The ground was described as good to soft at Goodwood on Thursday morning and there is the prospect of further showers overnight ahead of today’s card. There are also strong winds forecast.
The first four home in the opening 2m 4f+ handicap last year reoppose, and winner Just Hubert is 1lb lower than when successful 12 months ago. Smart Champion who finished fourth in this race in 2020 is weighted to reverse the form from the foot of the weights, but he would not want any further rain and is reluctantly overlooked.
Platform Nineteen (1.50) is a candidate to “bounce” and is unproven over trips in excess of 2m but looked a most progressive stayer back in 2019 and came back, arguably, better than ever when scoring at Beverley from a 648-day absence earlier in the month. Any further rain would suit, Michael Bell has his string in excellent form and this 5-y-old gets the each way vote at 9/1 with William Hill 5 places.
The Golden Mile is one of the big betting races of the week and market leaders Magical Morning and Path Of Thunder look vulnerable if the rain arrives overnight. There is plenty of pace in the race and my two against the field are Shelir and Bedouin’s Story (3.00) with preference for the latter who gets the each way vote at 28/1 with William Hill 6 places.
The Godolphin runner has winning form on soft ground and was in excellent form out in Meydan earlier in the year. He is often slowly into stride and is drawn out wide in stall 19, but Ray Dawson takes off a valuable 3lbs and he is likely to be finishing fast and late.
The evergreen sprinter Battash (3.35) is looking for a fifth successive win in the Group 2 King George Stakes and he was reported to have had an interrupted preparation prior to finishing fourth in the King’s Stand Stakes on his reappearance at Royal Ascot last month.
The Charlie Hills’ trained sprinter – 6/4 with 10Bet – will have the race run to suit with front runner Art Power drawn near to him in stall three and he is taken to reverse Ascot form with runner up Arecibo who is likely to be towed along near the stand rail by Ornate. A bigger danger might be Glass Slippers who makes a belated reappearance but was readily put in her place by Battash in this corresponding race in 2020.
Euchan Glen will be a tough nut to crack in the Glorious Stakes, but he carries a 3lbs penalty for his fluent win in the Brigadier Gerrard Stakes back in May and I just prefer the progressive Passion And Glory (4.10).
The selection -4/1 with MansionBet – was a facile winner of an Ascot handicap last time over 10f but promises to be at least as effective over today’s additional quarter of a mile. He was considered a possible Ebor horse earlier in the campaign but has been taken out of the York handicap at the latest forfeit stage. Any significant rain would be a positive and he can improve past Euchan Glen.
I have always thought there was a decent horse in Hallowed Star (4.30) trying to get out and I hope he can build on his recent Roscommon maiden hurdle success at Galway this afternoon. He has been raised 5lbs for that facile success but is taken to defy top weight for Shark Hanlon. There was 6/1 available on Thursday afternoon but he was backed into a best price of 9/4 with BetVictor by 8pm.
Ashroe Diamond (7.10) looked smart when making a winning debut at Wexford back in May and she can follow up in the concluding Bumper for Willie and Patrick Mullins. She carries a 7lbs penalty for that success and this is a much stronger race with seven other previous winners facing the starter. Her reappearance, however, is eagerly anticipated. The Evens didn’t last long and the mare is 5/6 with BetVictor at 8pm on Thursday.