dayFRIDAY 4th August: Bepton
A much better day weather -wise, but the stewards were busy with non-runners and the failure of a number of horses to perform on the ground. In the 6th race, I was staggered that only 3 days had been handed out – but then Novus did win, so in the end all was well.
Sir Mark Prescott dropped into our tent for a chat and we agreed that the quicker the whip rukes are changed the better. My view remains that if a jockey can’t count he should lose the race. I am almost certain that it would only need to happen once.
A delicious Thai dinner in the Hamilton Arms outside Midhurst and a jolly evening catching up with Don Boyd, who is near ready to begin shooting his latest film and his wife Hilary, who writes romantic fiction to make you think. I always feel a little inconsequential when surrounded by real talent.
THURSDAY 3rd August: Chichester
Not a great day yesterday, although the company was marvellous. A bit rough this morning, but I think that is caused by Whispering Death Rose rather than Covid, which is apparently on the rise.
WEDNESDAY 2nd August: Still in Lambourn
According to the BHA website and Racing Post, the going at Goodwood has changed to soft, good to soft in places following 6.8mm of rain overnight. The ground was described as good to soft following the conclusion of racing on Tuesday, but following the expected rainfall, Goodwood clerk of the course Edward Arkell changed the going early on Wednesday morning. He said: “We finished yesterday on good to soft and the updated GoingStick reading that we took after racing gave us 6.9, so it had obviously dried nicely during the day. We had 6.8 millimetres of rain overnight and that has changed the going. It’s now 6.2 on the GoingStick and at the moment it’s overcast and blustery. It’s forecast to stay like that until late morning and then we’ll have sharp showers or slightly longer periods of rain.”
TUESDAY 1st August: Lambourn.
Not a bad first day as can be seen from the highlighted Wins and Places. The tips showed a 19.6 pts profit. Sadly, I was given advice by a horsebox driver’s wife who told me that Teal’s in the first couldn’t be beaten. Like the Marie Celeste he is still out there somewhere – the horse, not the box driver – and I am some squidlets shier than this AM. I had also convinced myself that Soto Sizzler was the wrong price and should be backed at 16s, It was galling that he went off at 20s and ran like he’d been run over by a box driver. All of this just goes to prove that nothing beats the heavy graft of the form. It can be depressing but at the moment we are on form and the lights are shining in the heavens.
I also have to tell you that this morning’s WWC was thrilling, not least because I profited – as I have pointed out to you before – from the Penalties market. Both the China and Danish games had them and I also sold the time of the fourth England/China match goal at 87 minutes. Huzzahs all round and I might treat myself to a sherbert tonight.
I warn you now, I think Wednesday’s races are very tricky and the ground has already played tricks with us today. Be wary – I suspect the market will get it right most of the day.
1:40 pm The Coral Hcap Stks (C2) 5f 4yo+ £60k OR:86-105 (5p WillHill 4p Gen)
LORD RIDDIFORD has won this for the last two years off 87 and 88 coming from an out-of-form 6th and 12th in the preceding races, His record at Goodwood is 1511 – the only other track where he is a “consistent” performer is Chelmsford where he is 1514213U. This year, the handicapper has given him 84! RAASEL has an obvious chance with C&D figures of 112. The neck-second was 12 months ago in the G2 King George Qatar Stakes. I could make a case for DESIGNER, WHENTHEDEALINSDONE, the latter is the one I like at the price. He has C&D form, won at Ascot last September off today’s mark and whilst this has been a poor season so far, and he hated blinkers which are removed today and replaced with the CPs – more importantly the yard in decent form. I am always wary of George Baker’s runners at Goodwood, GET IT, where he always seems to find one to pay for the fizz at his lavish owners’ picnics. NAVELLO is in good form having taken the Epsom Dash LTO at 25/1 by a shd and a neck from Silky Wilkie and Clarendon House who is now a non-runner. Before that, he had a third at Windsor and won at Thirsk. He had CPs on at Epsom and with them back on we can expect another decent run. Buick is in the plate, and he might turn out to be a decent jockey one day.
