My contrarian play on day 2 at Goodwood....

Last Updated: 26.07.2016

Tuesday, 26th July 2016

Good afternoon, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Back Star to shine in the Goodwood Stakes (2.00)….
  • Make an easy £40.00….

Back Star to shine in the Goodwood Stakes….

The clash between Galileo Gold, The Gurkha & Awtaad in tomorrow afternoon’s G1 Sussex Stakes will be the main focus of the press and the pundits over the next 24 hours – and rightly so. The race will go a long way towards establishing the best current miler on the block….

That race is one to sit back and enjoy for me. Not one to bet in. From a punting perspective it is the race that opens the card on day 2 of the meeting that most interests me….

The Goodwood Stakes (2.00) is a class 2 handicap run over the 2m5f trip and with 20 runners going to post, it’s a perfect race in which to do what we do and identify a live contender trading at a good-value price….

It is simple enough to make a case for the likes of The Cashel Man and Moscato. But the market has found them and a single-figure price in a race of this nature is not what we are looking for. We want value – one that could be better than the market believes….

…. And the one I like is STAR RIDER at 14s – trained by Hughie Morrison.

Morrison has only saddled two runners in this race since the turn of the century but has squeezed as much as could be expected from such a minimal representation.

He returned a win in 2007 with Secret Ploy sent off at 20s and produced another competitive performance in 2011 with Cosimo de Medici who finished 5th of 19 runners.

This year’s participant for the yard is a product of Cape Cross out of the Galileo mare, Starfala – who was herself a strong stayer – finishing 2nd in the 2009 G2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster over the extended 14f trip and 5th of 18 in the following season’s edition of the Queen Alexandria Stakes at Royal Ascot over the 21f trip.  

Her daughter is cut from very much the same cloth and whilst (like most of tomorrow’s field) she is not yet tested or proven at the 21 furlong trip, I expect her to thrive for it.

I very much like the way she won a 2-mile handicap on soft ground at Newmarket at the back end of last term – sticking on very well at the end. She’s had the benefit of another winter to strengthen up and now – at 4-years-old – I expect her to improve again at this extreme distance on the flat.

She showed plenty of promise on her seasonal debut – running 3rd over an inadequate 12f at Goodwood.

And she was back for another look-see at the West Sussex track next time over 14f where she finished a creditable 3rd having been done for toe by the winner – producing a new top on my performance ratings.  

That last point tells me she’s a better horse than last season and will be better again for the trip she gets to run over tomorrow.

Those two prep runs will have put her spot-on for today’s assignment. And the manner of both those performances suggest that the twists and turns and undulations of Goodwood present no problems.

The yard is a fine vein of form at the moment – firing in plenty of winners over the last fortnight – and we can expect the filly to turn up in good nick and ready to do a job.

All things taken together I see the general 14s as a very acceptable price.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Goodwood Stakes (2.00 Goodwood)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – STAR RIDER each-way (14s generally)

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 value on day 3 of the Glorious Goodwood meeting.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd

P.S. Bookies are happy to buy business these days – and it pays to be mercenary and take advantage when you can. I just noticed Coral are offering 8s about Galileo Gold making the first 3 in the Sussex Stakes. The offer applies to new account openers only and they’ll only lay you to a max of £5.00. But that seems like very easy money to me. And if the bet does go down you get a free £5.00 bet as compensation. Make an easy £40.00 right here….