Everyone loves Glorious Goodwood. Everyone except the jockeys. As a spectator, it’s one of the most beautiful racecourses to go to and the owners and trainers rave about it, but from the jockey’s point of view it’s a nightmare to ride.
It’s a tough track to ride with an undulating nature that doesn’t suit all horses and in most races it gets very congested on the rail up the straight. I wouldn’t recommend taking a short price on too many favourites at the meeting as you hear a lot of hard luck stories from the jockeys.
Any 2-y-o who have won at Goodwood before are worth taking into account as they are good 2-y-o races at Goodwood and it needs to be a good horse to win there and handle the track. Course firm is important for the younger horses.
The draw is very important in the 7f and mile races and you shouldn’t be placing a bet without waiting for the draw. You really want to be drawn low over 7f and 8f. When I won what is now known as the Betfred Mile I was drawn 1 and I could make the running on the rail.
As soon as you jump out of the stalls you’re running up a hill and you don’t want to make a move then so you have to sit and suffer and potentially end up further back than you want to be. Your other option is to use up too much energy on the wide outside and leaving your horse with less chance to stay.
Trainers and Jockeys
It is important to have a jockey that suits the track because it is a challenging track to ride. Backing horses ridden by claimers on the straight course isn’t as bad, but you need to look to the bigger names on the round course and Jim Crowley who lives down there is one to keep an eye on.
There are also trainers who love Goodwood with Marcus Tregoning a real one to note. He loves this meeting and he always seems to save his good ones for Goodwood.
Tuesday – Goodwood Cup 15:35 – 2m
The Goodwood Cup is going to be the race of the festival for me. I ride out for Michael Bell and I know Big Orange has been doing really well in his preparations for a three-timer. He’s a lovely big horse who loves it there although he won’t want it too soft.
If it goes on the slow side he’ll manage but it takes a bit of his advantage away as it’s harder for him to get away from them. I’m contradicting myself a bit as I don’t like to take short priced favourites at this meeting but he always likes to run from the front so he shouldn’t get into much trouble.
Higher Power is one I like the look of to run into a place. He won the Northumberland Plate in July and that was a really good performance. He was the first horse in 10 years to win it with that much weight and he’s in great form. James Fanshawe’s horses always improve as the season goes on and he’s won at Goodwood before over 1m4f so the extra distance here isn’t a big worry.
Wednesday – Sussex Stakes 15:35 – 1m
This is a really exciting looking race where I feel Churchill might surprise a few. Barney Roy and Ribchester have only won on galloping tracks and Goodwood is very different task and Ribchester in particular looks very short for a hold up horse that is running on a track that might not really suit him.
I know Churchill didn’t run his best race last time out, but I think he was a bit flat and he’s had over a month off since and this undulating track will suit him. You’ve also got Ryan on board, who is very good at Goodwood. If you take out his last run he won seven races in a row and four of them were group 1s so I can’t see why he’s a bigger price than Ribchester.
If you’re looking for a bigger price then Lancaster Bomber is worth a look as he will be at the front keeping out of trouble and he keeps improving. He was only a length behind Barney Roy last time and Goodwood might suit him more than Ascot.
Thursday – Nassau Stakes 15.35 – 1m1f
Winter is the main contender here and she is a superstar filly who has been transformed since her early days and she will take all the beating. Roger Varian has her main rival in Nezwaah who will run Winter close, but I think Winter is the one to beat here and along with Big Orange I think this could be one of the bets of the week.
Friday – Betfred Mile 15:00 – 1m
The draw is so crucial in the Mile so I’d want to see that before placing a bet. If Bless Him gets in with a decent draw then I can see him going well here. Another one to keep an eye on is Hors De Combat who is a hold-up horse so will need some luck in running, but I think he will enjoy the hustle and bustle. He’s the type to relish this sort of race.
Saturday – Stewards Cup 3.35 – 6f
Steady Pace has caught my eye in this one at a big price. I watched him last time out at Newmarket and he really didn’t stay the 7f and I think dropping back to 6f at Goodwood may allow him to get his head in front. He will be suited by the strong gallop too. It’s worth keeping an eye on the draw, however, as you want to be drawn mid to high in this race. While you can win from a low draw you would rather not have to.
Summary of Bets
- Big Orange – Win
- Higher Power – Place
- Churchill – Win
- Winter – Win
- Bless Him – Win (depending on the draw)
- Steady Pace – Win (depending on the draw)