NAVELLO 2 pts e/w – LORD RIDDIFORD 2 pts e/w
2:15 pm The British EBF 40th Anniversary Maiden Stks (C2) 6f 2yo £60k (4p Skybet – PaddyPowers 3p Gen)
Hughsie had already given HAVANAGREATTIME a wind op before his debut and this is his second run since. He was caught wide at Windsor and I thought was nailed on for a second, but he faded in the close. Gay Kelleway, who has been doing such a good job in Ukrainian equine vet support runs, runs BU SIDRA who was a head and a short head away from a dazzling Brighton debut. The favourite is ARRAY from the Andrew Balding yard. His short price reflects the manner of his second in a Newbury maiden which has seen the well-beaten third from the race come out and win since. He’s a half-brother to three winners notably Maximal (G1 placed over 1m2f in Australia) and is out of a 6f winning half-sister to Frankel. DARROCH for Eve Johnson-Houghton (owned by David Cameron’s father-in-law Viscount Astor) ran like a dog on debut, but the second has gone on to win since with some promise. Of the debs, DORNEY LAKE is decently bred with the soft form on the dam side. But the most interesting of them is Hannon’s A LA NOCHE. The son of Lope De Vega cost 300,000gns as a foal and his 2yos Non-Hcap runners have a 29% strike rate this year – and Hannon won this in 2015 & 2018.
A LA NOCHE 2 pts e/w – DARROCH 2 pts e/w
2:50 pm The Coral Chesterfield Cup Hcap Stks (C2) 1m 1f 197y 4yo+ £100k (6p Skybet – 5p Gen)
Given the Johnstons’ form in this race, you’d think OUTBREAK would be a natural choice, but this looks like a mistake of an entry. His Hunt Cup and Newbury 1m Handicap runs were ordinary and they obviously think he needs a step up rather than a drop to 7f. As always as I cross the hubris threshold, I am reminded of Sam Vestey with whom I was in conversation together with a very pretty girl, who wanted to know what had gone wrong in the previous race. After much chuntering on my behalf, Sam simply said to young Alice, “The fact is Alice, one of us has ridden racehorses and Kneesuop hasn’t”. Thus it is entirely possible that this is the right thing for OUTBREAK. Richard Kingscote rides PARADIAS in this, having won a Sandown handicap two races ago and from which the 2nd, 3rd and 5th all went on to win NTO – one of them LORD PROTECTOR beating him by 5½l. In the same race as PRIDE OF AMERICA’s John Smith’s win LTO, HAUNTED DREAM finished third. He weakened and didn’t have a clear run towards the end but the consensus was that the race was very competitive and the first five home were all capable of winning soon. The William Haggas-trained MILLEBOSC ran Okish in the John Smiths before which he hadn’t run since November. He’s ex-French-trained and his best form was on Soft – hence favouritism perhaps. Sir Mark’s EAGLE’S WAY is relatively unexposed but he did win all four starts of last season’s 10f handicap races and his late seasonal debut suggested all was well with a head 2nd of 11 at Yarmouth 5 days ago. He has won before from a 7-day or less break. Handled good to soft last week and his mark looks OK. Enough – I could bang on about SOTO SIZZLER (Ryan for his dad has fab figures), and William Knight has an old-Shadwell Owen Burrows runner, but WK is not in a purple patch at the moment.
I have just seen SOTO SIZZLER is 16/1 with Bet365 for 5p and the rest of the market is offering 10s. CHECK IT OUT. I have backed it.
