With Tom over in Galway this week and his workload proving very demanding, he’s asked myself, Richard Smith, to step in to his shoes at the last minute to provide Saturday’s tips.
It’s been tough going finding the winners at both Galway and Goodwood this week but I’m looking to end what has been a fantastic week of racing on a winning note and as such, I will be concentrating my efforts on Saturday’s card at Goodwood.
The highlight of the week arguably came in the first Group One event of Goodwood’s five day meeting on Wednesday where Frankel obliged at odds of 1/20 to make it 12 wins from 12 starts in the Sussex Stakes, becoming the first horse in the race’s 171 year history to win twice. It now looks like Frankel’s next destination will be York for the Juddmonte International later this month, which will see the Sir Henry Cecil four year old run over 1m 2f for the first time and already the bookies are running scared, offering just 1/4 about a thirteenth straight win despite the step in to the unknown and against potential opposition of Nathaniel’s and St Nicholas Abbey’s quality.
The second Glorious Goodwood Group One contest comes in the form of the Nassau Stakes at 3:15 on Saturday afternoon where I like the look of John Gosden’s Izzi Top to fill the void made by Midday, the now retired stablemate of Frankel, who won this race three years running up until 12 months ago.
They’re certainly big shoes to fill but I am confident that Izzi Top can justify her 15/8 quote with Blue Square after it would appear the penny has finally dropped for this filly who is unbeaten on her three starts this season, all of which have been at group level, including the Group One, Pretty Polly Stakes, at the Curragh last time out where she won with something in hand.
She concedes weight to two very good three year olds in the way of stablemate, The Fugue and Aidan O’Brien’s Epsom Oaks winner, Was, but despite giving her younger rivals nine pounds, this progressive four year old can make her experience count to give her in form trainer a twelfth group win of the season.
The Stewards Cup at 3:55 looks every bit the minefield that the 28 runners going to post would suggest, however, never one to be put off by a “cavalry charge” I think there’s some value to be had by backing Goodwood specialist, Borderlescott, at 20/1 to win the race he won for the first time six years ago! That’s right, now at the age of 10, I’m still confident that there’s enough life in the legs of Robin Bastiman ‘s old boy for one last big prize.
In six career starts at the Sussex track, Borderlescott has finished in the top three on five occasions, including two wins and two further places in this race. Granted, one of those wins was his last racecourse success, coming at Glorious Goodwood in 2010 but it came in the Group Two, King George Stakes, where he beat 14 top class rivals, earning a rating of 112 in the process.
Age catches up with the best of us and as such, Borderlescott is no longer mixing it at the highest level but he is still more than capable of making his presence felt as he has shown with two seconds in stakes races so far in 2012 and has put in efforts worthy of a three figure rating, which is exactly what the handicapper has assigned him here, carrying a weight of 9-9 off a mark of 103.
There’s no doubting his love of this course as his last five runs at Goodwood have all surpassed the 103 mark and whilst age is a slight concern, I’m prepared to say he’s worth an each way bet at the 20/1 on offer with Bet365 or Skybet about making it in to the top five (both firms offering enhanced place terms).
Despite boasting only half the size of the Stewards Cup field, the 2:40, Toyo Tires Performance Stakes, has an equally competitive feel to it with bookmakers going 11/2 the field but one in which I think another horse with proven course form can do the business. The Amanda Perrett trained Roxy Flyer has two wins to her name at Goodwood and ability to handle the undulating track could prove crucial in landing the £24,000 first prize.
A repeat of the credible sixth she ran over course and distance in the Group Three, Lillie Langrty Stakes, at this meeting 12 months ago would put her bang in contention back in handicap company as she seeks her first win in 12 starts. However, three seconds from her last four outings, including a promising seasonal reappearance at Kempton in July, suggests she’s knocking on the door of the winners enclosure once again and local trainer, Perrett, may have just found the ideal race to end that sequence with more improvement likely to come. An each way bet at the 8/1 on offer with Bet Victor or William Hill looks the way to go.
Saturday’s Goodwood Picks
3:15 Goodwood – Izzi Top (win) @ 15/8 with Blue Square