STAR PREVIEW Sat: Glorious Goodwood

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

It is a shame for all those involved that Goodwood will not be welcoming back certain members today for the final day of the Glorious meeting after so much hard work had been put in by the course and BHA. However, we must remember how lucky we are to be racing at all – we are in the thick of a global pandemic, no less – and it would have been an uncomfortable sight for many outside the sport to see a crowd whilst large parts of the north west enter into local lockdowns enforced at short notice. Godwilling, we will see spectators back on the racecourse at some point – but the timing must be right for all involved.

Yesterday was a fair day on track where the late burst of One Master made up for a blank in the Golden Mile and a well beaten but gutting second for My Sister Sarah at Galway.

Straight onto today’s feature – from a betting point of view at least – in the shape of the Stewards’ Cup (3.35). It is understandable that market attention will focus on Nahaarr, an excellent winner at Newbury, and the very impressive Scottish Stewards’ Cup winner Meraas, but with five each/way places there’s plenty of potential value on show here and two horses are taken as each/way shots against the field.

The first is Open Wide, who was second to Khaadem last summer when in the form of his life. It is cliché to say that he bumped into a group horse in a handicap, but Khaadem has proven himself to be a Group 1 horse since in two runs this season. Things haven’t gone right for him since, but he had no pace to aim at on his return at Newmarket (race dominated by Tinto on front runners’ track) nor in a listed sprint here. His Windsor run last time as disappointing, but the winner there was the third success to come from making all on the stands’ rail, and he’s now 3lbs lower than he was for last year’s run. Front runners have held the whip hand at Goodwood this week, but he will surely get enough pace to run at to have an effect and he can’t be unbacked.

The second horse is Watan, who was second to Nahaaarr at Newbury when comprehensively beaten. He ought to improve for that however (seasonal reappearance) and last season he’d been highly tried, finishing third in the King Charles Stakes and sixth in the Prix Jean Prat amongst his other efforts – as a juvenile it’s easy to forget how dominant he was when beating Dazzling Dan (handicap winner off 99 when beating Oxted). He won with that ease despite giving a penalty, and based on his Newbury run he holds plenty of his ability, and he’s 7lbs better off with Nahaarr for a two and a half-length defeat today.

Elsewhere on the card Enbihaar is the pick in the Lille Langtry Stakes. She won this in dominant style last year from the reopposing Manuela De Vega before adding the Park Hill to her resume and perhaps finding the ground too soft when third in the Prix de Royallieu. She should be happier back on a faster surface compared to the soft ground she faced on the July Course when returning, and whilst Manuela De Vega – who got the better of Hardwicke winner Fanny Logan on her return before taking the Lancashire Oaks – is a better horse this season, Enbihaar is taken to prove superior once again. The older mares are rapidly preferred to 3 year olds Snow and Cabaletta.

Laafy has a fine chance in the Unibet Summer Handicap (2.25) but he has been well found in the market and the opening Stewards’ Consolation race is of more interest. Jim Goldie and Silvestre De Sousa team up again with Tommy G, who took this in 2018, and he’s respected in his bid for another success, but the same connections have another horse who makes more appeal in the shape of Call Me Ginger.

Things hadn’t been going right for him over the past 10 months or so, but when given good ground and a fast six furlongs last time, he was second in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup despite blowing the start, being the only horse who was out of his ground to make significant ground late when second to the exciting Meraaas. The winner is hotly fancied for the Stewards’ Cup later and and if he runs to that form off the same mark of 83 then he’ll take some catching. There are plenty of dangers, not least Rewaayat, who gave the sort of performance that suggested he won’t be in this company for long when bolting up at Salisbury last time.

There’s a quality card once again at Galway with lots of angles in, but not as much soft ground form as one would like from our chosen contenders and that can be enjoyed without a bet. I have the same feeling regarding the card at Newmarket’s July course.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Call Me Ginger 1 pt each/way in 1.50 Goodwood at 17/2 with
BACK Enbihaar 2 pts win in 3.00 Goodwood at 10/11 with
BACK Watan 1 pt each/way in 3.35 Goodwood at 10/1 with
BACK Open Wide 1 pt each/way in 3.35 Goodwood at 25/1 with

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 228.05 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Six Nations Outright, Six Nations Specials)