Royal Ascot, done. July Festival, in the books. It’s time for Glorious Goodwood!
As flat season enters August, hot on the heels of an all-time classic King George VI renewal at Ascot, this week, West Sussex gets its turn in the spotlight.
With five days of action and 37 races on the card, three Group 1 contests are on the slate.
But just where will the money be this week?
Brit Courage – 5/2 Betfred
In the opening day’s main event, the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup takes the spotlight and Courage Mon Ami is the bookies’ favourite.
But only just.
Now unbeaten in four, the 4yo gelding sprung a relative upset to win the Ascot Gold Cup at 15/2, edging Coltrane by just under a length.
The latter was fourth in this contest last year – behind the still absent Kyprios – and the duo lock horns once more over the shorter trip.
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Perhaps the only slight caveat this week for the mount of Frankie Dettori lies in this summer’s unpredictable weather.
Ascot’s turf this past weekend had a little more juice in it, but was still close to good to soft and will likely be for the off on Tuesday.
Courage Mon Ami’s two wins since gelding have both been on firmer ground – including at Goodwood in May.
In conclusion, Coltrane and potentially Eldar Eldarov could push, but this contender should have enough courage, my friend.
Perfect Paddington – 8/15 William Hill
Never mind marmalade sandwiches, it’s been caviar on a plate from the magical Paddington.
The 3yo goes for an astonishing seventh win in-a-row in Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes.
Unbeaten since an Ascot debut last September, Aidan O’Brien’s colt has become the toast of Ballymore.
Such is the calibre of the son of Siyouni, Paddington is no one-trick pony; he’s won in all conditions.
His last outing on the softer turf saw victory in the Coolmore at the Curragh at the start of May, and though amongst stronger company looks the overwhelming favourite.
Indeed, perhaps only Inspiral – Frankie’s other main hope this week – could hold a candle.
The only question now is, just when might his winning streak end?
At 2/5, that is unlikely to be this week; Paddington is poised to make it super seven.
GNashing of teeth – 2/1 BoyleSports
Moving on, Nashwa then looks to become the first horse since Midday to defend the Nassau Stakes.
Storming back to victory in last month’s Falmouth Stakes, Hollie Doyle rode the filly’s first win since that last trip to Goodwood 12 months back.
Fending off Richard Hannon’s whopping 40/1 shot Aristia, rain might be a slight concern for John and Thady Gosden.
However, Nashwa still has a decent record in said conditions, with a win in France last summer.
The youngster’s main challenge looks to come from the unbeaten-in-five Blue Rose Cen.
It is worth considering though, having not run since late June, all five wins for the Irish girl have been on French soil.
And, with the bit between her teeth, we’re anticipating another gutsy outing from Nashwa.
Prancing Princess – 11/8 William Hill
As we complete our look at the big names, is this finally the week Highfield Princess re-asserts her authority?
Lining up in the King George Qatar Stakes, the Yorkshire-based French wonder is yet to win this season, but the effort is there.
Putting on a much-improved showing in this year’s Jubilee Stakes, the Princess was nonetheless forced to watch Khaadem romp to a stunning victory.
Before that, runners-up in the Kings Stand and the Clipper Stakes at York have come this season but so far, the pieces have not quite fallen.
That could be about to change at Goodwood.
Having been third in the 2021 Whispering Oak, her last win came on the soft at the Curragh last September.
Over the same 5f trip, Highfield Princess is currently a full 7pts up in the markets over her rivals.
Following on from a decent weekend at Ascot for Jason Hart, this will surely be the return to winning ways for this glorious mare.