HAUNTED DREAM 3½ pts e/w
3:25 pm The Nicholson Gin Vintage Stks (G2) 7f 2yo £175k (4p Skybet – 3p Gen)
IBERIAN is on my trends shortlist, but digging into his Newbury Novice there is nothing to suggest it was anything special. Pretty well everything in has been spanked since. Another former winner is WITNESS STAND, and again there is nothing in the form of that race to get the hairs on the back of one’s neck scratching. By contrast, SOLDIER’S GOLD looks as though he could move onwards and upwards into Black Type territory. He has won his last two starts including an Ascot nursery LTO out where he scored off top weight by 3¼l. He will have improved with his race experience to date and of course, he’ll need to take a significant step but 16/1 is a decent price. Richard Fahey’s GOLDEN MIND, dead-heated for third in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. A half-brother to the yards Group 1 winner Perfect Power, I’m hoping there has been an improvement to be uncovered by Frankie.
GOLDEN MIND 4 pts Win – SOLDIERS GOLD 2 pts e/w
4:00 pm The World Pool Lennox Stks (G2) 7f 3yo+ £180k
In the last 23 years, there has been only one 7yo winner from the 25 horses that ran aged 6yo and over. That removes POGO and 2022 close-neck second and 2021 Winner KINROSS (AL SUHAIL is a non-runner). The trends don’t help much after that but horses with a decent track record on the likely ground are ISAAC SHELBY and HOLGUIN (KINROSS does have solid soft ground form). ISAAC SHELBY was an easy winner of the Greenham on debut and only lost the French Guineras by a short neck. He didn’t get the clearest of passages in the St James Palace Stakes, and might/should/would have finished a lot closer to Paddington. I think this drop to a soft ground 7f will see ISAAC back in the winners’ enclosure. AUDIENCE is 2/2 since wearing a hood and being gelded, and according to his RPR rating is on the upgrade having made all to win a Newmarket G3 a month ago. My only concern is the ground.
ISAAC SHELBY 3 pts Win
4:35 Pm The Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stks (G1) 2m 3yo+ £500k (4p Skybet PaddyP – 3p Gen)
Why not just call this The Stradivarious Stakes? Gold Cup form is always a sensible place to look for possible winners which would point one to COURAGE MON AMI. He held COLTRANE almost under a hands and heels. However, also bear in mind that the more it rains the better it will be for EMILY DICKINSON. I think COURAGE MON AMI will beat COLTRANE – but this likely ground is going to make all the difference. Easier ground could also help ELDAR ELDAROV who would be a big threat if bouncing to his best form. OCEAN WIND has been off for two years recovering from injury so all eyes were on his 3½l 3rd to Yibir in a Sandown Listed LTO. He appears to have retained much of his old ability and those with a long-term memory will remember he ran Stradivarius to a length in the 2021 Sagaro Stakes prior to his injury. On this ground don’t be surprised if he surprises.
EMILY DICKINSON 3 pts Win – OCEAN WIND 1 pt e/w
5:05 pm The Coral Fillies’ Hcap Stks (C3) 1m 3yo+ £35k OR: 76-95 (7p Skybet – 5p Gen)
The trends give us GOOD GRACIOUS – NOVUS – ROYAL DRESS – ROWAYEH – SHE’S HOT the first four of which all handle soft ground. NOVUS also benefits from winning course form. Her Sandown run LTO was a little unlucky after having traffic problems in the final furlong. She steps up to a mile again and looks e/w value, but needs to overcome a top-third draw. ROYAL DRESS has two wins on soft & heavy including at Haydock over 7f LTO. He gets a 6lb hike which looks manageable and every drop of rain helps. This is his 8f debut but he is bred and the stable won this in 2021. SHE’S HOT has no going form but has had wind surgery and gets first-time CPs as well as a nice low draw. I quite fancy BELHAVEN with his claim and soft ground form …. maybe.
NOVUS 3½ pts e/w – ROYAL DRESS 2 pt e/w – BELHAVEN 1½ pts e/w
5:35 pm The World Pool British EBF Fillies’ Hcap Stks (C3) 6f 3yo+ £35k Or::76-95
On current form, Saffie Osborne could ride a fridge to take a race and EXECUTIVE DECISION, who was originally with Jess Harrington, has to be respected. She does tend to run a bit keenly but her seasonal debut in the Holyrood Stakes saw her tank empty at the same time as she ran into traffic. Her next race saw her make her move 2f out and then she started to hang left and kept on. She has a 1lb lower mark than LTO and at least is just racing against her own sex. KITAI looks progressive and 5/2 is a fair favourite’s price. CRAZY LUCK offers value.
