Tuesday, 1st August 2017
The Goodwood Cup provided the focus on Day 1 and it is another long-distance affair that presents itself as a target at Goodwood on Day 2 – the Matchbook Betting Exchange Goodwood Handicap (1.50) which is contested over the extend 20-furlong trip….
No surprise that the market has latched onto one of the 4yos in the shape of Marcus Tregoning’s Hawkerland….
That age-group has done well over the last few years. The first three home last term were 4yos. In 2014 and 2015, the 4yos produced the 2nd and 3rd horses home….
Hawkerland has only raced 5 times previously. He’s inexperienced – but the market frequently opts for potential progression over experience and this son of Sea The Stars is very much on the up.
He’s two wins from two handicap runs so far and this is a race that has been won by callow horses in the past. The last 10 horses to go to post having raced 5 times or fewer produced 3 wins and 2 placed performances….
Those are numbers that will encourage fav-backers. But not this punter. In a big-field handicaps 6s is short enough for me. I want to be looking elsewhere….
Hughie Morrison has been very effective in this race despite limited participation….
He’s only saddled three runners since 2007 and two of those won the race….
This season he turns up with two runners. I think both have big chances and I’m going to back the pair of them against the field….
STAR RIDER won the race for this column (not forgetting connections) last term. She shows up this time round on a mark of 94 – 9lbs higher than she was that day. Most winners of this race have been rated in the 80s or lower. But 94 is not out of the question….
She raced off 95 in the Ascot Stakes in June. She was beaten 11 lengths in the end – but she didn’t run a bad race to finish 6th and might have been close still but for meeting a little trouble in-running.
She’s only been seen twice this term. She shows up fresher than most of the opposition – just as she did last term – and I’d suggest this race has been the primary target for some time. Adam Kirby retains the ride and I reckon the 12s is fair enough.
AURORA GRAY fits the established profile a little more closely. She’s a 4yo and she turns out tomorrow on a mark of just 82 with Silvestre De Sousa booked in the plate for the first time.
She hasn’t managed to produce a win this term – finding one or two too good earlier in the season and getting touched-off at Pontefract last time. But the upshot is she turns up tomorrow still rated in the low 80s – which should prove to be a very workable mark.
She’s already gone up a stone since being switched to marathon trips back in December. This is her big chance to win a big pot before the handicapper really puts the squeeze on. This is by far the most valuable race she’s been pitched into to date and given that Morrison knows so well exactly what is required, I take it as a big clue that she’s here at all. The 14s with Ladbrokes and the general 12s is fair enough.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Matchbook Betting Exchange Goodwood Handicap (1.50 @ 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 afternoon with my take on the action on day 3 at Glorious Goodwood.
Until then. Stay tuned.