There are few better places you could be than Goodwood this week and their Glorious festival gets underway on Tuesday. This year’s meeting sees some of the biggest equine superstars on the planet strut their stuff and the highlight on Day 1 is the Group 2 Goodwood Cup where Royal Ascot hero Big Orange is the main attraction. Below are my thoughts on Day 1 with plenty of generously priced each way fancies.
|It could be a good day at Goodwood for Oisin Murphy.
The ground is currently described as good to soft at Goodwood and with showers forecast throughout the week an ability to handle an ease will be paramount. The opening 10f handicap at 13.50 looks a very competitive race and one that could outrun his odds off a light weight is the Ed Dunlop trained Dark Red. This 5yo son of Dark Angel comes here on the back of a super effort at Newmarket (10f gd/sft) off 92 when beaten less than a length and he races off the same mark here.
Oisin Murphy takes over from the inexperienced Antonio Fresu in the plate and that has to be seen as a big plus. Dark Red has already run well at Goodwood before so his ability to handle the track is not in question and soft ground should pose no problems either. Dunlop has had 3 winners in the past fortnight so his string is in fine fettle and I think Dark Red could reward each way support at odds of 20/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: DARK RED E/W @ 20/1
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Big Orange is the hardened fav for this race and if he can reproduce his Royal Ascot run he should be hard to beat. However, he had a very hard race that day and he will be racing on different ground here so it makes sense to look for a bit of each way value at a bigger price. The horse that fits the bill for me is the David Simcock trained Sheikhzayedroad and he could well put it up to the fav on this ground.
He was well behind Big Orange at Ascot on good to firm, but the surface at Goodwood will be a lot more to his liking. He has run well on 2 of his 3 visits to Goodwood and he was a fine 3rd behind Big Orange in this contest last year. He was only 1.5L behind the winner and on this easier surface he could close the gap. Martin Harley has form figures of 18331136 on Sheikzayedroad and hopefully he can enhance his fine record at odds of 12/1 on Tuesday.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: SHEIKHZAYEDROAD E/W @ 12/1
No bet for me in this race, one to watch for future stars.
Another wide open handicap and the one I like at a nice price is the bottom weight Pettochside. John Bridger’s 8yo son of Refuse To Bend absolutely loves it around here and though he is a pound wrong at the weights Holly Doyle’s 3lb claim helps. He comes here on the back of a super effort at Ascot (5f gd/sft) behind the very well handicapped Jack Dexter and he has conditions in his favour here.
Pettochside is best with an ease in the ground and of his 9 career wins 6 have come on an easy surface. He has an outstanding record at Goodwood, producing form figures of 2811213232 on his 10 visits to the track. He was beaten by just half a length here back in June (5F gd/sft), he is effectively just a pound above his last winning mark and at odds of 16/1 he looks worth supporting each way for small stakes.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: PETTOCHSHIDE E/W @ 16/1
A wide open fillies’ handicap closes the card on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood and the one we like at a decent price is the David Simcock trained Soul Silver. This daughter of Dragon Pulse has displayed a clear preference for soft underfoot conditions and she relished the easy ground at Newbury last time when taking a class 2 handicap by 0.75L.
She won that race off a mark of 88 and she has to race off 4lb higher here, but this is a class 3 and she could probably have won by more last time. Her two runs on easy ground have been the best of her career, her win last time and a 5L defeat on good to soft in a Listed heat at Newbury last season. Once the ground doesn’t dry out too much I think she will run well and at odds of 12/1 she is the each way pick.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: SOUL SILVER E/W @ 12/1