Our racing expert has a tip for each of the ITV-televised races, including the feature Stewards' Cup.
1:50 6f Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Handicap (Consolation Race For The Stewards’ Cup) (Class 2) (3yo+)
Several of these appear rated up to their best and some – Outrage and Dark Shot especially – would be of more interest over 5f. In which case, it could pay to look for a bang-in-form runner with winning form over the trip and GEORGE DRYDEN ticks both boxes. The six-year-old has only won three of his 33 starts but like a lot of these handicap sprinters it’s a case of waiting for the handicapper to show some leniency. His most recent success came on the all-weather at Lingfield in February and he’s now able to run off a 3lb lower mark, while his last two runs (both on turf) have suggested he is ready to go in again. The most recent of those came over 5f at Newmarket seven days ago when a keeping-on second and he’s again partnered by promising apprentice Harry Burns, who is taking a handy 7lb off his back.
It doesn’t hurt to back a couple in these type of races and Richard Fahey’s MILITIA also makes plenty of appeal. Granted this is tougher than the 6f handicap he won gamely from the front at Ayr five days ago, but he’s now won two of his three starts this season (second on the other occasion) and looks to be improving fast. He’s just the type his powerful stable does well with and Paul Hanagan, who won on him at Thirsk in May, is back on board. If he shoots out of the stalls like he did earlier in the week, he is going to take plenty of catching.
2:25 1m6f Qatar Summer Handicap (Class 2) (3yo+)
This is wide open and I’m keen to take on the pair at the head of the market, Walton Street and Melting Dew, who are trained by Charlie Appleby and Sir Michael Stoute respectively, as they have their stamina to prove. The former horse was a staying on third over 1m4f at Royal Ascot last time and promises to stay the trip, although he could only finish fourth of the five runners when last tried over it at a meeting here last August.
One horse who is guaranteed to stay is last year’s winner SOLDIER IN ACTION and I’m happy to put a line through his largely disappointing efforts so far this season as the handicapper has given him a right chance by dropping him a further 4lb to a perch of 97. That’s a 9lb lower mark than the one he won off 12 months ago and Mark Johnston’s charge clearly likes this track as that was his second victory from just three starts here. Reunited with last year’s winning rider Silvestre De Sousa and having been freshened up since his last outing in the Northumberland Plate, he looks sure to give us a good run for our money.
3:00 1m4f (1m3f218y) Qatar Gordon Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo)
A hugely disappointing turnout of just four and Bombyx, the outsider of the quartet at round 10/1, has plenty to find on official ratings, albeit he arrives here on a high after storming clear in a Doncaster novice last month. He’s not totally discounted in what could be a tactically run race but his form isn’t a patch on that of Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee, who has been put in as favourite.
However, he has run two tame races since Epsom and while he could easily bounce back, I’d much rather be on Sir Michael Stoute’s SUN MAIDEN, an impeccably bred daughter of Frankel. She is entitled to improve again on her third in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes last time given that was just her third start and while not many fillies run in this Group 3, her trainer knows what it takes to win it having saddled a remarkable ten winners, including three of the last four and five in the last decade from just seven runners. The remaining member of the field Cross Counter has to be respected but this is together than the Ascot handicap he won last time.
3:40 6f Unibet Stewards’ Cup Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+)
A typically competitive renewal but it often pays to concentrate on those near the head of the market as the race has been relatively kind to punters – seven of the last ten winners were priced at 14/1 or shorter, with three of the last four no bigger than 6/1.
Currently, a couple of last-time-out winners in Spring Loaded and FOXTROT LADY are disputing favouritism and, as the former’s win came over 5f, ready preference is for Andrew Balding’s three-year-old filly. She’s a half-sister to the same stable’s Dancing Star, who won this in 2016, and like her sibling she arrives here with a progressive profile in 6f handicaps. A well beaten fifth at York two starts back is the only blip on her record this season, which reads 221151, but that is forgiveable as it came on the back of three quick runs and it was simply a bridge too far for her. Given a nice break since her latest success at Newmarket, which came in the same handicap won by her half-sister en route to victory here, I fancy she can become the third three-year-old winner in the last four years.
Her draw is stall nine (of 28) shouldn’t be a barrier to success either as recent winners have come from all over the shop, although low numbers were favoured last year and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was also the case this time around as there are plenty of pacy /fancied sorts drawn on the far side of the track. For that reason, I’m happy to recommend also backing Michael Wigham’s GLENAMOY LAD, who will exit from stall two. He does have a nine-month absence to overcome but I suspect he’s long had this race as his target and he certainly looked an ideal type when winning three of his five starts in 2017. A strong travelling sort with a potent final kick, he is surely better than his mark (95) and the booking of Sylvestre De Sousa suggests that connections mean business.
Others worthy of a mention are Wokingham fourth Tis Marvellous and Growl, who has finished fourth in the last two runnings and is 10lb lower than 12 months ago. I’m going to combine them with the two selections in a combination forecast (12 bets in total) as I’m feeling greedy.
Goodwood 1.50, George Dryden @ 14/1 Hills / Militia @ 11/1 bet365
Goodwood 2.25, Soldier In Action @ 11/1 Boylesports
Goodwood 3.00, Sun Maiden @ 5/2 bet365
Goodwood 3.40, Foxtrot Lady @ 7/1 Hills / Glenamoy Lad @ 20/1 bet365
All odds were correct at time of posting.