Going Update – Straight Good. Round course Good to Firm, Good in Places
(GoingStick: 8.2 on Saturday at 11:00)
Rails: The running rail from the 6 furlong marker on the lower bend to the Winning Post has been dolled out 6 yards, increasing distances by 12 yards. The top bend has been dolled 3 yards increasing Race distances by 8 yards.
Stalls: Straight course Stand side. Round course inside. Watering: Watering to maintain
WEATHER Light showers late yesterday afternoon dry overnight and this morning. Dry forecast up to Wednesday but maybe a shower or two Wednesday evening. Going/Weather last updated @Mon 25 Jul 7:14am
Don’t forget this is Goodwood and James Pyman revealed last season “Goodwood 2015 % of horses suffering interference. Nassau 67% Thoroughbred Stakes 60% Molecomb 51% Stewards Consolation 41%”. Expect the worst and hope for the best!
2.00 C2 10F Handicap
Mount Logan winning this race last season set this blogger up for a successful Glorious 2015 Festival but this year’s edition looks tough! The Wolferton Handicap form from Royal Ascot is strong and there are two or three improvers further down the weights.
Top five in the weights, Revolutionist, Second Wave, Best of Times, Fire Fighting and Noble Gift were 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot behind Sir Isaac Newton. The winner has since won a G3 at the Curragh and finished 4th in Saturdays G1 King George whilst the fifth, Educate, won the John Smiths Handicap at York! Nothing wrong with that form then! So are there any improvers lower down the handicap?
MUTAMAKKIN (Sir Michael Stoute) 8st 13lb OR96 This gelding had been as low as 14/1 for Fridays big pot Betfred Mile but turns up here in this 10F contest for a fifth of the money. Drawn 1 and Hanagan on board are worrying. If he bounces out I just don’t think this horse will settle and therefore not stay, if Hanagan does take a pull he will need to somehow get a run in the home straight.
Notebook says “$875K son of War Front has been gelded. Here’s what I put in my Craven review “However the real eye-catcher was that man Stoute’s Mutamakkin. He had been off the course for almost a year and has been gelded but was totally outpaced for five furlongs then flew home from the Dip onwards without having much thrown at him. Currently OR92 he is my first name on Ascot Hunt Cup “possibles” list.” That was sixteen days ago and the handicapper has left him on the same mark. I can’t see the extra furlong as being anything but a bonus and you can’t fault the form of Sir Michael Stoute or Paul Hanagan. 8th 9/2JF Travelled found nothing. Proverbial “bounce”? Better ground? Stiff mile? Turned up at Sandown off OR91 in a C2 8F handicap on Good to Firm with Ryan Moore in the saddle. Hamdam-al-Maktoum likes his horses ridden prominently. Moore had this one stone cold last all the way to the 2F pole and then powered home, in the end just winning but with a bit in hand! Has been put up five pounds but if switched off and ridden with balls Mutamakkin can go places. OR96
Readers of my blog #startrackingThursdayJune30th will know I am a keen fan of Mutamakkin who I believe will progress to Group company. However I think he needs to be put to sleep out the back and be brought with a strong late run but I’m not sure Paul Hanagan will ride him like that? Missing the break, like he did at Newmarket, could be a bonus! I’ll put his second run down to the infamous “bounce”, as he had been off for eleven months prior to his seasonal debut, but he really bounced back over the course and distance last time!”
No idea what Paul Hanagan was doing last time out. Horse was keen and didn’t settle, ridden prominently 5th/6th, and then bought to the stands side, the jumps run in, and promptly sunk like a stone through the field!
ERIC THE RED (Kevin Ryan) 9st OR97 Ryan Moore’s booking attracts interest but drawn 14 of 18 won’t help, the horse is probably better with cut in the ground, won off OR85 but beaten off marks in the nineties.
