Our racing expert marks your card for Friday's action at Goodwood.
I was surprised to see Main Street preferred to HIGHBROW in one early betting forecast for the 1m3f Listed contest as David Simcock’s runner has the best form on offer, having stuck to his task well to finish third in a similar race at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day. That looked a quality renewal at the time and the winner Key Victory, who has Group 1 entries could be very good indeed, while the runner-up Old Persian has won since to frank the form. Even the fourth, Graffiti Master, holds a couple of Group 2 entries, including the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, and that race could also be on the agenda of the selection, depending on how he gets on here.
An easy winner at Kempton in December, when building on an eye-catching debut at the same track, he has clearly done well from two to three and, with that opening run under his belt, he’s going to prove hard to beat this afternoon under regular partner Jamie Spencer. The aforementioned Main Street, who is 2-3 for John Gosden, is just preferred over recent Newbury second Bombyx for the forecast.
Richard Fahey’s George Bowen is going to be all the rage for the 6f handicap after last week’s York romp, for which he carries a 6lb penalty, most of which is taken care of by Sebastian Woods’ claim. He’s going to be hard to beat if bowling up here in the same sort of form, but he’s a very skinny price and I wouldn’t care to take odds-on about anything running at this idiosyncratic track, let alone in a handicap.
One who might give him a race at a value price is RAUCOUS, who has continued to slip down the weights since joining Robert Cowell at the beginning of April and is lining up here off a mark of 90, having won off 105 in the past. His turn will surely come soon and we can take plenty of encouragement for that from his most recent outing in a competitive sprint handicap at Ascot, where he finished fifth after making up a lot of ground. There looks to be a decent pot in him this season – the Stewards’ Cup back here, perhaps – and he’s worth backing until he clicks, with 9/1 that it happens today seeming fair.
One likely favourite I’m not prepared to take on is Gay Kelleway’s CRYSTAL DEAUVILLE, who is going for a hat-trick in the closing 5f handicap following comfortable wins at Brighton and Bath. They were both modest class 5 handicaps but he’s able to run in the same grade here under his 6lb penalty, which is countered by Cameron Noble’s claim. He’s also ideally berthed in stall one for a horse who invariably breaks well and loves to dominate from the front. With the stands’ rail to run against and having shown he can handle a quicker surface last time, he might not be caught.
All odds were correct at time of posting.