Qatar Goodwood Festival 2020
28th July – 1st August
Live from 1:30pm on ITV 1 HD and ITV Hub, live from 12:00 on Racing TV
This column owes a big hand to Willie and Patrick Mullins, whose superb hurdler Aramon saved us after a dire day at Goodwood, with three very disappointing runs in the three main races and a frustrating fifth for Starcat, who got no pace and no run. On we go to the fourth day on the downs, and the fifth day at Galway, with a changed strategy of going win only in the main – at least at the prices we have – given the tight finishes of so many contests at Goodwood this week.
Assuming that Tom Marquand can find a route through – and I am more than willing to take that chance – then One Master ought to have a huge chance in the Oak Tree Stakes (1.45). The winner of the Prix de la Foret last year, she was then chinned in the British Champions Sprint afterwards. On the evidence of two fine runs this season, the first when sixth in the Diamond Jubilee and then when a close fourth in the Falmouth afterwards, she’s every bit as good and that form is enough to win with a good trip, a chance we will just have to take. Breathtaking Look is the main form concern here, although her draw in 9 is off-putting over seven furlongs here.
A saver is recommended in the shape of Wasmya, who didn’t cut much ice in the Duke of Cambridgeshire at Royal Ascot but who had impressed on her comeback in the Prix Maurice Zliber at Longchamp. The winner that day (Spinning Memories) has followed up and a draw in 2 a big help for a filly who does bear some similarities to the French trained winners who took this in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
There will be much anticipation over seeing Khaloosy again in the Thoroughbred Stakes (2.15) but he may have been flattered at Royal Ascot despite the dominance of his performance and the Britannia form has been let down fairly badly since. Impressive York winner My Oberon and 19 length Newcastle winner Tilsit (with due respect to Mystery Power and Repatree) are arguably at least as promising propsects coming into it, and this is surely a watching brief.
The Golden Mile is a typically competitive renewal, and one horse really stands out above all others. Sir Busker managed to get the better of Royal Hunt Cup winner Dark Vision on his return at Newcastle before taking the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot, and he then came with a fine late rattle to take second in the Bunbury Cup at the July meeting. That is arguably the best form here and his draw of 7 gives Oisin Murphy every chance to get a decent spot, and if he does so he ought to be seriously involved.
The second suggestion is Vale Of Kent, who was second in this contest last year from stall 17 after taking a positive position when being taken on from a mark of 101. He followed that effort up with a fine second in the Clipper Logistics Handicap at the Ebor Meeting and a fourth in the Chelmsford City Cup, before returning this season with an excellent third in the Paradise Stakes before an excellent fourth in the Hunt Cup at Ascot. He’s been in and out since, but was probably just asked to go too fast over a straight seven furlongs in the Bunbury Cup and International Handicap this year, but that was the case last year when he was 13th in the International and then a fine second here. From a great draw of stall 3, he’s worth having onside and just edges out Cliffs of Capri and Urban Icon for the second choice.
Battash ought to be too good for the field in the King George (3.15) for the fourth year running, and there was an appalling betting shape to the Glorious Stakes where literally none of the runners made proper appeal.
The handicapper looks to have the measure of the field in the nursery (4.20) whilst no obvious contender made appeal at the prices in the maiden to end the card (4.55).
In the feature Guinness Handicap Hurdle at Galway (6.15), My Sister Sarah is the pick. She was running a decent race when she fell in the Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle, and then again in the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival when brought down at the last. Those runs suggested that she still had more to give when returned to the trip which saw her win a Grade B handicap hurdle in good style at Punchestown last season and her return behind Mount Leinster on Tuesday ought to have put her spot on for this, and the booking of Rachel Blackmore is another bonus.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK One Master in 1.45 Goodwood 2 pts win at 6/4 with starsports.bet
BACK Sir Busker 1 pt win in 2.45 Goodwood 1 pt win at 11/2 with starsports.bet
BACK Vale Of Kent 1 pt win in 2.45 Goodwood 1 pt win at 15/2 with starsports.bet
BACK My Sister Sarah 1 pt win in 2.45 Goodwood 1 pt win at 17/2 with starsports.bet
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