My contrarian plays on day 4 at Goodwood....

Last Updated: 28.07.2016

Thursday, 28th July 2016

Good afternoon, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Goken can go well in the King George (3.45)….
  • One Word More in the Betfred Mile (3.10)….

Goken can go well in the King George….

There are a couple of races for us to target on day 4 of the Glorious Goodwood meeting….

The King George Stakes (3.45) over the fast 5f is very much my kind of race and the one I’ve been waiting for and want to back at the general 14s is Kevin Ryan’s GOKEN.

The 4yo is an improved proposition this term. You might recall that I put this horse up for the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting. He placed for us that day at a big 50s – coming with a late run to hit the frame under Jamie Spencer.

I put him up again for the July Cup at another big price. He finished 10th of the 18 runners at Newmarket that day – which was disappointing. But whilst that run looks like an abject fail on paper, it wasn’t as straightforward as that.

He was given a hold-up ride by Tom Eaves, travelled very nicely but got bumped which checked his momentum and the gaps he needed after that didn’t appear until it was too late.

Sprints don’t provide much margin for error. Nor are they particularly forgiving contests when things go wrong. There’s no time to recover from adversity and when it isn’t your day, it isn’t your day. You just have to accept the situation, put the run to one side and wait for another day.

At the end of the Newmarket race Goken was passing horses and making progress. It was just happening too late and too far down the track. Despite the finishing position, Goken’s performance at Newmarket represented another step forward on the clock and given a fair wind and better luck tomorrow he can figure.

Jamie Spencer is back in the plate. Given the tactic with the horse these days is to come from the rear with a late burst, he couldn’t be in better hands. When Spencer gets the hold-up rides wrong, it can look horrible. But when he gets it right, it’s something close to sublime. If he gets it right tomorrow he will be there or thereabouts.

One Word More in the Betfred Mile….

A little earlier on the card we’ve got the Betfred Mile (3.10). The draw is a key consideration in this contest. It isn’t impossible to win or place from out wide in a high stall. But there’s a definite advantage for those drawn low – they get to go around the inner and save ground.

Tim Easterby’s ONE WORD MORE drawn in stall 6 is the one I like at 14s.

Most of his career he’s been running over the 7f trip but the mile is well within his compass and that’s where he’s been doing his work in his last two races this term.

He ran a very nice race in 3rd in a listed handicap at York in May off 98 – coming with a late run down the outside under tomorrow’s jockey David Allan.

He was put up a pound for that and next time under Rachel Richardson he was 3rd again in another decent handicap at the Yorkshire course.

On my ratings that was close to a career best effort and it could have been better. He finished his race off very strongly but wouldn’t have benefited from Richardson losing her whip.

One Word More is up to 101 now but on the pick of his form that still leaves margin to work with. The horse is in-form, going well, very much enjoys this time of year and can certainly out-run his double-figure price for connections and backers tomorrow afternoon.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

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

In the King George Stakes (3.45 Goodwood)....

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

In the Betfred Mile (3.10 Goodwood)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – ONE WORD MORE 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 Saturday’s action.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd