Friday (08/04/2017) Horse Racing Preview

The Galway festival continues on Friday, but we concentrate on UK flat action with day four of a soggy Glorious Goowood as well as action from Newmarket with ratings supplied.

1.50 Goodwood – Glorious Stakes, 1m4f Group 3

His last three runs of have been very impressive and working on the theory that the warmer weather and the prevailing winds have dried the ground out somewhat, he can live up to his billing.

Lord Yeats
Not one from a leading yard perhaps, but talented nonetheless.  He’s improving all the time and may even want 1m6f now.

Poet’s Word
You must always assume that a Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year will improve, so with this one having only had two runs this season we probably haven’t seen the best of him yet.  The ground shouldn’t hold any fears but his time off the track is a slight concern.

Scarlet Dragon
Going 1m4f on this sort of ground may be a tad beyond him, though he’s been in admirable form.

Second Step
Very consistent, behind Lord Yeats last time and just lacks a bit of class when compared to Poet’s Word and Frontiersman.

122 Frontiersman
117 Poet’s Word
Lord Yeats
110 Scarlet Dragon
110 Second Step

As long as the ground doesn’t remain too soft, Godolphin’s FRONTIERSMAN looks to be a class above these.  There seem to be three distinct divisions with Poet’s Word a definite second best for me ahead of a host of others.


2.25 Goodwood – Thoroughbred Stakes, 1m 3yo Group 3

Beat The Bank
Andrew Balding is right up there with the John Gosden’s of this world and brings this improving Paco Boy colt to the party.  He beat today’s rival Forest Ranger easily last time and will come on again.  Forest Ranger (rated 106) ran his race that day and D’Bai, who won at Ascot on King George day (now rated 111) was behind in third.  This one is potentially a Group One horse and should be treated as such.

Bless Him
This year’s Britannia winner which is always good form, needs plenty more to match the Balding horse though.

Recently gelded after a below-par showing in the Jersey at Ascot and can do better yet.

Make Time
Won’t mind if the ground stays soft but has a reduced advantage if it dries significantly.

Solomon’s Bay
Another who looks to be in and around Listed/Group 3 class but no more.  He did well to win at Epsom, though that’s a very different track.

Placed in Listed and Group 3 races already but will be even better next year.  Stoute will be in no hurry with this son of Street Cry and another place in such company would be no bad result.

118 Beat The Bank
110 Zainhom
110 Solomon’s Bay
108 Make Time
Bless Him

looks clear of these to me and can take this en route to a shot at Group 2 or even Group 1 company.  Zainhom can carry on progressing at his own pace and may run into a place once again.


3.00 Goodwood – 1m Handicap

Zhui Feng
A good winner of the Royal Hunt Cup and up just 6lbs for that.  Another strong run can be expected.

A wouldn’t be sure this one will be at his best first time out this season, though he will have come on from last year.

GM Hopkins
An admirable type but a little high in the weights for a handicap perhaps.  He has improved plenty on each run this term though and may yet come on again.

Master The World
A close second in this race last year and in similar form now, must go well.

Tony Curtis
Probably needs faster ground to show his best form.

Blair House
A very good second in the Hunt Cup having been gelded last year, he will come on for the run no doubt and will appreciate the easier going.

El Vip
Luca Cumani’s miler is threatening to win a big one and has apparently been working very well indeed since Ascot.  He won so easily at Newcastle in early June and is bound to have improved from that.  Must have a huge chance.

GK Chesterton
Landed a nice double at Newmarket and Epsom early in the season but was well behind at Ascot.  Needs to resume improvement.

111 El Vip
GM Hopkins
105 GK Chesterton
103 Blair House
Master The World
Zhui Feng
98 Tony Curtis

and Frankie Dettori can take the glory here with the Cumani horse ready now to show what he can really do on turf.  Mustashry, if ready to go first time out, can fill a place as could GM Hopkins.


3.35 Goodwood – King George Stakes, 5f Group 2

There has been money for this one, probably based on all the rain that has fallen over the last few days.  Given that he’ll want to lay up with a very speedy time (Battaash) he can run up to his best, which on this ground these days would be around 114.

Take Cover
Needs faster ground, as a few of them do, but can show up OK.

I just wanted to give this horse a mentioned as he shouldn’t be forgotten about.  A Group 2 winner as a juvenile, he can come good yet once the yard truly know his trip and ground.

Given his performance when breaking the track record last time at Sandown it would seem faster ground would have been ideal for his chances.  Didn’t like the proper soft ground when behind Ardad at Ascot last year but ran well over an unsuitable 6f on good-to-soft at Doncaster.

This is a proper Group One sprinter in the making, there’s no doubt about that, I just hope the ground dries out enough for him.

Unsure as far as ground goes but consistent enough and must be on the premises.

120 Battaash
109 Take Cover
108 Ardad

The ground and weather are a major concern for BATTAASH, but he is even better than the rating I have given him here in truth and the major clue will be if he runs at all.  Charlie Hills won’t want to risk a stable star on totally unsuitable going so if he runs, he has a huge winning chance.  Marsha could be best of the rest.


4.40 Goodwood – Oak Tree Stakes, 7f Fillies & Mares Group 3

Mix And Mingle
Carries a penalty and wants it faster than the forecasted going, nonetheless a very good type and should not be far away.

Al Jazi
Standout run was when winning this last year as a 3yo.  That was on fast ground though which clearly helped on the day.

Off since October but has won first time out twice before and Gosden knows exactly how to get the best out of these types.  Will be significantly better than she was last backend.

Rated 100 now and probably won’t achieve very much more than that in truth.

Perfect Angel
Another Dark Angel filly who is on the upgrade and should handle conditions.

111 Eternally
Mix And Mingle
108 Perfect Angel
Al Jazi
100 Asking

John Gosden knows how to get the job done here and at the time of writing, I have no clue what sort of price she’ll be but ETERNALLY is the one.  The can win this before moving up in grade, while Mix And Mingle and Perfect Angel can also go well.


7.00 Newmarket – 1m2f Handicap

The excellent Andrew Balding has his team in great form and this one should run right up to his best, something arguably achieved in May at Chester.

Trip and ground seem about right here and although the form figures wouldn’t suggest it, he’s been quietly improving for racing this season so his best is expected this time.

Two wins this season for a horse on the upgrade, the handicapper may just have got to him though.

Dr Julius No
Best runs have all been over a quick mile so this asks new questions with breeding not offering too much encouragement either.

Game Starter
A nice Dubawi three-year-old who won at the second attempt here last time out and does not look badly treated by the handicapper.  If improving more for the step up in trip he probably has too much for these now.

97 Game Starter
91 Visitant
87 Dr Julius No

The young pretender GAME STARTER looks the one to concentrate on here, not having been given a tough start by the handicapper.  Grapevine may well be the one to chase him home.