That Glorious Friday Feeling
Yesterday we witnessed a real treat in the Artemis Goodwood Cup as Irish raider Saddler’s Rock stormed past the field and just held off a late challenge from Askar Tau. It was John Oxx’s first Goodwood winner and he also received a complimentary Goodwood Panama for good measure…we love trainers here!
Today we have one of the biggest betting races of the week, The Betfred Mile. Always a hotly contested affair, it should be one of the many highlights we’ll witness at Glorious Goodwood 2012.
2.00: Coutts Glorious Stakes
Gatewood has been one to follow this season, having been victorious in his first three starts. With the step up to 1m 4f expected to suit today, he won’t be far away if he can handle the jump from handicaps to group races. Dandino has been a shadow of himself this season, but he likes the course and has a chance if producing the form he had last season. Songcraft is expected to improve on his second run in four months.has been one to follow this season, having been victorious in his first three starts. With the step up to 1m 4f expected to suit today, he won’t be far away if he can handle the jump from handicaps to group races. has been a shadow of himself this season, but he likes the course and has a chance if producing the form he had last season. is expected to improve on his second run in four months.
2.35: RSA Thoroughbred Stakes
Gregorian sets the standard with two cracking efforts in the St James’s Palace Stakes and the Prix Jean Prat and should be hard to beat now he’s dropped in grade. Aljamaaheer has progressed well and ran well to place in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. That effort could see him play a leading role, and trainer Roger Varian told me: “We think he’ll run well, but he wouldn’t want any more rain, as he likes fast ground.” Stipulate represents connections who are in fine form with three winners at Glorious this year (so far), so can’t be dismissed.
3.10: Betfred Mile
Prince of Johanne took the Royal Hunt Cup in June, and while he didn’t repeat the form next time out, there were excuses and he can’t be left out. Swiftly Done is ideally drawn in stall 1 and has been in good form, so could go well, and Captain Bertie has stepped up this season and should have a squeak at a decent price for Charlie Hills.
3.45 Gordon’s King George Stakes
This is a proper test of a group sprinter. Ortensia represents Australia and although she’s been below par in her last two events, she should be right up there now she’s been dropped in grade and the ground will suit better. Hamish McGonagall hasn’t yet won a pattern race, but he’s getting closer every time and he has a chance of finally breaking his duck. Elusivity put her bad luck behind her by scoring last time out and trainer Brian Meehan told me: “She’d been previously unlucky so it was great to see her win. She’d have a solid chance.”
4.20: Telegraph Nursery
A competitive affair which could be taken by A Certain Romance. This bay colt confirmed her promise when taking a Doncaster maiden last time and should be open to more improvement. Bircham hated the heavy going last time and should be more at home on this sound surface, and Janoub Nibras has taken a couple of all-weather races and is the choice of Richard Hughes now upped to 7f for the first time.
4.50 Oak Tree Stakes
Another fierce renewal of this always fascinating race. The German pair Gracia Directa and Survey are expected to go well. The former looked impressive on his first run in the UK when he took a Group 3 up at York last time, and the latter ran an improved race in Hamburg last time and should have a chance with in-form rider Tom Queally on his back. Gamilati absolutely sluiced up when winning the UAE 1000 Guineas and it would foolish to rule her out.
5.25: Betfred Bonus King Bingo Stakes (Handicap)
Another cavalry charge to end today’s proceedings, and Larwood could go one better than his Ascot race last time. Harry Trotter makes the trip over from Ireland where he has run well in various handicaps, including in a large field at the Curragh in May. Sandfrankskipsgo showed signs of coming back to form with a decent third at Epsom last time and could go even better today.