EXECUTIVE DECISION 2 pts e/w
1:50 pm The Coral Hcap Stks (C2) 1m 3f 218y 3yo £75k OR: 0-105 (4p Gen)
The Owl called to tell me that his man in Bangkok knows a man who Haggas’ milkman has told that it is almost sure that AMLETO, who won a maiden on Soft at Chester, will win this. He was gelded – AMLETO, not The Owl – after his final start last year and has improved between his races. He put his best effort on that Chester turf debut to win, easing down. He’s a well-bred sort who should stay 1m4f, and he’s the type to win a decent handicap before going up in grade. This is competitive, and AMLETO was backable at 9/2, not 9/4. Leaving him aside for the moment – I also have COOL PARTY on the trends who is way too big at 50/1. The Johnstons have patently been trying to find the right combo of distance, focus and mindset, and now gelded and with a first-time visor and revisiting 12f off 78 (6lb lower than the start of the season), he’s worth a nibble – especially with Our Saff in the plate. I also quite fancy TONY MONTANA from The Gosdens. Ignore his Hampton Court run, which was run too quickly and on the wrong ground. This handicap debut off a reasonable mark might make the difference. Alan King’s WESTERTON will also benefit from stepping up to 12f and should place at around 11/2
TONY MONTANA 3 pts e/w – COOL PARTY 1 p;t e/w
2:25 pm The Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stks (C1) (g3) 7f 3yo+ £100k (6p Skybet – 4p Gen)
Karl Burke’s FAST RESPONSE ran well LTO in an all-age Chester 7f on soft, coming from a long way back to go down by a mere ¾l. She has a better draw here, won’t mind the ground and at 11/2, looks backable. OLIVIA MARALDA was too far back in an ordinary Jersey Stakes and had too much to do managing a bunch 5th place finish with 2l covering the first five. My hope that she is better than that is slightly warmed by her beating Holguin, who has won a Listed since. He was also second in the Listed Surrey Stakes, which OLIVIA MARALDA won, and with her weight allowance and a Kevin Stott keen to avoid making the same mistake again, she has a chance. JUMBLY would love it heavy – and a bog might revive MAGICAL SUNSET’s career.
FAST RESPONSE 5 pts Win –OLIVIA MARALDA 2 pts e/w
3:00 pm The Molecomb Stks (C1) (g3) 5f 2yo £100k (3p Gen)
Historically there have been just 19 runners in the Molecomb whose prep race was in Sandown’s Dragon Stakes LTO. Five have won this, and seven have been placed. That makes KYLIAN a warm order. BIG EVS was second on debut and won the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot a race which has already produced a Listed Deauville winner and a neck second for AOB in a Tipperary Listed. BARNWELL BOY was second on the far-side group in the Windsor Castle coming 11th, and his tongue was lolling, and he was done ½f out. He might threaten either of the first two in the market.
KYLIAN 3 pts Win
3:35 pm The Qatar Sussex Stks (C1) (G1) 1m 3yo+ £1,000k (2p ¼ odds)
It’s probably a No Bet or…
INSPIRAL is PADDINGTON’s main danger, but she has to give the 3yo 4lb, which might be too much. FACTEUR CHEVAL might be the answer. Winning Group form, a neck third in the G1 Prix D’Isphahan, will handle the ground, Let’s be overly clever by way of a change!
