Friday, 3 August 2018

Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th August: Eminent To Return To Best In Glorious Stakes

With the Goodwood festival still very much in full swing there are arguably more betting opportunities on Friday than there are on Saturday, so with that in mind we start there on the Sussex Downs with four value punts before moving on to Saturday’s racing:

Friday 3rd August 2018

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1.50 Goodwood (Glorious Stakes – Group 3) – EMINENT

This looks trappy in that the principals all look like running within a few pounds of each other, however we always look for potential improvement when judging a future winner and on that score we could take a good price about this being the return to prominence of Eminent.

Last year’s Craven winner and Derby fourth had a great 3yo season but started off in dreadful fashion this term when running stone last in the Huxley Stakes at Chester.  He improved to run 5th of seven in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot before stepping down to a mile and running slightly better still in his four-length defeat behind Beat The Bank at Group 2 level.

He is coming to himself all the time and with the same rate of improvement he can reach a level close to what he achieved last season in this race, Sir Michael Stoute’s Mirage Dancer being the obvious danger.

2.25 Goodwood (Thoroughbred Stakes – Group 3) – GLORIOUS JOURNEY

The chances of both Mark Johnston’s Threading and Aidan O’Brien’s Threeandfourpence are obvious, but in the hunt for value it’s hard to get away from Charlie Appleby’s contender Glorious Journey in this.

Looking like a leading juvenile after his Group 3 win at Saint-Cloud last backend, there was hope that this son of Dubawi would be a Guineas contender this term though his classic chances were dashed pretty early when he was well beaten in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

After that however he was only just run out of a Group 3 in France behind horses who have shown top class form since then and it seems that once he finally gets the conditions he prefers he will record a pretty impressive rating of somewhere over 112, enough perhaps to win this race at a good price.

3.35 Goodwood (King George Stakes – Group 2) – BATTAASH

A good winner of this race last year as a 3yo before going on to smash the opposition in the Abbaye on Arc day, Battaash can sometimes let you down but no more than most sprinters and only when conditions aren’t quite 100%.

That was the case at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand when he was once again a little lit up and on the very fast ground his searing pace only ended up setting the race up for others, though back here it’s that lightning turn of foot which is in fact required.

In terms of ratings a run approaching the mid-120’s is on the cards and so even with a Group 1 penalty to carry, there should be nothing in this race to touch him unless he does something silly or falls foul of a bad trip.

4.40 Goodwood (Oak Tree Stakes – Group 3) – POETIC CHARM

It could be close between several of these improvers, One Master, Sequilla and Pretty Baby all being in with a live chance however the Godolphin filly Poetic Charm is the one who has always been thought of as a one for this level at least and can score.

With the benefit of hindsight this filly was a handicap blot when winning off 96 at Newmarket last time out and she’s worth a lot more than that now that she is maturing – something she can prove in this race at a nice price here.

Saturday 4th August 2018

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2.05 Newmarket (Chalice Stakes – Listed Race) – CRIMSON ROSETTE

I’m loathe to go against John Gosden’s filly Highgarden who, as expected given her breeding and her yard, is improving however I think there’s much more to come from Charlie Fellowes’ filly and she is definitely the value in this race this time.

Her close second to God Given at Haydock at Group 3 level now reads very well and her run last time can be significantly upgraded; the slow pace in a four-runner race definitely not to her liking and now she’s back in a more competitive environment the daughter of Teofilo can take a step forward and show her class in this field under Stevie Donohoe.

3.00 Goodwood (Gordon Stakes – Group 3) – SUN MAIDEN

In many ways this race revolves around Mark Johnston’s Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee, especially given his as usual great form at this meeting however his run at Epsom perhaps gives an unrealistic impression of his overall ability.

The bare fact is that he achieved a rating of 118 in the Derby and we can’t deny it, however that track can make or break horses and another fact is that in five outings this season he has not won a single race as yet.

On the balance of things he isn’t quite as good as the rating he received after Epsom and remains vulnerable should something improve – case in point Sir Michael Stoute’s filly Sun Maiden.

Having routed a maiden field she was kept for Royal Ascot where she ran extremely well to be placed in the Ribblesdale Stakes, only her third ever run, and looks like reaching a very similar level to the Johnston horse about now so with the 3lb fillies’ allowance she seems like a very good value second favourite.

Yet another classy filly could be added to the Yorkshire Oaks reckoning if she takes this race, so watch out for her and for what Sir Michael says after the contest.

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