Monday, 31st July 2017
Big Orange bids to become the first horse to win the Goodwood Cup three times on the bounce tomorrow afternoon (3.35).
The last two times he won the race, it was a G2. This year the 2-mile affair is a G1. I don’t think that change in the race’s status has a big bearing. And the market certainly doesn’t think so. He’s a general 5/6 shot to land the hat-trick….
Everybody likes Big Orange. Last time at Ascot he was part of a thrilling finish in the Gold Cup – overcoming the heavily fancied Order of St George with a gutsy run that required him to do it from the front for a long way. Nobody would begrudge him if he pulled it off tomorrow….
But the price is short enough and produces value elsewhere in the market….
The one I like at the prices is Aidan O’Brien’s US ARMY RANGER in the first-time hood. He’s as big as 14s with Paddy Power and 12s generally.
He looked like he was a horse with a big future last June when finishing 2nd behind Harzand in the Epsom Derby.
But it hasn’t panned out. He’s been beaten in seven from seven since then and now has something to prove.
Six of those defeats came at trips between 10- and 14-furlongs. The closest he came in any of those was at the longest trip he’d encountered up to that point – at Chester where he was a half-length in arrears to the decent Western Hymn.
He was tried again at 12f in the Coronation Cup at Epsom – where he flopped badly. Next time out at Royal Ascot, he was tried over the extreme 21.5f trip in the Queen Alexandra.
He was fancied that day and ran with sufficient zest and aplomb to suggest his future lies at these longer trips – trips at which he is entirely unexposed at this point.
The Ascot performance serves to prove that the 2-mile trip at Goodwood won’t present an issue. And it might be that 2-miles brings his speed more into play than was the case over 21f at Ascot.
Not too many runners in this over the years would have placed in a Derby. He might just have the mix of class, speed and stamina to really make his mark in this division.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Goodwood Cup (3.35 @ Goodwood)....
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for today.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my take on Wednesday’s action at Goodwood.
Until then. Stay tuned.