It is the penultimate day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting on Friday as the Sussex track opens its doors to the eyes of the racing world once again for what looks like being another excellent afternoon of racing.
The big race on Friday is the Qatar Stakes but with a warm and potentially unopposable favourite in that contest we have gone through the support card and decided to switch our attention to a couple of races where we have a bet in each.
Aside from tomorrow’s Steward Cup, this is arguably the biggest handicap of the week at Goodwood & as always, the Golden Mile has attracted a very strong field. Typically, this is all about the draw with low very strongly favoured with 5 of the first 6 home in each of the last 3 runnings all coming from a single figure stall & the last 8 winners all drawn in lowest third of the draw. To be fair, the market is now wise to this but it still pays to avoid anything drawn 10 or above. The one question is whether they’ll drift across to the stands rail like they did on Wednesday – this would negate the draw issue but yesterday, it was back to coming down the far side so the assumption is draw will be a factor. Unsurprisingly, the 1-2 in the market are Lattam & Tacarib Bay who have been handed draws in 3 & 4 respectively.
Racingbreaks Ryder has been given a decent stall in 7 and he has plenty in his favour. Prior to his flop at Royal Ascot, he’d won 4 on the spin including all 3 handicaps he’d encountered which saw his mark go from 79 to 97. Overall form figures wise, he’d finish quite a way down the field on his 2 attempts on firmish ground but otherwise in 6 other career runs all of which had soft somewhere in the going description, his form reads 2-3-1-1-1-1. Ignoring his Royal Ascot run, his previous win had been achieved off a mark of 90 and today he races off 97. However, that could prove to be incredibly lenient given we have my current favourite claimer aboard, Conor Planas claiming 5lbs. Taking account of the claim, he’s 2lbs higher & given he won his last handicap on soft by well over 3 lengths, he’s surely up to defying a rise in the weights. In a big field where almost half can, in theory, be discounted on account of the draw & where bookies are paying 6 places, he looks an absolutely superb each way bet.
Back Racingbreaks Ryder (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 Paddy Power BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
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The closing race of Day 4 is a 3 year old handicap over a mile & 3 furlongs where it’s pretty tight at the top of the market with Maso Bastie, Nader King, Balance Play & Intricacy all in with a chance of going off favourite. The latter 3 have all finished 1st or 2nd last time out & have new marks to contend with whilst the first named was turned over as favourite at Newcastle on his last run. None of them strike me as obvious winners so, at the prices, I’d prefer to look further down the market.
This brings me to Rathgar. On the face of recent form, it’s probably easy to dismiss him but you need to look deeper than that. As a 2 year old, he raced exclusively at this track improving run to run to finally poke his nose in front on his 3rd of 3 runs. All runs showed promise & all were on ground with a bit of cut. He proved his liking for a soft surface when running 2nd behind mudlark Royal Rhyme in this grade. Note that the winner had gone up 10lbs for that win & followed yesterday in a higher grade here winning by over 6 lengths. Taking that form literally & knowing the selection is 1lb lower today, he looks an absolute cracking bet. Form since then hasn’t been quite as good – he was a decent 3rd at York over a mile and a half but he’s disappointed on his last 2 runs but ground, distance (stepped up to a mile & three-quarters) & class (into class 2) were all against him. Putting a line through those runs where valid excuses were in play would arguably have had him challenging for favouritism so, on that basis, I’m happy to be on at an each way price.
Back Rathgar (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 12.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)