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GLORIOUS GOODWOOD (THURSDAY – DAY 3) – In Association With TitanBet

14:00 Goodwood We kick off day three with a three year old handicap that seems packed with runners that are probably yet to show their full potential. The favourite looks very promising after making its reappearance and winning at Sandown, the ultra consistent Stargazer looks to be on the up and despite the 9 pound rise in weight should definitely be in the mix. The negative however is the current form of Sir Michael Stoute’s yard and that seems quite worrying even with Ryan Moore booked for the ride but never the less should have enough for place money. Mark Johnston’s love of this meeting after bagging a few winners already this week and he enters four of the sixteen entrants into this race. Of the four I feel the two with the best chances sit at opposite ends of the race card as top weight Ode To Evening and bottom weight Abareeq both have decent chances. Ode To Evening looks to make it two wins on the bounce after a decent effort at Newmarket last time out under the same jockey as today. A very slight drop in trip should be beneficial and a six pound rise shouldn’t be too much to over come however it’s had quite a packed campaign and carrying top weight may be too much to win. The bottom weight Abareeq has been lethal on the all-weather with two wins and a second from three runs on the artificial surface. An improved effort on the turf at Beverley was more encouraging as the horse finally got firmer going. The step up in trip on equally firm ground should be another positive and with little to no weight to carry could be worth backing. Of the remaining runners I feel Frankie could turn his unfortunate luck around with his mount High Shields who is the only horse to hold a course and distance victory to their name. Trainer Roger Charlton has his horses in good form of late and could have another winner here. Abareeq (E/W) High Shields (E/W)

14:35 Goodwood With just the five runners going to post you’d feel it’d be an easy race to figure out but the second race of the day is far from it. Although Waqaas put in a gritty and determined performance to win last time out this looks a step too far and the same looks set to be true of John Gosden’s Ardad. This leaves the three market principles. Earlier in the season I was very high on Mehmas, so much so I tipped it as potential Guineas horse for next year. It beat todays rival Intelligence Cross but that was only by half a length on level weights but now Ballydoyle’s runner has a three pound weight concession and is more than likely going to reverse that result. We then have the odds on favourite Blue Point who absolutely demolished its rivals at Doncaster last time out when winning by a whopping eleven lengths. The form of that race looks pretty weak though and this looks a marked step up in class. That however is not to say the horse will not be able to cope in this sphere. I think the choice is left between Blue Point or Intelligence Cross. The question to answer is wether or not the unbeaten prospect can continue to progress at this level or wether the horse that’s proven in group company can show their dominance. I’m siding with Ballydoyle, they often get a horse ready to rock at big meetings and at the prices I’d say it represents better value. If however, the royal blue silks of Godolphin cross the line in front and does it in style expect Blue Point to be on punters lips for the big three year old races next year. Intelligence Cross (WIN)

15:10 Goodwood Todays big group race is the two mile Goodwood Cup where the market leader comes in the form of Big Orange who returns to the scene of his victory in this race last year and looks to add another victory in this race on to his Prince Of Wales stakes at Newmarket last time out. There’s no doubt the horse is the classiest contender here but I feel that this years renewal looks a bit more competitive than the one he was victorious in in 2015 and although is undoubtedly going to be on the scene come the closing stages may find one or two with their heads in front come the winning line. Noted jumps trainer Gordon Elliot hopes Commissioned can follow up its Royal Ascot success with victory in this Group 2 but this is set to be a massive step up in competition and minor money looks the best it can hope for. Trainer Sir Mark Prescott has his yard on fire and Pallasator looks to continue that run. A previous Group 2 winner certainly has the ability to put his head in front but the awkward thing about this horse is knowing when it’s going to put its best foot forward. If the seven year old was ultra consistent then it’d be worth backing but in a race of this nature it has far too many questions than answers. Sheikhzayedroad put in a much improved performance over a marathon trip at Ascot last time out and tackling such trips seem to have rejuvenated David Simcock’s horse and could go well but a drop down to two miles may be a slight concern as it may need a severe stamina test nowadays. The other negatived however is that its price is pretty short at around 10/1 and doesn’t represent much in the way of value. Ballydoyle have the youngest horse in the race as Sword Fighter looks to take a huge step up in class to take this. It looks to have the credentials to be one of O’Brien’s top horses however it is unproven on anything close to firm ground and if you add that to the huge step up in competition it could be too much to ask. I think it’s going to be there come the finish but experience may tell in the closing stages. The horse I’m opting for is one of only four that have previous course success and hails from a yard who are really bagging winners. Quest For More finished second in the race last year and has quality course form with a victory and a second placed finish from just two starts at Goodwood. Two encouraging performance this year will improve the six year olds fitness and a step back up to a preferred distance is another positive as the horse looks to go one better in the race this time around. Quest For More (E/W)

15:45 Goodwood We stick with a longer distance race where the favourite looks the one to be with. Pamona recently changed hands and went to the yard of Ralph Beckett where he worked the oracle with the four year old and produced a victory straight off the bat. The horse has some great form as a two year old and if the trainer has finally unlocked the horses true potential I’m not going to bet against the horse continuing to improve. The likely dangers come in the form of Mill Springs, however John Gosden’s yard has been a bit quiet of late and their horses haven’t been in their usual blistering form. Yarrow is another that looks to have a good chance but as with the aforementioned John Gosden the true can be said of Sir Michael Stoute who hasn’t had his horses firing on all cylinders either. Twitch looks to be ultra consistent but unfortunately always finds one or two too good and I feel the same will be true again today. Pamona (WIN)

