Preview for Goodwood festival 2019
Stradivarius (8/11) is bidding to make it three Goodwood Cups in a row as he lines up against some familiar faces on Tuesday. He looked as good as ever last time out, when winning the Ascot Gold Cup (2m4f) by a comfortable length, with his two main rivals in this market behind him that day (Cross Counter, Dee Ex Bee).
Both Dee Ex Bee (5/1) and Cross Counter (7/2) have won their last two starts at this trip, and although the former has some excellent form in the book including second in last year’s Epsom Derby (1m4f), it is Cross Counter that appeals most of the two.
The Godolphin colt had a successful end to last season, winning the Melbourne Cup (2m) in November and backing it up with victory in the Dubai gold cup (2m) in March. His fourth place finish at Royal Ascot can be improved on here when factoring in a more suitable trip, and the presumption that James Doyle left him with far too much work to do that day.
Two to consider that didn’t oppose at Ascot are the Queens’s Vase winner Dashing Willoughby (16/1), who seems to prefer some cut in the ground, and the O’Brien trained Southern France (16/1) who is talented but may not have found his ideal trip yet.
For those who fancy Stradivarius, take him to win by under 1.75 lengths in the distance betting market at 9/4, as he often seems to do just enough to win in these big races.
Selection: Cross Counter (7/2 Toals)
Also on Tuesday, there’s a vintage renewal of the Vintage Stakes for two year olds over 7f. Pinatubo (13/8) and Lope y Fernandez (5/1) locked horns in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, with the former scoring a decisive victory. It’s unlikely that form will be reversed, but one to consider is the Mark Johnston trained Visinari (11/4), who disappointed slightly in the July Stakes but is still a very interesting runner with Dettori on board. Winning distance betting is available for Pinatubo fans, with the line set at 1.5 lengths.
The mile division lights up Wednesday’s card with the clash of the classic generation’s colts and their older counterparts for the first time at group 1 level this season.
The three year old challenge revolves around Too Darn hot’s (6/5) chances. The Gosden trained colt has followed up a wonderful two year old campaign with underwhelming defeats in the Irish 2000 guineas (1m) and the St James Palace stakes (1m) at Ascot. Victory in the Prix Jean Prat (7f) at Deauville has restored faith in some of his followers, but that race looked weak and there are still serious questions about his development over the winter and whether he can stay a strongly run mile. It should be noted however that potentially top class stablemate King of Comedy is swerving this assignment, so the path is being left as clear as possible for Too Darn Hot, if he is good enough to take advantage of it. The easy mile at Goodwood will also help his chances as he tries to get his summer back on track.
Next in the market is the Aidan O’Brien trained Circus Maximus (9/4). He has been supplemented for this, as he was last time out when winning the St. James Palace stakes at Ascot. His success that day was in large part due to an excellent tactical ride by Ryan Moore. He is not certain to get the run of the race this time, and his ideal trip is probably over further.
Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix of Spain (11/2) is looking to bounce back from his disappointing run in the St James’ Palace last time out. His win at the Curragh perhaps looked more impressive than it was, when getting the run of the race and 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia returning lame. However, a replication of that performance would likely guarantee a bold showing here.
The older milers look like an average lot, with any one of a half dozen capable of beating the others on a good day. They are perhaps best represented here by the David O’Meara trained Lord Glitters (10/1). He won the Queen Anne (1m) at Ascot last time out, but was prevously seen in the Lockinge Stakes (1m) at Newbury, where he finished all but last.
Selection: Phoenix of Spain (11/2 Toals)
The highlight on Thursday’s card is the Group 1 Nassau stakes for fillies and mares. O’Brien and Moore have combined to win two of the last three runnings and combine here again with dual Guineas winner Hermosa (9/4). The filly was superb in her first outing of the year at Newmarket and followed it up with arguably an even better performance at the Curragh. Disappointing last time out when only second in the Coronation stakes (1m) at Ascot. The Galileo filly is uncomplicated though and looks sure to be suited by the step up in trip.
Her main market rival is Frankel filly Mehdaayih (7/2), who looked an exceptional prospect when winning the Chester Oaks (1m3f) earlier in the year. She got very unlucky in the Oaks when badly hampered in the home straight. However,she followed that up with success in the group 2 Prix de Malleret (1m4f) and is a big player here.
Maqsad (6/1) for William Haggas is an interesting runner too. She didn’t seem to stay the Oaks distance but has won over this trip in the Pretty Polly Stakes (1m2f) this year and is entitled to take her chance here.
Suggestion: Mehdaayih (7/2)
A fascinating runner on Thursday is Constantinople (3/1) for Aidan O’Brien. He looked like he had done enough at Ascot in the King George V (1m4f) when just beaten by stablemate South Pacific, who reopposes here. Take Constantinople to reverse that form and stamp his undoubted class over this average field.
Suggestion: Constantinople 3/1
Superstar sprinter Baatash (1/3) aims to win this for a third time after just being headed by Blue Point in the King’s Stand (5f) last time out. Talented but volatile, he should win if he keeps his composure in the preliminaries. One who could capitalise on an under par performance from the favourite might be Sergei Prokofiev (10/1). He has been expensive to follow but is good enough to win a big race at some point this summer.
Across the week treble: Stradivarious, Too Darn Hot and Baatash all to win – 4/1