Goodwood escaped the worst of the rain that swept across the south on Friday morning and conditions were described as good with good to soft places ahead of Saturday’s card.
In the opener I hope the step up- to 7f will work the oracle for Dark Shift (1.50) who was taken off his feet in a decent Ascot handicap on fast ground over six last time. The grey is out of an unraced half-sister to 10f Group 1 winner Ulysses and was never nearer than at the finish last time. The grey has been a beaten favourite on his last couple of starts so is clearly held in some regard by connections. The 13/2 with William Hill 4 places looks a fair each way price.
Wonderful Tonight cannot be opposed in the Lillie Langtry Stakes despite having to give weight away to her eight rivals. Although at her best with plenty of cut in the ground, she will be fine on good ground and looks a class apart from today’s opposition. I have no strong opinion in the Stewards’ Cup, and I feel the Newmarket card is of more interest from a betting perspective.
In the 6f fillies’ handicap I hope to see Adaay To Remember (1.35) make a winning handicap debut with Hollie Doyle taking over in the saddle on Patrick Owens’ three-year-old. The filly was easily brushed aside by the unbeaten Asjad at Doncaster on soft ground earlier in the month but had previously looked smart when scoring at Lingfield on her sole run on fast ground. The selection – 9/4 with Boylesports – was entered in a listed contest at Chester on Sunday which suggests she is considered better than an 80-rated filly.
She faces largely exposed rivals although Steph Hollinshead’s Al Simmo has won her last three and has only been raised by 11lbs for her hat-trick of wins. She represents a big danger, but I do feel Adaay To Remember is potentially well treated at present.
The form of Strawberry Rock’s (3.20) win at Windsor on his reappearance has been given a boost by the subsequent victories of the second and fourth horses home. A 4lbs rise for that near 2L success in first-time cheekpieces looks fair. James Doyle takes over in the saddle. The 2s with 10Bet looks about right.
Law Of One has disappointed since making a winning reappearance at Doncaster back in the spring. Still lightly raced I feel there is more to come from Sir Michael Stoute’s 4-y-old.
This will be the fastest ground that Ranchero (4.30) has raced on, but the Gosdens’ three-year-old looks very well treated on his handicap debut. The selection made it third time lucky when making all over a mile at Nottingham when last seen back in May. The runner up is now rated 87 – although he has improved for the step up to 10f – and with that in mind Ranchero looks well treated off a mark of 80. James Doyle, who was in the plate at Colwick Park, keeps the ride. There was 11/8 available on Friday but he is into Evens with BetVictor on Friday evening.
At Hamilton this evening I feel Chichester (7.20) looks overpriced as the outsider of the five-runner field in the mile handicap. Maries Diamond and Artistic Rifles look likely to ensure a decent gallop which will suit Keith Dalgleish’s 4-y-old – 5s with BetVictor – who is only 3lbs higher than when landing the Carlisle Bell on his penultimate start. A repeat of that run will make him tough to beat and this stiff extended mile on fast ground looks ideal.
I always feel that the summer/early autumn is the time to catch the Jamie Snowden yard and the handicapper has certainly given Fact Of The Matter (2.30) a chance in the handicap chase at Market Rasen on Sunday. I hope Gavin Sheehan is aggressive on the 11-y-old who is obviously not the force of old – was a winner over Cheltenham’s X-Country course – but he has been running well in defeat of late and is down to what looks a decent mark.
He has jumped slightly out to the right on occasions of late and hasn’t had many opportunities racing right-handed during his career. I hope there is one last hurrah in the veteran. The 7s with William Hill ew is fair.