PADDINGTON to beat FACTEUR CHEVAL 3 pts SFC – INSPIRAL to beat FACTEUR CHEVAL 1½pts SFC
4:10 pm The British Ebf 40th Anniversary Alice Keppel Fillies’ Conditions Stks (C2)5f 2yo £75k (4p Gen)
My shortlist is COTAI VISION – BEENHAM – DAPPERLING – MAKE IT EASY. Only BEENHAM has identifiable soft ground form
BEENHAM – DAPPERLING Dutch for 6 pts – COTAI VISION 2 pts e/w
4:45 pm The British European Breeders Fund Ebf Fillies’ Hcap Stks (C2) 1m 1f 197y 3yo+ £60k OR: 86-105 (4p Gen)
LA ISLA MUJERES 4 pts Win – ROUSAY 2pts e/w
5:20 pm The World Pool Hcap Stks (c3) 7f 3yo+ £35k OR: 76-95 (6p Skybet 5p Gen)
CLASSIC – DARK THIRTY – URBAN SPRAWL – RHOSCOLYN are all on the shortlist. Given Hannon’s strike rate in this DARK THIRTY is the obvious choice. This is very competitive and wide open.
DARK THIRTY3 pts e/w
1:50 Pm The Coral Kincsem Hcap Stks (c2) 1m 1f 197y 3yo £100k
BALTIC VOYAGER 3 Pts E/W – COVERDALE 2 PTS E/W
2:25 Pm The Markel Richmond Stks (c1) (g2) 6f 2yo £175k
BALLYMOUNT BOY 2 PTS E/W
3:00 Pm The John Pearce Racing Gordon Stks (c1) (g3) 1m 3f 218y 3yo £200k
CHESSPIECE 4 PTS WIN IF 4/1+ – CANBERRA LEGEND 2 PTS E/W.
3:35 Pm The Qatar Nassau Stks (c1) (g1) 1m 1f 197y 3yo+ £600k
The French have the best 3yo this season by some way, and if you can get evens BLUE ROSE CEN looks value.
BLUE ROSE CEN 8 pts Win – 2pt rfc with ABOVE THE CLOUD
4:10 Pm The Jaeger-lecoultre Nursery Hcap Stks (c2) 7f 2yo £60k
MACANUDO 2 PTS E/W
4:45 Pm The Buccellati Hcap Stks (c3) 1m 3yo £35k OR: 71-95
NAVAL ACADEMY 3PTS E/W
5:20 Pm The Tatler British Ebf Maiden Fillies’ Stks (c2) 7f 2yo £60k
CLASSICAL SONG 3 PTS WIN
5:55 Pm The World Pool Hcap Stks (c3) 5f 3yo £35k OR: 76-95
DESPERATE HERO 2 PTS E/W – JM JUNGLE 2 PTS E/W
1:50 pm The Coral Goodwood Hcap Stks (C2) 2m 4f 97y 3yo+ £75k OR: 0-105
MOSTLY SUNNY 2 pts e/w – THE GRAND VISIR 2 pts e/w – The pair with HYDROPLANE and AGGAGIO in a 12×1/4 pt cfc
2:25 pm The Bonhams Thoroughbred Stks (C1) (G3) 1m 3yo £100k
NOSTRUM – DOCKLANDS Too short, NO BET
3:00 pm The Coral Golden Mile (C2 Heritage Hcap) 1m 3yo+ £150k
History suggests a single figure draw is best. RACINGBREAKS RYDER 4 pts e/w – REVICH 2 pts e/w – The pair with OUZO – SONNY LISTON 12 x 1/4 pt cfc
3:35 Pm The King George Qatar Stks (C1) (G2) 5f 3yo+ £300k
EQUILATERAL 2 pts e/w – 1 pt rfc with HIGHFIELD PRINCESS and WHITE LAVENDER
4:10 Pm The L’ Or:marins King’s Plate Glorious Stks (c1) (g3) 1m 3f 218y 4yo+ £100k
HAMISH should win but is too short. MIMIKYU might win but is also too short.
4:45 Pm The Singleton Nursery Hcap Stks (c2) 6f 2yo £60k
STARLUST – LOADED GUN Dutch for 7 pts
5:20 Pm The Coral Hcap Stks (c3) 1m 3f 44y 3yo £35k OR: 71-90
NADER KING – MASTO BASTIE Dutch for 7 pts – RATHGAR 2 pts e/w