We’ve had some bad luck in the past couple of days. But now we know; the ground will be soft on Friday, and yesterday’s racing showed where the better ground is. Blue Rose Cen couldn’t find a gap as all the jockeys poured to the far side rail to deny her a British Group One. But that was yesterday, and today we are back, with four more at Goodwood.
SITTIN’ ON THE DOCK
2:25 – Thoroughbred Stakes (Group Three) – Docklands @ 9/2 (General)
Docklands has been on an upwards trajectory this season. Winning the Brittania at Royal Ascot meant he climbed up the weights again and now finds himself in group company. However, it was over soft ground where he made his biggest impact, winning by six-and-a-half lengths at Ascot in May.
And he won’t mind the sharpness of the Goodwood track, having conquered Kempton and lost by a neck at Haydock as a two-year-old. With Nostrum odds-on, and he has never raced on ground softer than good, he makes perfect sense.
Keep an eye on Jessie Harrington’s Bold Discovery in stall four, as he has performed well at similar levels on soft/heavy ground over in Ireland, and 14/1 (General) looks too big of a price.
WE’VE GONE AWAAL
3:00 – Golden Mile H’cap (Heritage H’cap) – Awaal @ 11/1 (BetVictor, Boylesports)
Simon & Ed Crisford have had a very quiet season, but they’ve a well-handicapped runner here. Awaal has a great record on soft/heavy ground, running in second in the Lincoln in March. He then went on to finish third in his next two British races, and now has a useful claimer on board in Harry Davies. Cheeckpieces are on him for the first time, which will sharpen him up and give him a solid chance, if he can overcome stall 12 and get to the far side in the straight.
David O’Meara has a great record in the Golden Mile, winning two out of the last three. And he is determined to keep that record going with six runners in the race. The one I’m siding with is Bopedro. He’s been racing over seven furlongs in the first half of the season, but steps up to a mile when the ground has got softer. His mark of 100 might not be a winning one, but conditions are suitable for him to be up there at the finish, and a solid each-way chance at 20/1 (Boylesports).
There’s also some chance for Johan, making his seasonal reappearance. It seems the conditions haven’t been ideal for him, and now William Haggas has felt the time is right. Whilst Lattam takes the limelight, Johan could run similar to his 2022 Lincoln win which came off a pound lower than his mark today. 28/1 (William Hill) is a steal of a price.
THE GOODWOOD SPRINT QUEEN
3:35 – King George Qatar Stakes (Group Two) – Highfield Princess @ 10/11 (General)
Highfield Princess is a top quality horse. But she hasn’t been showing it on bare form. But she was unlucky up at York, and both runs at Ascot. The drop down in class will help, and the soft ground won’t be a problem to her. She’s drawn near the pace in stall three, with Ponntos in stall five. With Highfield Princess drawn near towards where the better ground may be, she has fantastic chance to get her first win of the season.
Keep an eye out for Nymphadora, who is improving all the time, and showed her class at Sandown. Soft ground won’t be a problem, and can make a good step up in class and keep improving. 16/1 (BetVictor, BetUK) is a cracking price.
SCOTCH IN SUSSEX
4:10 – L’Ormarins King’s Plate Glorious Stakes (Group Three) – Hamish @ 4/5 (General)
Hamish avoided the clash of the generations last week, and has opted to come here. Which gives him a much better chance, and his ideal conditions. Hopefully it won’t be long before we see him step up to Group Two’s and One’s later this season.
Finishing in behind him, Epictetus has got first time cheeckpieces on, and should relish this lower grade, and softer conditions are good to him, even though he ran a stellar race at York on good-to-firm.
And Epic Poet was a consistent runner in France, before moving to Freddie and Martyn Meade’s. His run at Newbury was a bit of blow out, but could bounce back over a further trip on soft ground and a sharper test at Goodwood.
Those three could make a valuable tricast.
The very best of luck!