The opening day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting was lit up by the superb Stradivarius as he won another Goodwood Cup, and the big races keep on coming at the Sussex track on day two of the meet on Wednesday.
Seven classy operators go to post for the feature race of the day – the Sussex Stakes – and that is very much the headliner on the card, but there is a decent support schedule from which we have two strong fancies.
This 3 year old handicap with 11 runners looks full of progressive types & it will take a good one to land this Class 2 heat over a mile and a half. Carlos Felix won an Ascot handicap by 4 lengths from Celestran but is up 10lbs here whilst Win O’Clock won a small field Leicester handicap over 2 furlongs shorter but should be suited stepping back up in trip. A Star Above is a danger from the foot of the weights under Hollie Doyle having won his last 2.
From a Mark Johnston yard that has won 4 of the last 8 runnings of this, Glenties is the one I want to side with. The selection has raced 4 times this season, the first when 3rd in a Haydock handicap over a mile and a quarter. He finished best of all that day from off the pace & looked in need of this longer trip. It’s pretty easy to ignore his next 2 runs as the tiny fields meant he had to go from the front & that’s clearly not his racing style so it was no surprise to see improvement when stepped up in trip in a bigger field at Windsor last time out. He was held up at the back of the field & actually looked to hold no chance before flying down the outside to win a shade cosily. He was going away at the end & a 4lbs rise looks lenient. Given his yard’s liking for middle distance handicaps at this track, he’s certain to be in the mix at the business end.
Back Glenties (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 7.00 with 888sport BOG (⅕ odds 1-3)
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The final race of the day is a Class 3 handicap over 7 furlongs which sees a maximum field of 20. Society Lion, from the Sir Michael Stoute yard, looks incredibly short in the betting. This 3 year old failed by a neck last time out, is up 5lbs today & has a wide draw to contend with. Arigato, meanwhile, has the inside draw & comes here after finishing 4th in the Bunbury Cup. His draw is a worry in that he might struggle to get a run but, of more concern, is the fact he’s a definite Newmarket specialist & has it all to do away from HQ. Mottrib is somewhat of an unknown stepping into handicap company for the first time whilst Mountain Brave is a massive danger but his draw in 19 tempers enthusiasm.
Toro Strike has outstanding claims, with Oisin Murphy now taking over in the saddle. This 3yo has won 1 from 6 career starts but looks to be progressing run to run. He ran well in a Class 2 nursery here last year when edged out into 3rd, just a length behind the winner. He went from the front there so it was a creditable effort he finished so close in a big field handicap. That was over this trip of 7f but he then went back in trip when finishing 3rd in the valuable Weatherbys at Doncaster on his final 2 year old start. That was over 6f and he came with a good run but looked in need of another furlong. On his one run this year, he was an excellent 5th in the Class 2 Britannia at Royal Ascot, finishing behind the ultra impressive winner Khaloosy. It was a super run on very soft ground & it looked like the mile stretched him. This step back in trip, easier course, better ground & lower grade is all in his favour and, off the same mark, he should go very close now he’s had a 6 week break which sees him come here fresh.
WON – Back Toro Strike (e/w) for a 2/10 stake at 8.00 Skybet BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)