STAR PREVIEW: Glorious Goodwood Thursday

Racing is a sport of fine margins. Three-quarters of a length was the difference between a winning and losing day for us – and what a big winning day it would have been – but Timoshenko managed to find more in the opening handicap and then it was a case of so near yet so far. We go again on a very competitive betting card today.

The opening Unibet Handicap (1.50) is a quality contest were a case can be made for too many horses to recommend just the one, and as such it is best left to the form watchers.

The Qatar Richmond Stakes (2.25) is a race which could be closely matched but there could well be some value here in the shape of Golden Horde. He was fifth, behind Threat and Guildsman in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, but in a very strongly run race on some of the softest ground that week, he was close to the pace and might have been outstayed late on there. He ran the fastest time of the first six home to the two-furlong pole, but then ran the slowest sectionals of that group in the last two.

Previously an impressive winner at Windsor, this quicker six furlongs on what should be quicker ground – Goodwood was dry overnight and no rain is forecast – should suit him and there were only two lengths between him and the winner Arizona that day, suggesting that the market might have underestimated his chances. All three from the Coventry should go well, whilst Symbolize, who ran such a big race at when fourth in the Windsor Castle, is another threat.

The Gordon Stakes (3.00) sees a several going head to head with strong claims, but it might pay to take a small chance on Technician. He’s run one bad race all season, and that was when he evidently wasn’t on form in the Chester Vase. Before that he’d looked unlucky not to finish much closer to Bangkok in the Classic Trial at Sandown and that form hasn’t worked out too badly through the winner, who disappointed in the Derby but went onto be second at Royal Ascot. Technician bounced back to take a Longchamp listed contest last time and he might still be a 12-furlong horse.

The Qatar Nassau Stakes (3.35) is another cracking highlight, with dual Guineas winner Hermosa stepping up in trip and facing Prix de Diane winner Channel. A fascinating contender is the Japanese raider Deidre, who had no chance with the ground at Royal Ascot being so soft. Her previous form, including a fourth in the Dubai Turf behind Almond Eye, Vivlos and Lord Glitters, would give her a decent shot in this, assuming she gets the clear run that she didn’t in the QEII Cup.

Another fancy, and perhaps a stronger one, is Maqsad. A deeply impressive winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket, no horse was going better in the Oaks before her petrol gage turned empty but the 10 furlongs of Goodwood promise to suit like a dream for William Haggas’s charge and she shouldn’t be stopping today.

The biggest threat? There is probably most to fear from Mehdaayih, who was so impressive in the Chester Oaks before getting no run at Epsom. She made amends quickly when winning the Prix de Malleret at Saint-Cloud in great style, and she is one of a number with a big chance.

Last but never least, Get The Rhythm appeals in the closing Tatler Handicap (5.20). He was outpaced early at Redcar on his seasonal return but did very well to win there and should get plenty of pace to run at this time. The form of that race has worked out well – the second was runner up again next time out, third won by seven lengths at York last week, the fourth won at Catterick subsequently and so did the eighth – and as long as he can keep tabs early then he’ll have plenty of horses to run at late.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Golden Horde 1 pt each/way in 2.25 at Goodwood at 15/2 with starsports.bet
BACK Technician 1 pt each/way in 3.00 at Goodwood at 16/1 with starsports.bet
BACK Deidre 1 pt each/way in 3.35 Goodwood at 25/1 with starsports.bet
BACK Maqsad 2 pts win in 3.35 Goodwood at 11/2 with starsports.bet
BACK Get The Rhythm 1 pt each/way in 5.25 Goodwood at 10/1 with starsports.bet


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(excluding Ryan Sidebottom Ashes bet (c/f double and Ashes preview outright, Wyndhams Tournament)