The first race we take in is a mile-and-a-half handicap at Goodwood where there are currently eight runners set to run.
This race on paper looks somewhat easier compared to the challenges that both Notarised and Sennockian Star have raced in recently. Notarised has previously won over 1m6f this season and won the Old Newton Cup at Haydock on good to soft ground; he looks the pick of the Mark Johnston pair with Sennockian Star having stamina to prove having been well beaten at this trip when he’s tried it on two occasions. Tactically the race on this sort of ground could see horses on the front end take some beating, so with both of them liking to front run then they may prove difficult to peg back.
The three-year-old Scrutinise won well at Thirsk on similar ground over this trip. He is relatively unexposed compared to the others in this race and could prove to be a good opportunity for Ed Dunlop’s runner to double up. His first two career starts came in October last year suggesting he is either a late maturing type or one that prefers cut in the ground. If he can sit handily then he can defy his 6lb rise in the weights.
Sir Mark Prescott’s Alcaeus hasn’t been seen for 439 days when finishing second to Hassle over 1m6f at Ascot. In 2013 he was an improving sort winning six times and has the stamina. He’s won with cut in the ground in that sequence of wins however the absence may be slightly off putting with concerns over his fitness and condition.
Scrutinise (E/W if 9/2+)
We stay at the west Sussex track for a competitive six-furlong handicap.
This race looks well contested but one of these could prove to be very well handicapped, that runner being Milton Bradley’s Divine Call. His recent form figures don’t look inspiring but considering his last win came over course and distance off a 3lb higher mark suggests there is possibly another win in him. When winning he in May he quickened away from the field nicely and won going away. Franny Norton rode that day and gets the leg-up here too. The blinkers are put on the eight-year-old for the first time replacing the visor. The draw in stall 13 isn’t ideal with lower boxes preferred but he should give his running off this mark of 65.
Don’t discount top weight Flying Bear. His last two wins have both been at Chelmsford and Lingfield respectively. He has a very good record here at Goodwood; from his three starts he has one win and two seconds. His win here was the first of his career and as a juvenile he was second to Mecca’s Angel in a Haydock maiden. Gary Mahon takes off 5lb here taking his mark to one that does appeal and after 79-days off the track has been freshened up nicely to give his running from a low draw.
Barbs Princess represents Charles Hills, whose sprinters have excelled this season however this five-year-old hasn’t got too much good form in the book. Her last two wins came in January when winning on the artificial surfaces at Southwell and Wolverhampton, so a return to the all-weather may suit her but she does have a bit of course form with a win her in June 2013.
George Downing, back on Pour La Victoire, with his 3lb claim would give some appeal and ran well on quite soft ground at Brighton finishing second. He has place claims, as does Vincentti, a Brighton winner three starts ago. Henry Candy’s Cape Xenia would ideally want the ground to dry out.
Divine Call (E/W)
Our final selection runs on the polytrack at Kempton in a mile-and-a-half handicap.
George Baker’s Eton Rambler has been very consistent of late and has been unlucky to bump into English Summer on his last two starts. He tends to be running on late, so he’ll be hoping Lisamour and possibly Cranach go forward to set a strong pace. He’s a son of Hard Spun from a Smart Strike dam and both of these sire’s progeny tend to go well on the all-weather surfaces. He is drawn well in stall five, so if Pat Cosgrave can keep him in a good position then he is likely to hit the frame again.
There would seem to be a lack of pace in this race but as mentioned above Lisamour could potentially be the one after making all to win at Nottingham in June, however that was over a shorter trip so has stamina to prove. Cranach has had recent problems after a long lay-off but when winning at Redcar in 2013 was another to make all of the running, so he could go from the front. Again he has stamina to prove at this trip.
Two others at the bottom look fairly interesting. They are the unexposed Clovelly Bay, who has only had four previous runs but showed the best form on handicap debut at Goodwood when finishing second to Dark Amber. His half-sister Mundybash won a Listed race over this distance, so he should stay and is worth watching. The other to mention is Bold Runner, who was a place behind Eton Rambler at Epsom. He is drawn very wide here but Tom Marquand is able to claim a vital 3lb taking his mark down to 68. He has previously won off 69 at Lingfield over two furlongs further, so has extra stamina. Tactically if he can race prominently and use that extra stamina he would be worth a small bet.
Eton Rambler (E/W if 9/2+)