Day four of (not so) Glorious Goodwood with conditions, as predicted, taking a turn for the worse on Wednesday and the ground will still be quite testing for racing this afternoon despite the forecast of a dry sunny day. Once again ITV are showing the first four on the card with the feature race being the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes run over 5F with the fastest mare around Highfield Princess in attendance at 15:35.
Here are my thoughts and selections for that quartet along with their best Glorious Goodwood odds to help beat the bookies.
A big field of eighteen line up for this class 2 Coral Goodwood Handicap run over 2m 4F 97 yards which will be started by a flag rather than stalls. The 2021 winner Calling The Wind arrives in excellent shape having won the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle when last seen and can be involved in the finish although 9-12 in the mud will be quite a bit steadier.
Ian Williams saddles a trio with the best of his three possibly Law Of The Sea who ran a good fourth (beaten 1 3/4L) in the Chester Cup on his only run on soft ground. He has each way chances along with the likes of the lightweight Robert Johnson who’s won five of his last 6 starts all be it in lower grade.
Syd Hosie is better known as a jumps trainer but he seems to have improved Temporize who improved for a step-up in trip at Ascot a week ago when runner-up to Blazeon Five and is officially 2lb well in today. He does have to prove he stays this longer trip, however.
The Irish challenger Tronador has to be given plenty of respect as well, trained by Gordon Elliot he gets weight from most and comes here on the back of a handicap hurdle victory at Bellewstown.
This is a minefield of a race and stakes should be kept to a minimum with many holding claims. I’ll take my chances with Phil Kirby’s Robert Johnson, who’s on a real run at present and handles soft ground well. This extreme trip may bring about further improvement so to small stakes is worth backing each way alongside the top weight Calling The Wind who has won this race before and arrives in fine form.
CALLING THE WIND 1/2 point e/w @ 6/1 with William Hill promo code (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
ROBERT JOHNSON 1/2 point e/w @ 10/1 with William Hill (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
Seven have declared for this intriguing 1M Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes, a Group 3 contest won by the great Baaeed in 2021. The race is for three-year-olds only and features a warm favourite in the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Nostrum.
He could quite easily outclass these having impressed on his re-appearance when a very impressive winner of a listed race at Newmarket in July. A Group 3 winner at two as well as finishing third to Chaldean in the Group 1 Dewhurst he has a bright future but has only run on good fast ground and will have never seen conditions like these today. It would be no shock were he to be pulled out and as a warm favourite offers no value.
The two Irish challengers Bold Discovery and Montesilvano may be inconvenienced by the easy ground and are easily ruled out. Docklands will handle the ground well (6 1/2L Ascot handicap winner on soft) and this may well be his last run on these shores as he’s been sold to race in Australia. He’s smart and could be the value bet here.
The ground won’t be a problem for soft ground Horris Hill winner Knight whilst the Charlie Hills-trained Galeron takes a drop in class having contested Group 1 contests on his last three starts.
The value play here is Harry Eustace’s Docklands who is ridden by his partner Hayley Turner.
DOCKLANDS 1 point win @ 9/2 with Betfred promo code
The day’s big handicap is the 1M Coral Golden Mile Handicap for three year old’s and upwards and we have a maximum field of twenty.
This is one of the big draw races of the season with the last ten year’s winners’ draw positions reading 2, 5, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 9, 5, 13. That said on Wednesday in the 7F Oak Tree Stakes the field swung over to the stands side and that seemed to be the place to be all afternoon.
There is a near 90-degree right-hand turn after a furlong which favours the low-drawn numbers and as long as that still holds with all the rain this week I’ve narrowed the field down to two.
Favourite Lattam, trained by William Haggas is (hopefully) well berthed in stall 3 and loves the mud having won the Irish Lincoln at The Curragh racecourse in March on heavy ground. With Tom Marquand on top, he has plenty in his favour and has to be the one they all have to beat (as long as the usual draw bias plays out).
The other one I like is the Richard Hannon-trained Tacarib Bay, ridden by Sean Levey who ran a blinder at Ascot last Saturday when leading home his far-side group but only finishing 7th overall. He’s back on a winning mark, loves the mud and is drawn in stall 4.
Last year’s first four home are all back to have another go with the David O’Meara pair Orbaan and Blue For You renewing rivalry with third Revich and fourth Ouzo.
The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Awaal has good form in the mud and in first-time cheek pieces can be competitive along with Charlie Hills’s Racingbreaks Ryder who probably didn’t enjoy the fast ground at Royal Ascot last time.
A tricky race with some doubt as to whether the normal draw bias holds up. If it does I’ll dutch Lattam and Tacarib Bay.
LATTAM 1 point win 4/1 with Bet365
TACARIB BAY 1 point e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365 bonus code (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
Eleven speedsters go to post for this Group 2 5F King George Qatar Stakes. The warm favourite is the likely winner John Quinn trained Highfield Princess who is a top sprinter having won three group 1 sprints last season on fast and soft ground. She ran well at Royal Ascot in the two Group One sprints finishing runner-up to Bradsells in the King’s Stand and third in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes to Khaadem. She won’t mind the prevailing ground unlike many of her rivals and it will be a shock were she not to take this.
The two Charlie Hills runners Equality ridden by Ryan Moore and Equilateral ridden by Frankie Dettori may be inconvenienced by soft ground and can be ruled out whilst last year’s runners-up Raasel is not in much form currently.
Andrew Balding’s Nymphadora won’t mind wet conditions and might be the one to chase the favourite home.
HIGHFIELD PRINCESS 2 points win @ 10/11 with BetVictor promo code
All odds are available at the time of writing.