This is our favourite flat carnival of the year.
If the weather stays good the racing will be wonderful and the day 1 card could be the best of the 4 days with a fabulous Juddmonte International Field of 12 runners fro whom most could have a case made.
We have plenty of angles in to this meeting so lets get punting.
1:55 Symphony Group Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 5f89y CH4
This has only been run for 7 years and in that time no favourite has won the race. Its going to be tough to know what side of the course you need to be but when the ground is quick it doesn’t really matter so our short list includes Line of Reason for Paul Midgley, whose horses have been late coming to hand but this one hinted at a return last time out and looks feasibly weighted, Medicean Man who at 10yo wouldn’t be the oldest to have won this race. Harry Hurricane who is at the other end of his sprinting career and may have a big future ahead of him, Ninjago who certainly has one of these in him, Lexingtom Abbey who has run well in defeat and Duke of Firenze who seems to be enjoying life with David Griffiths a name who keeps producing winners big time sprint winners. That’s the winner in there somewhere, which one? We will have two against the field. Duke of Firenze who loves it here and looked back in nick last time out and Lexington Abbey who deserves one of these
2:30 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 7f CH4
Not the biggest of fields in this race but nonetheless still a puzzle. Best of Days after 1 run, 1 win in a Sandown Maiden looks to have big aspirations and this could be a stepping stone. Courage Under Fire ran well behind Guineas favourite Caravaggio in Ireland but was still beaten 4 lengths, with 7f expected to suit more in this race than 6f on that day. We get an idea of how good the guineas favourite might be in this race. They paid £450,000 for Lockheed and his trainer William Haggas has won this twice in the last 10 years so he knows what is required to win it and finally Mark Johnston’s Bear Valley who won by 4l last time out and couldn’t have looked more impressive at Goodwood. He isn’t the favourite and that surprises us but we are with “The Bear”
3:05 Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 1m4f CH4
This is not the best or most competitive renewal of this race but as a betting medium we are quite excited about it. Idaho pushed Harzand hard in their recent meeting and showed why he is going to be hard to beat and we simply don’t think anything else in this race is capable of running to that mark on what we have seen. Across the Stars is a bit of an unknown but he has to improve nearly a stone to match Idaho’s latest effort and the other two Aiden O’Brien horses are 2nd and 3rd in the pecking order on what we have seen. I think we need to get stuck in now and make sure we get this price
3:40 Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Cl1 1m2f88y
What a cracking race. Of the 12 runners I could make a decent case for nine of them but after closer inspection it gets easier. 3yo’s have won this 4 times in the last 10 years, 4yo’s 5 times and one 6 year old. For Postponed to win he would be the first 5yo. I don’t think that’s significant he might simply be the best 5yo that has run in this race. After all a lot don’t run after 4 do they. He certainly sets the standard. A standard that if at his best only one horse can beat and that is Hawkbill. He has the legs of the other younger horses and he gets a handy weight allowance for a horse who just looks bigger and stronger every time he races.
4:20 Fine Equinity Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 2m88y
This two miler comes with a wealth warning as it hasn’t been run a lot of times and we need to look at types capable of dealing with this sort of challenge. My four against the field are Nakeeta who has run some big races this year, Botany Bay who has the services of Frankie and looks like he was set up for this race, Oceane who could have a big future over this trip and perhaps not further and Sweet Selection who bids to make it a four timer and five wins from 7 races.
4:55 Betway Stakes (Nursery Handicap) Cl2 6f
A notoriously difficult race to finish day 1, with four horses taking the eye. Naafer who is a courser and distance winner and clearly didnt enjoy Goodwood and is a lot better than that. Nautical Haven who also didnt like the tight turns of Chester – none of that to contend with here, Storm Cry who won well last time out at Ripon and The Wagon Wheel for whom Richard Fahey must think this mark is workable to pitch him in deep after a debut win in a 12 runner maiden at Beverley when he was very obviously green but will have come on for that run. We need to back two in this race
1 unit e/w The Wagon Wheel @ 7/1 with Skybet