The two standout race meetings in the UK and Ireland continue on Wednesday when another excellent card at Glorious Goodwood and at the Galway Festival take place on what should be a decent day of racing.
The feature race at Goodwood is the Sussex Stakes but with just five runners and a hotpot as favourite the better betting potential lies elsewhere. We’ve looked through both cards and have come up with bets in three races.
A field of 12 has assembled for this Class 2 fillies handicap over a mile & a quarter, where we have just 3 older horses tackling the 3 year olds. It’s probably best to stick to the classic generation especially as that age group have the first half dozen in the betting including likely market leader La Isla Mujeres. She has certainly improved from run to run, winning her last 2 including a handicap by 11 lengths last time up. Unsurprisingly, she’s been handed an 11lb hike in the weights for that.
At an each way price, I prefer the chances of Therapist from the in-form Andrew Balding yard, but a yard looking to put things right after a disappointing first day where Coltrane didn’t manage to get to Quickthorn in the Goodwood Cup & another turned over at odds on. As for the selections chances, she failed to win any of her 5 maiden races but 2-3-2-3-5 wasn’t exactly a disaster. At this trip on handicap debut, she won a handicap on Newmarket’s July course where she came with a nice run to land the spoils from a much more fancied rival. They put a bit of distance between the rest of the field so that form is likely to hold up pretty well & she backed up that performance by stepping up in grade at the same track to narrowly lose out in a 4-horse bunch finish, coming 3rd in the end. That was against older horses with the winner’s 38 run career giving him a significant experience edge. She appears here off the same mark which looks lenient and back (predominantly) against her own age & back to her racing against her own sex, I think she has a fine chance of continuing her progress in an open race.
Back Therapist (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
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A cracking Class 3 handicap over 7 furlongs sees Goodwood specialist Rhoscolyn the warm favourite. He’s been out of form for a while but came back to something like his own else when 2nd in a handicap at Beverley off this mark. With the assistance of Oisin Murphy in the saddle, he should go well but he’s no certainty to back up that run & there are plenty of alternatives with equally solid chances such as Urban Sprawl, Dark Thirty & Harry Magnus, none of whom will go unbacked I’d imagine.
Farasi Lane gets my vote, however. The negative is arguably his wide draw but we’ve seen plenty of winners from double figure draws & if he gets a good position early, he holds a fine chance. The overnight rain will certainly help as all of his 3 turf wins have come with some ease in the ground including last time out at Ascot where he won a handicap over this trip off just 2lbs lower. That form has been franked in some style with the 2nd winning at the same track next time out & the 3rd also winning, this time a Racing League event at Yarmouth last week. This mark is well within range & he has defied higher than this in the past whilst both his wins this term have come off marks within 2lbs of what he races off here. Interestingly he races mostly over a mile but 4 of his 5 wins have come over this trip &, in his 9 races this calendar, he’s only been over 7 furlongs twice, winning both. From a smallish yard that is going well with his older horses this year, I like his chances if he can negate any draw issues.
Back Farasi Lane (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
The 3rd day of Galway’s racing festival closes with a handicap hurdle over an extended two & three quarters of a mile. A big field of 20 arrives with 6 last time out winners all of whom have seen a decent rise in the weights but could equally defy their revised marks. Willie Mullins saddles the favourite in We’llhavewan but whether a 12lbs rise will find him out is the big question. Similar comments apply to Fancy A Cosmo (7lbs higher) and Miss Tempo (12lbs higher) so the best of the market leaders could be Shanwalla who was 2nd last time out & races off the same mark. If he goes as well on this ground, he should go close.
At a much bigger price, I prefer the claims of Big Debates who has been mainly campaigned as a chaser where he races off a 15lbs higher mark. His chase form has been pretty impressive over the winner, winning 2 off marks of 115 & 120 and managing a close 3rd off a career high mark of 131. Last time out, he was returned to hurdles for the first time in 2 years & ran a super race in finishing 5th of 25 in a Punchestown handicap where he was staying on all the way to the line. Racing a bit closer to the pace today, as well as the extra distance, might just make all the difference. The ground is going to suit too, in fact the more rain the better, & he does have a 2 mile 6 furlong heavy ground handicap hurdle win to his name, albeit off a lower mark. I feel he’s the one the market have overlooked a little due to him being mainly campaigned over fences & he looks a nice each way bet in a really good race.
Back Big Debates (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 19.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
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