Welcome to day four from Glorious Goodwood 2007. Thankfully the Goodwood Cup restored our faith in the meeting yesterday so let's soldier on.
Glorious Stakes (Listed Race)
Nothing too glorious about this bunch. This could be renamed the Disappointment Stakes. Some of the best heartbreakers in Europe engaged here including Acropolis ( just broken ), Dragon Dancer ( heart broken ), Hard Top ( bewildered ) and Perfectperformance ( leg broken ). Toss in Munsef ( punters are broken ) who has been beaten at 4/1 or lower more times than many punters would care to recall ( 11/4, 7/2 & Evens this season alone ). I always respect John Dunlop runners at Goodwood but not this cat.
You can see I think very little of the contest not to mention the combatants. I'm going to stick with the one the broke his leg. At least he's genuine. Perfectperformance on top with little confidence. Interesting that Sir Micheal has opted to back Hard Top up so soon here. Maybe Newmarket was a pipe opener? Significant money about for the horse this morning. The stable has already had one or two milk drinkers redeem themselves this week. Probably given an easy time on firmer ground last week but nothing in his form suggests a quick back up is a good idea. Horrible betting race.
Oak Tree Stakes (Group 3)
Costume has been given an easy time since Ascot where she dodged the Coronation only to lump the grandstand in a lesser contest. Performed admirably there giving away a stone or so to the winner and is infinitely better suited under the weight scale this afternoon. Will give this a big shake. A strong twin attack from the Dunlop stable here. Tarteel certainly looks interesting. She has dodged the tough contests early in the season and has progressed nicely through handicaps. Scarlet Runner has been in the deep end and might be a tad weary. She looks closely matched with Majestic Roi anyway and that pair look vulnerable to an improver. Selinka also a hope for yesterday's star jockey Ryan Moore. She seems to have recovered well from her Guineas folly.
Nice filly from Italy by Invincible Spirit in Samya but she looks to be held. It's very hard to get enthusiastic about the older mares engaged.
When Roger Charlton gets one that's ahead of the handicapper it usually has a major advantage. Third Set looks miles in front at this point and as long as the ground stays firm he'll go off as short as one ever should in a big field open handicap like this. The owner has already had a big win this week with Championship Point and the double looks a certainty bar some bad luck. Such is his weight advantage I find it hard to get enthusiastic about anything else. ( 4,7,10,12 for the trifecta placings ).
Richmond Stakes (Group 2)
Two major chances taken out here leaves it wide open. Was very keen on Sharp Nephew here before his withdrawal. Definitely one to watch out for that fellow. Strike The Deal probably has the best form on the book of those ramaining for mine. In his last two starts he has come up against Winker Watson ( raced too keenly ) followed by two of the better sprinting 2yo's on mainland Europe in the Gr2 Prix Robert Papin. Still improving and will be thereabouts. A couple of nice Invincible Spirit youngsters engaged the best of which is probably Exhibition. Hard to say where he lines up though but his first run behind Rio De La Plata was good. Drawnfromthepast did the job for us at Ascot but he has to step up again here. Has a pacemaker engaged but that is no guarantee of success as the trainer discovered yesterday.
The one that is really unexposed is probably One Great Cat from the O'Brien stable. He has a pedigree that screams "get me to stud with a Gr1 win". Has been given a relatively easy time on rain soaked ground so far. Not pushed to chase down the best 2yo in Ireland at his first start and cuddled along second time out. Much better surface today and we should see what this fellow is really capable of. This meeting rarely goes by without a decent 2yo coming to the fore. This fellow could be the one.
Best of luck to those having a punt on today's card.