form, and Ventura Knight. Ryan Moore is an interesting booking on the latter. A seven time winner, he’s 2lbs higher than his latest start and has placed over a mile and two before. He’s drawn in the same stall as last year’s winner. Beringer was a short head second at Sandown earlier this month and the son of Sea The Stars is 3lbs higher than the last time he won. He was second over course and distance last August and has Andrea Atzeni on board.
Soto Sizzler nearly made it three from his last three starts at Kempton last time but was a well beaten second to an extremely progressive horse. He’s dropping back to the shortest trip he has ever tackled. He carries the same weight as Bless Him, who showed a good return to form at Windsor last time. He won off 90 in the Britannia Stakes in 2017 and he’s on his closest mark to that since then. Could be some each way value. Johnny Drama is unexposed and has recently moved to Andrew Balding from Ger Lyons. He won at Roscommon by seven lengths in May and then was thirteenth in the Duke Of Edinburgh. Lots more to come. First Sitting has won twice over course and distance, including a Listed race, which was his most recent win. He’s down to 97 from 110 but is now eight.
1st Setting Sail
2nd Soto Sizzler
3rd Belss Him
Qatar Vintage Stakes
Seven Furlongs, Group Two
This looks a really exciting renewal. The form of the two Godolphin runners – Pinatubo and Platinum Star – ties in together as they faced off on debut. They finished first and second respectively. Subsequently, PINATUBO won the Woodcote at the Epsom Derby meeting and the listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot beating 5/4 favourite and hype-horse Lope Y Fernandez. The Aidan O’Brien horse won really strongly on debut and will come on for Ascot. I was there when Platinum Star won easily on his second start at Leicester, beating a subsequent winner and has since then been beaten a half length in the Windsor Castle and a short head second in the July Stakes beating Visinari. Stepping up in trip, I don’t doubt he’ll appreciate it as his older sister won a Listed race over a mile and the dam is a half sister to group one winner Arcano. Definitely has each way claims. Visinari is to be partnered by Frankie Dettori again after they finished third to Royal Lytham and Platinum Star. People were raving about him before that because he was all all-the-way winner on debut but he should be bigger than 11/4.
Positive has been thrown in the deep end after an easy five length win on debut. He’s bred to stay further being out of a one mile four winner. Mystery Power is also putting his unbeaten record on the line after winning on debut and then in the group two Superlative Stakes. He has a 3lbs penalty for that in this and it makes it tougher for him. He’s rated 2lbs higher than his nearest rival though. Milltown Star is most exposed and has won his last two by a combined seven lengths. This looks a bit hot for him.
2nd Mystery Power
3rd Platinum Star
Qatar Lennox Stakes
Seven Furlongs, Group 2
This race is over seven furlongs but for the older horses. There are a few course and distance winners in the line-up including the winners of the last two renewals, Sir Dancealot and Breton Rock. Sir Dancealot won the Hungerford after that but has struggled subsequently. Seven furlongs on good ground is ideal. Breton Rock, on the other hand, would prefer cut in the ground but this gallant nine year old has been beaten a long way since he was third last year. Flaming Spear hasn’t been seen for 251 days and he won a class two here in August last year. He won the listed Hyde Stakes last time but there are more fancied runners like James Tate’s HEY GAMAN. The New Approach colt won the Listed King Richard III Stakes at Leicester beating Donjuan Triumphant and then won a group three at Longchamp. He was second to Romanised in a group two ten days ago and he appears to be a progressive four year old.
The other four year olds are Speak In Colours, Pretty Baby and Zaaki. The former is stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time after winning a Listed race at the Curragh. Pretty Baby is five from eight and won a group three at Lingfield before flopping in the Duke Of Cambridge over a mile. This is a better trip for her but is on a retrieval mission. Zaaki won a listed race and a group three on his first two starts this season. Then he was beaten a nose to the ill-fated Beat The Bank over seven furlongs earlier this month, beating Suedois. Leading contender. Suedois is a model of consistency and was third in the Criterion before that. Space Traveller appears to be a nice type after winning the Jersey Stakes. The only three year old. Donjuan Triumphant has struggled since winning a Listed race last season.
1st Hey Gaman
Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes
Two Miles, Group One
STRADIVARIUS is looking to win this race for the third year in a row and continue on his way to becoming a millionaire for the second time. All the form is there – unbeaten since May 2018; stays this trip; beat Dee Ex Bee and Cross Counter last time at Royal Ascot and beat Southern France in the Yorkshire Cup. He’s rated 2lbs higher than all of his rivals and he has been the dominant force in this division for the past two seasons.
Dee Ex Bee ran in the Epsom Derby 2018 and showed he was a stayer in the making by winning convincingly in the Sagaro Stakes and the Henry II Stakes. I don’t think he quite stayed the trip and will prefer this. The other Farhh colt is Wells Farhh Go. He’s four from seven and in the three races he was never beaten far. He won the Listed Fred Archer Stakes by four lengths last time and is tackling this trip for the first time Stradivarius sometimes hits a flat spot and Cross counter may be the horse to take advantage of this. He’s a classy horse at a mile and a half but is much better at the staying trips having placed in the Melbourne Cup and won the Dubai Gold Cup over two miles. He prefers better ground than what he faced last time out when beaten by Stradivarius at Royal Ascot. Aidan O’Brien’s Southern France has had one experience at this trip in the Cesarewitch when he came seventh. He was third over one mile six last time and isn’t up to this calibre but is Ryan Moore’s choice of rides.
There are three three year olds taking their chance and they get almost a stone from their elders. Aidan O’Brien has two of them – Harpo Marx and South Pacific. The latter won the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot last time and this trip will be new to him. Harpo Marx is only rated 97 and was sixth to the other three year old Dashing Willoughby at Royal Ascot. Andrew Balding’s horse won the Queen’s Vase, staying on, and it was a surprise that he got dropped to a mile and a half next time when he was fourth, not beaten all that far. He’s a stayer in my opinion and I think he will be well-suited to this. He can be the one to get close to Stradivarius.
2nd Dashing Willoughby
3rd Cross Counter
European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden
COBRA EYE – beaten by a more experienced rival on debut and will know more.
Chelsea Barracks Handicap
MUTHMIR – Really classy horse on his day, bean struggling lately and hopefully rekindle some enthusiasm at a course he likes.
Unibet Fillies’ Handicap
SALAYEH – Done most of her racing abroad and came out and ran well on debut for Roger Varian. Will come on for that.