Thursday, 3rd August 2017
The market isn’t foolish and it has zeroed-in on the obvious main players in tomorrow’s G2 King George Stakes at Goodwood (3.35).
The lightly-raced and highly-progressive 3yo, Battaash; G1 winners, Profitable and Marsha; two-time winner of this race and one-time runner-up, the 10yo Take Cover….
Each of these are at single figures in the market. And that’s fair enough. They bring the best form into the race – be it recent or historic.
One I thought might be bigger is Tom Dascombe’s Kachy.
He piqued my interest stepping back to 5f on the back of his trainer’s conclusion that he doesn’t like being restrained at 6f and just wants to be let get on with it.
He ran well behind Magical Memory last time and that one has subsequently gone in again at G3 level.
Kachy could be a player but the price isn’t quite there for me. The 10s is short enough.
The one the market could be overlooking is Paul Midgley’s FINAL VENTURE at 25s.
He was an expensive purchase into the Midgley yard last autumn but he justified his price tag in short order with a couple of wins in good races at Meydan over the winter.
Back here on turf in May, he ran well in defeat in the Temple at Haydock before winning a listed race at that same venue the following month.
And Midgley then aimed high with the 5yo – running him in the G1 King’s Stand at Royal Ascot against some of the best 5f sprinters in the world.
He wasn’t and isn’t up to that high standard but a King George is not a King’s Stand and tomorrow’s race is certainly within his compass.
Next time out on the all-weather at Newcastle, he disappointed. I’m not sure that is his surface….
Last time out at York he ran a career best behind Take Cover – to whom he was conceding 3lbs. He only got beaten a half-length. It was a return to the form he was showing in the early part of the season.
Tomorrow he goes off levels with the Griffiths horse. Yes, that one has won this race twice and is in good form. But Final Venture is clearly not far behind him, is half his age and almost three times the price.
Oisin Murphy is back in the plate. A bit of cut won’t be a problem for Final Venture. And it won’t take too much to turn the York form round. If he can do that then he’ll be there or thereabouts and his price will look huge in retrospect.
I don’t want to be drawn out wide in a big-field handicap over a mile at Goodwood. It can happen for a horse from a high stall – but I’m not going to be betting on it….
GM HOPKINS is a good example of why not. Back in 2015 he was sent off at 8s to win this race off a mark of 109 having won the Royal Hunt Cup the time before off 103. Drawn 18 that afternoon at Goodwood, he never had a chance of making good on the price.
That’s not the case tomorrow. He gets to run off 104. That’s a bonus before we go any further – because he’s due to go back up to 107. And he gets to run out of stall 1 – which has produced 5 of the last 14 winners of this race.
I don’t imagine he’ll make all, but you don’t have to. Andrea Atzeni – who rides Goodwood as well as anybody – can drop him in and take an inside line behind the leaders.
After a period in the doldrums, GM Hopkins looked like a horse back to form last time at Sandown. A mark of 104 and an inside draw gives him his best opportunity to score in a handicap since landing that Royal Ascot win. The 10s is fair enough.
It’s not an each-way price and I’m going two-against-the-field with MASTER OF THE WORLD my second selection at 11s.
He was 2nd in this last term – beaten a head off 104. He goes again tomorrow off 103 from an inside draw with Ryan Moore booked.
Last year he turned up off a break. This year is different. David Elsworth hasn’t overworked his horse this term – just two runs since February. But the last of those was just under a fortnight back. He ran a cracker at Newmarket on soft ground and should be spot-on for tomorrow’s repeat assignment. He’ll be just that bit sharper and it could be the variable that makes the difference….
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the King George Stakes (3.35 @ Goodwood)....
In the Betfred Mile Handicap (3.00 @ 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 the action on Day 5 at Glorious Goodwood.
Until then. Stay tuned.