Well our luck finally ran out today. A couple of close seconds but overall not a good day.
This time last year my only selection on the Saturday won the Stewards Cup at 20/1 so that will be a hard act to follow.
This time around I have had 3 horses in mind for the race for some time. Hoof It has always been highly thought of by connection as rather better than a handicapper. He won in impressive fashion at York recently and although he has never run at Goodwood before he looks a serious contender. Mac’s Power won 3 times last season but has gone up in the weights since then. One concern might be the ground as he probably wouldn’t want it too firm. Victoire de Lyphar was only beaten a head in a competitive handicap on his only previous run at the Sussex Track and his two runs so far this season should have put him spot on for this. He handles the ground has good form in big field handicaps. I quite like all 3 but if pushed for a single selection it would be Victoire de Lyphar.
In the first race I am going for a couple of big priced horses each way in Secret Witness and Courageous.
In the 2.35 Harlestone Times might be worth a go as he has won twice at Goodwood.
Another one that has proven track form is Midday who is slightly preferred to Snow Fairy in the 3.10.
The 4.55 looks a difficult puzzle to solve. Avon Pearl comes into the race on the back of a win at Chepstow and should give us a run for our money.
My main hope at Newmarket is Sluggsy Morant in the 4.55 where trip and going are in his favour.
In the 5.50 Bravo Echo and Beat the Bell are worth considering.
At Doncaster Bourne is a course and distance winner in the 3.55 and on his last run was second in a competitive handicap at Haydock.
Today’s picture is by courtesy of the artist Jo Stockdale.
Our good run continues with 2 wins from 4 selections, at 4/1 and 11/2.
I started off with a list of 3 for the 2.00 at Goodwood tomorrow. Distant Memories will not have his ideal conditions which leaves Redwood and Harris Tweed. It is tempting to go for the latter with his trainer in such good form lately but the fact that Redwood has won at Goodwood before, this race last year in fact, just sways me in his favour. He should also like the drying ground.
The lightly raced Western Aristocrat was finishing well when third to subsequent winner Strong Suit on his last start and the extra furlong of the 2.35 should be in his favour. He handles the ground and looks to have a good chance. He is the selection.
I have been following Sagramor this season with some success and I will stick with him in the 3.10 although Green Destiny is clearly a threat.
I have a couple of selections away from Goodwood, Avon Lady in the 7.30 at Newmarket and Spinatrix in the 5.45 up at Thirsk.
Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Ruth Buchanan.
After day two at Goodwod we are still in front despite getting the “dual on the downs” wrong!
There are plenty in with chances in the 2.15 tomorrow. Belgian Bill has been running consistently and is entitled to go close. He possibly just ahs a pound or two too much weight to win this though. Sagramor has been in great form over a mile but is untried at this longer distance. The only time he has finished out of the first two in his career thus far was at Goodwood. Oceanway hasn’t done much wrong this season and is another in with chances. Fulgur won at Newmarket earlier this month with Labarinto back in 3rd. Labarainto now has a pull at the weights. Labarinto was possibly a little unlucky that day and although there is a school of thought that distrusts “unlucky” losers I am going to burden him with my selection.
Fox Hunt has done well for me this season and although upped in class in the 3.15 I will stick with him each way.
Field of Miracles could be the one to beat the favourite in the 3.45.
At Nottingham there are good reports about the unraced Pussycat Dream.
Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Lisa Miller.
It is always hard to find winners at Goodwood but we did Ok today thanks to Namibian (7/1) and Strong Suit (5/2). With Modun only beaten a neck I was fairly satisfied with day 1 at Glorious Goodwood.
The highlight tomorrow is the eagerly awaited clash between Frankel and Canford Cliffs. At the current odds I would go with Canford Cliffs whose has both the tactical speed and finishing kick needed in this sort of small field race.
Sadler’s Risk was 3rd at Chester in a race that has worked out really well. The stable had a winner today and the horse seems to have plenty going for him in the 3.45. Recent Salisbury winner Whiplash Willie is the other one I like.
In the 4.20 I fancy an outsider, Ice Missile who showed some encouraging signs on his debut and is well bred.
Away from Goodwood my best bet is in the 8.35 at Sandown with Mungo Park.
My thanks to the artist Sue Malkin for today’s picture.
Goodwood’s 2.00 is a tricky 18 runner handicap. I have a shortlist of 3. Forte Dei Marmi is a course winner who enjoyed a very successful 2010 but is yet to recapture that form. He would go close if back to his best. His last 4 wins have come on good to firm ground. Modun is lightly raced and comes here in form having finished runner up in the Magnet Cup at York. Our Joe Mac has been placed on his last two outings. Rain would help his cause. The percentage call here is probably Modun.
The 2.35 features 3 horses that I have been following all season with varying levels of success, Namibian, Well Sharp and Hunters Light. Namibian stays further than this and on the basis that his talented jockey will make use of that asset he is my each way choice.
Strong Suit has been running well and should go close in the 3.10 while in the 4.20 there is a good word for the unraced Warcrown.
The last two races on the card look very open affairs. You could try Marajaa (4.50) and Boogie Waltzer (5.25) who are both course and distance winners.
Today’s picture is by kind permission of the artist Sarah Aspinall.
Dumbarton in the 8.10 at Windsor is the only selection tomorrow.
Selections for Sunday
Ascot 2.50 King Ferdinand
Pontefract 3.15 Hot Spice
5.00 Nordic Sky
We had a good win with Mariachi Man the other week. He runs again in the 3.15 at Ascot tomorrow and has an each way chance as long as there is cut in the ground as he does seem to need soft going.
The 3.50 is a tricky spring handicap. Striking Spirit and Leviathan are my two against the field.
There is a small but high class field for the 4.30. Last season’s Derby hero Workforce is the form pick.
Newmarket next where I am hoping that course and distance winner Taqleed can rediscover last season’s form in the 2.15.
Seel Rock may have been a bit unlucky on his last start and if reproducing his early season form he would be hard to beat in the 3.20.
Deny is proving expensive to follow. He wears blinkers for the first time in the 6.30 at Salisbury and is worth one last chance.
At York the progressive Dominant will hopefully live up to his name in the 3.05 while in the 3.40 top weight Hoof It, twice a course winner, should go close.
Picture courtesy of the artist Jane Dunn.
Another profitable days racing today. Just the one selection tomorrow – the hat trick seeking Oceanway in the 4.30 at Ascot.
Jade is a horse I have been following for a while. She was running on well at the finish when 5th last time out at Newmarket. She will run a decent race at Doncaster tomorrow in the 7.55 but the problem is that she has gone up the weights this season by 4 lbs despite not actually winning. She is probably a little too high in the weights now.
Medaille D’Or has been running with promise and he looks to have a winning opportunity in the 8.40 at Folkestone.
My best bet at Sandown is Junket in the 5.00