The Glorious Goodwood festival felt like a bit of a damp squib last year when the pandemic forced it to be held behind closed doors but there is no such issue with the meeting this year as crowds are back at the Sussex venue to make it much more like the summer showpiece we know and love.
We have a good card to start the meeting with the headline race on the schedule being the Goodwood Cup where the great Stradivarius is on show once again. We’ve gone through the card and picked out a couple of bets.
The start of the 5-day Glorious Goodwood meeting sees a field of 17 contesting a mile and a quarter Class 2 handicap where 109-rated Bell Rock heads the weights. The favourite is the David Menusier trained 5-year old Migration who missed the whole of 2020 & has had just the one start this year when a slightly unlucky 4th of 12 at Salisbury. He’s been put up 1lb for that run & does have to prove he can be effective second time up in a much more competitive event. Maydanny won this race last year in fine style but is almost a stone higher this time around. I’m not sure he’ll get an easy time of it up front & he’s yet to prove he relishes this soft ground. Caradoc’s chances may have gone with the rain whilst last year’s 2nd Sky Defender has been running poorly. Johnny Drama is one capable of running into the frame.
Last year’s Cambridgeshire winner Majestic Dawn is the one I like. He has the inside draw but his prominent racing style should make that an advantageous stall & this 5-year is still lightly raced and should still have improvement, meaning he could be capable of defying this mark. He absolutely bolted up in the Cambridgeshire by almost 5 lengths, seeing off 26 rivals in fine style. He’s up 11lbs for that run but he won so easily that he should be able to defy that rise. In addition, the ground is soft here & he’s a better horse with juice in the ground so there’s sure to be more to come. He’s probably best when fresh so the fact he’s only raced once this year is yet another positive & on his reappearance, he ran well off this mark with 10 stone on his back, finished 3rd in a 9 runner Windsor handicap. He has a better racing weight today & this bigger field will help so I cannot ignore his chances for a stable amongst the winners.
Back Majestic Dawn (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 10.00 Betfair BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
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The Lennox Stakes is a nice looking 7 furlong Group 2 event where a decent sized field of 14 has assembled. Charlie Appleby holds an incredibly strong hand with the front 2 in the market in the form of Space Blues & Creative Force. The former won this race last year & is a specialist over the trip, winning 7 of his 10 starts at the distance. He’s well clear on ratings too & should be hard to beat but a wide draw is a slight negative. The other Appleby runner, Creative Force, is a 3 year old with a big future. He won 4 on the spin including the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot on soft before running really well in the Group 1 July Cup finishing just 2 lengths behind the impressive Starman in 5th. Kinross and Safe Voyage are 2 credible rivals but their prices are a bit skinny as the front 2 do look solid so we’ve looked further down the market for some each way value.
Happy Power looks a big price and is the one to have on side in a bid to cause a shock. He’s a 7 furlong specialist having won 5 of his 10 over the trip & finishing in the first 3 on 3 more occasions. Last term he raced 7 times, the first 6 over this trip & recorded form figures of 324111. First time up, he was just over a length behind today’s favourite Space Blues & today’s even softer ground should suit our selection. The last 2 wins were both in Group company, the first at this track in a Group 3 & then when stepped up into Group 2 company. His form since, including 4 runs this term hasn’t been as good but he’s yet to race over his favoured trip. In fact, his best run came in the 6 furlong Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot when 4th behind Dream of Dreams in that top Group 1 event. Two of his other runs have seen him finish behind Palace Pier over a mile so it’s fair to say he’s been pitched in at the very highest level. He’s 2 from 2 on soft over this trip too and with the yard in good shape, he looks a nice bet at a big price.
Back Happy Power (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 15.00 Betfair Sportsbook BOG (⅕ odds 1-3)
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