As is as time permits for Goodwood I'm afraid.
Goodwood 13.50 Cl 2 Hcap 457 (97.9) 10f gd – 18 Run (17 at best)
Last year – 467 (96) gd – 15 Ran
Alfarris 13/2 F 4-9-0 (95) Dr 3 by 0.5l from Plutonian 20/1 4-9-2 (97) Dr 13
Setting Sail 4-9-7 (104) Dr 7 (131.9)
13 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (1245/100.0) 10.5f gd/fm York 9/2 F 9-4 1l 2/21 off 100 – 130.7
went left after start, soon tracking leading pair, led over 1f out, ridden and headed inside final furlong, stayed on but not pace of winner
28 Jun Cl 2 Hcap (129/94.8) 10f gd Nwmk 100/30 9-9 1.5l 1/9 off 95 – 131.9
tracked leader, led 2f out, ridden and ran on
Won mdn over C&D on final start as a 2yo, but missed the whole of last season; won on return at Wolverhampton in April and then found 12f too far at Ascot the following month; after a promising effort at Epsom at the end of May gained first hcap success over this trip at Newmarket last month and then followed up with a decent effort to be runner-up in the John Smith’s at York with several of this field behind him; has been raised 4lbs for that but likely still improving (only 7th start).
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); form run lto (17 days);
Minus: up 4lbs (OR); up 3lbs (wt);
Verdict: conditions would seem to suit and York run suggests he’s a prime contender here.
Beringer 4-9-2 (99) Dr 8 (131.3)
05 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (247/91.3) 10f gd/fm Sand 11/2 9-12 0.05l 2/10 off 98 – 131.3
held up towards rear, good headway on wide outside over 1f out, strong challenge close home, just failed
Won over this trip at Leicester and Sandown last year and after finishing 3rd in the Lincoln on his return scored over 8f at Newmarket in April before going on to finish 3rd at York; cheekpieces fitted for the first time in the Hunt Cup at Ascot but was drawn the wrong side and finished in midfield, although not disgraced; returned to this trip at Sandown lto and only just failed to deny Jazeel (-6); raised 1lb for that but meets J on 1lb better terms today and runs off only 3lbs higher than at Newmarket.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); form run lto (25 days);
Minus: up 1lb (OR); up 1lb (wt);
Verdict: suited by conditions and in good form, a contender.
Jazeel 4-8-11 (94) Dr 13 (125.4)
13 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (1245/100.0) 10.5f gd/fm York 11/1 9-1 5.6l 9/21 off 97 – 121.1
towards rear on inside, some late minor headway, never involved
05 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (247/91.3) 10f gd/fm Sand 7/2 9-6 0.05l 1/10 off 92 – 125.4
held up in mid-division, good headway on outside chasing leaders over 2f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, strong challenge towards finish, led on line
Won the Cambridgeshire consolation on final start for Channon last September and was runner-up on first 2 starts for new connections this term; resumed winning ways at Sandown last month when just getting the better of Beringer (+6); carried a 5lbs penalty for that in the John Smith’s at York, which proved too much as he was never involved; however, new mark positions him only 2lbs higher than at Sandown, although 1lb worse off with Beringer.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (W); course (F); recent outing (17 days); down 3lbs (OR); down 4lbs (wt);
Verdict: only 2lbs higher mark than at Sandown, and thus a possible contender.
Soto Sizzler 4-8-10 (93) Dr 10 (118.6)
03 Jul Cl 3 Hcap (93/89.9) 12f AW Kemp Ev F 9-5 3.5l 2/7 off 92 – 118.6
chased leader until 9f out, went 2nd over 2f out, led well over 1f out, headed entering final furlong, not pace of winner
01 Jun Cl 2 Hcap (311/94.5) 12f gd/fm Eps 9/2 8-5 1.5l 1/11 off 88 – 113.6
mid-division, tracked leaders over 6f out, led over 2f out, ridden 1f out, stayed on well under pressure final furlong
Won a 12f 3yo-hcap at last year’s meeting, so we know course and going suit; after an outing at Kempton on his return in April, he won a pair of 12f hcaps at Epsom, the latest in June a Cl2, but failed to match the pace of the winner when dropped back to Cl 3 at Kempton at the start of the month; dropped to this distance for the first time today, which raises a question as to whether he has the pace to contender.
Plus: class (W); going (W); course (W); form run lto (27 days); down 9lbs (wt);
Minus: distance (?); up 1lb (OR); up in class;
Verdict: interesting dropped in trip, but unproven at this trip, or at this level of opposition and thus not the strongest of contenders.
Nicklaus 4-8-10 (93) Dr 18 (130.3)
26 Jun Cl 2 Hcap (124/91.1) 8f gd/fm Salis 4/1 9-12 0.5l 2/9 off 93 – 130.3
led, ridden over 1f out, kept on and headed towards finish
Won 3 of his 8 starts last season over 7f and 8f, plus was placed over 8f here at last season’s summer festival; looked to need the race on his return at Epsom at the end of May, but has made the frame on his last 2 starts; only just failed to hold on at Salisbury lto but is up in class of opposition today, plus has to prove he can stay this trip; fitted with first-time tongue tie.
Plus: class (F); course (F); form race lto (34 days); down 16lbs (wt);
Minus: going; distance (?);
Verdict: questions to answer in regard to trip and calls of opposition, but looks to be still improving.
Ventura Knight 4-8-13 (96) Dr 3 (127.9)
15 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (156/90.0) 8f gd Ayr 3/1 10-0 3l 4/9 off 97 – 126.5
tracked leading pair, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong
Won a pair of 8f hcaps last July, the second at Ayr off an OR of 100; down the field in the 3yo-hcap at last year’s meeting here though; however, pair if useful efforts over the trip at Redcar and Newmarket in May/June; dropped back to 8f the last twice, albeit under bigger weights; interesting that Moore is booked for the ride now that he goes back up in trip, although may prefer faster ground.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (F); recent outing (15 days); down 1lb (OR); down 15lbs (wt);
Verdict: yet to win at this trip, but stable has won 4 of the last 9 renewals and he looks more enticing than Aquarium; a contender perhaps.
A race that has been dominated by 4yo (6 wins) and 5yo (3 wins), which would seem reason enough to question the chances of Master The World (lacking recent form), Breden (distance) and even First Sitting, despite him twice being a C&FD winner. The other stat to note is that Johnston has won the race 4 times, so I hope I’ve got it right in including Ventura Knight on my shortlist rather than Aquarium, although the latter is back down to his last winning mark. The other one that could cause a problem is Johnny Drama, having his first run for Balding having won a couple of minor 10f races in Ireland for Lyons.
In the hopes that Dame Fortune smiles upon our efforts for the first day of Goodwood, I’ll now try and trim the shortlist down, which ain’t easy! Perhaps with questions about the trip, I could remove both Nicklaus and Soto Sizzler, but now it gets really tough as there doesn’t look to be a lot between Jazeel and Beringer. Ventura Knight is more of a reach, of course, but the one that looks to have the best chance has to be Setting Sail. So for me it’s Setting Sail from Ventura Knight, with perhaps Bereinger this time nipping Jazeel for the minor places.
Any comments on today's racing. Please don't just put in selections ... please add some reason why you think a runner will win
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