16:20 Goodwood The fifth race on the card, if betting was anything to go by, looks set to be a three horse race. With the likely challengers coming in the form of Amabilis, Manama and Rhododendron. All three horses represent big time owners and trainers with the betting siding towards number one on the race card Amabilis. A second placed finish in its only run when finishing half a length behind Dabyah. The horse that beat it that day looks a top class performer for John Gosden and would likely be the best form on offer however Aiden O’Brien’s entry Rhododendron looks to have been beaten by a very good filly indeed. The horse that beat Rododendron that day has subsequently been entered into Group 2 and Group 1 races later in the year and looks to be a very promising horse. The Ballydoyle charge is bound to come on for that run and is likely to prefer the firmer conditions however on breeding alone it could suggest she’ll need a step up in time so wether or not seven furlongs is her ideal trip I’m not 100% certain. Manama’s race in which she also placed second looks a weaker contest in comparison to her main market rivals and is probably reflected in her 5/1 price. Of the three she looks the outsider of the trio. Looking elsewhere and it’s a minefield with little to no form to go off. Of the new comers I’d side with Mark Johnston’s Berengaria based on trainer form or Miss Patience based on the horses breeding being out of horses who did well around a mile to ten furlongs. Equally Silver Link and Vrika Bay look overpriced at 50/1 and 40/1 respectively. I must admit any selection in the race is not with a great deal of confidence as a race like this is tough to decipher at the best of times. If pushed to make a selection I feel my slight preference would be for an outside punt on Miss Patience. The likelihood is that Amabilis or Rhododendron take the victory but I’m hoping our risk taking will be rewarded with Peter Chappel-Hyam’s maiden. Miss Patience (E/W)

16:55 Goodwood The penultimate race of the day sees seventeen two year olds takes their step into handicap company in this seven furlong nursery. Mark Johnston has been in good form this week and saddles the first three in the betting and also the top three in terms of weight. The general rule of thumb tends to be go with the top weight in a nursery but Montataire seems to have had a packed campaign and carrying quite a hefty burden against horses that are likely to improve could be too much to handle. Of the three pronged attack from Johnston it’s actually the outsider of the two that I prefer as Bear Valley looks to continue the improvement shown in his win at Epsom last time out. The negative I have however is that Bear Valley’s form has been in much smaller fields and how good that form is, is questionable. Away from Johnston’s horses I think Richard Hannon has a decent few more notably Logi and Geneva Convention. Logi was disappointing last time out but that race was on soft going and it wasn’t to the horses liking at all. A return to firm ground is a plus and the way it rattled home to finish second at Chepstow on its penultimate start indicated that the horse may prefer a step up in trip to todays distance. Geneva Convention shook away any thoughts of its poor opening run at Salisbury by winning a nice looking race at Ascot over todays trip and on good to firm going. Kieran O’Neill keeps the ride and with the form of its winning victory not looking too bad it looks to be a horse on the up with a lot of improvement left. Another horse worth mentioning that may be a bit of an unknown quantity is Jack Garrity’s mount Lady In Question. Ignore the horses last run where things weren’t to suit and a return to the kind of display shown in its maiden win could put this horse in with a chance. Geneva Convention (E/W)

17:30 Goodwood Ending day three with a three year old handicap ran over the minimum fiver furlong trip awaits in what looks to be possibly the most open race of the meeting let alone the day. With such a tough race to cram I’m going to look at a few stats that I can hopefully use to help narrow the field down a little. One quick thing to tick off is wether or not the horse has tasted success over five furlongs before and if they haven’t then I’m afraid they won’t make my cut today. Another statistic I’m going to focus on is wether or not their trainers are in good recent form and I’m eliminating any horses trained by trainers with less than a 15% strike rate over the past fortnight. This in turn eliminates the Ron Harris trained favourite as well as the joint second favourite Kassia and David O’Meara’s Lathom and not to mention the two that Richard Fahey sends into the contest. I am now left with a short list of seven to look through. I am going to eliminate Mark Johnston’s top weight Muhadathat based on the fact that its last three runs have been bitterly disappointing and despite finishing fourth behind Kachy who has subsequently gone on to contest top class group races the horses hasn’t progressed since then and to also carry the burden of top weight seems too big a task. Between the two shorter priced runners Laughton and Olympic Runner my preference is for the Kevin Ryan horse as it seems a more consistent runner and only went up two pounds in the weights for a decent second placed finish at Chester and a less muddling track is bound to be more advantageous. Despite Andrew Balding having the highest winning percentage out of all the trainers represented here over the past two weeks his runner This Is For You may look to have decent form figures on paper but these thirds and second have come in small runner fields and a race of this nature looks to be too much. James Given knows what he’s doing when it comes to sprinters but with nineteen races already under its belt Sign Of The Kodiac has been raced excessively for such a young horse and how much is left in the locker is going to be a lot less compared to some of its rivals that have more scope for improvement. I’m now left with just three horses in the running to get the nod in the form of A Momentofmadness, El Astronaute and Laughton. Charlie Hills runner A Momentofmadness has a 100% strike rate on this kind of surface so the firmer conditions shouldn’t be any difficulty and only sits two pounds higher than its last winning mark. A disappointing run at Newmarket last time out can be ignored as it drops back down to its preferred five furlong trip. A horse that likes to be up near the pace is also a positive at Goodwood and looks one to side with at a decent price. I’m also going to plump for another selection and despite it’s 20/1 price tag I’m going with El Astronaute. Yes it’s true that the horse hasn’t been the most consistent but a second placed finish behind Kachy reads well and a run behind Bowson Fred who has franked that form earlier in the week with a good run here. With De Sousa now back on board a big plus with two seconds from two runs with the champion jockey in the saddle another positive. A chance is taken on the horse having a high draw I’m hoping the fresher ground may help and a good each-way price is worth taking. Laughton obviously didn’t make the cut but equally is expected to be up there come the finish. A Momentofmadness (E/W) El Astronaute (E/W)


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