SHAKOPEE (Luca Cumani) 8st 9lbs OR92 The mount of Jamie Spencer for a trainer who not so long back was the man for staying summer handicaps. Cumani put on his website “Kangyu International Racing’s Shakopee was our other winner when he landed a handicap over the extended mile and a quarter at Doncaster last Thursday. Ridden by Jamie Spencer for the first time, what we particularly liked about his performance was the way he quickened to lead approaching the two furlong pole and was able to do so because he settled much better than on his previous two starts this season. We are contemplating running Shakopee at Glorious Goodwood next week and, while it will obviously be a different kettle of fish for him there on a very different track against a most likely bigger field, we hope there is more to come from him now he is back in the winning groove and the prize money on offer is also very attractive.” Lightly raced but a big step up in grade. Drawn 3 he could have the same traffic issues as Mutamakkin.
Conclusion – I think the winner most likely took part in the Wolferton. Mark Johnston has winners at this Festival but is often mob handed in the handicaps and indeed has four here and I’m torn between two of them. Fire Fighting has finished third in both of his previous visits to Goodwood including this race twelve months ago and he is only two pounds higher than his last winning Turf mark however drawn 14 doesn’t help. Late progress wide for a place perhaps. So it has to be Frannie Norton’s mount and recent Newbury winner Storm the Stars. Drawn 6, get out and make every yard? In form, goes on the ground, touch of class, scope for improvement, out of trouble. The horse was with Johnston then went hurdling with limited success with David Pipe but is now back with Johnston. Ran in the G3 Chester Vase as a 3yo and the Triumph Hurdle as a 4yo but I have to warn regular readers he is owned by Roger Brookhouse/Poorhouse!! One star* each way @ 14/1 ¼ 1,2,3,4 with PP.
2.35 G2 7F 2yo Vintage Stakes
Some likeable juvenile sorts compete for this valuable prize. I think Isomer is over-priced considering his form. Second to Cunco on debut and then only beaten by Churchill in the Listed 7F Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and then hacked up at Salisbury despite his saddle slipping. Jamie Spencer rides for Fitri Hay and Andrew Balding.
One star* each way @ 10/1.
3.10 G2 7F Lennox Stakes
Racing UK spoke to Hugo Palmer and then blogged “Hugo Palmer feels both Home Of The Brave and Gifted Master are capable of making their presence felt in the Qatar Lennox Stakes at Goodwood on Tuesday. Home Of The Brave heads into the Group Two contest on a hat-trick following victories at Leicester and Haydock earlier in the campaign and is one of three runners for Godolphin, with the Charlie Hills-trained Dutch Connection and Birchwood from Richard Fahey’s yard also in contention. Gifted Master, who has won six of his 10 starts, is on a retrieval mission after failing to fire in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Palmer said: “They’ll both like the ground and I’ve been happy with both of them in their work. It’s a shame they have to run against each other really. Home Of The Brave is in great form and seven furlongs is his ideal trip, as it is for Gifted Master. We just felt the ground at Ascot was too soft for him (Gifted Master), so hopefully he can bounce back. There’s not a lot between them.” Well this correspondent is a massive Home of the Brave fan, he more and more reminds me of Rock of Gibraltar, and as he owes us nothing he is a two star** win selection @ 9/4 general.
3.45 C2 14F Handicap
I am not sure how many of the fancied runners will enjoy this firmer ground. Fourteen go to post and Mark Johnston sends just the one from Middleham and I think it has every chance. Notarised is only two pounds higher than his last winning mark, will go on the ground and will be ridden prominently by Joe Fanning, ran in this race last year and is a one star* each way selection @ 10/1 general.
4.20 C2 5F Handicap 86-105
Time to put the kettle on. I just can’t make money on these 5F older horse dashes. Three for the placepot, Thesme for Dettori, Shore Step for Channon/SDS and at a bigger price Red Baron, a rare visitor for Eric Alston (one from one in last five seasons).
4.55 C2 6F 2yo Maiden
No idea. How about the Richard Hannon pair of debutantes, Swag and Tesko Fella.
5.30 C3 8F Fillies Handicap 76-95
The five older fillies look susceptible to a 3yo improver. The three for the short list are Quebee from the in-form yard of Clive Cox but has already gone up 12lb and tries C3 for the first time, probable favourite Pure Art for filly specialist Ralph Beckett but I will go for an improving filly Shwaimsa, partly on form but mainly conspiracy theory that trainer Richard Hannon will have this horse spot on and set up for owners Al Shaqab Racing who happen to sponsor this five day festival! Two star** win @ 9/1 with Coral.