Thursday, 30 July 2020

Friday 31st July & Saturday 1st August 2020: Stoute to Have the Last Laafy at Goodwood

It’s been a terrific Glorious Goodwood this week.  And, while old-timers and nay-sayers will continuously take to social media to impress on is that somehow every horse in a previous era was better than what we see now, we truly witnessed a belter in the Sussex Stakes won by our favourite Mohaather.  He’s a proper miler.

Now we head into days four and five and there are more value bets to be had.  Look out on Saturday for where Godolphin’s priorities lie, and we have information on that below, while Sir Michael Stoute can finish the festival on a real high with one of his improving handicappers.

Friday 31st July 2020

2.15 Goodwood (Thoroughbred Stakes – Group 3) – TILSIT

It is ard to accurately handicap the main contenders in this decent event, Khaloosy because of his apparent liking for slower ground after an Ascot romp and My Oberon and Tilsit because of how easily they’ve beaten inferior opposition.

The one with the most potential though, and yet coming in as the biggest priced runner of the three, is indeed Charlie Hills’ horse.  True, Tilsit done his best work on Newcastle’s tapeta track so far but there’s every reason to believe he will love it round here and now has the assistance of Ryan Moore who will get every last inch out of him.

He won by the proverbial country mile at Gosforth Park last time out and while he was given a rating of 98, it really does seem that it underestimates him and he has further improvement to come.  Anything above 3/1 or so would represent value, though he may yet be a good deal bigger than that on Friday morning.

3.45 Goodwood (Glorious Stakes – Group 3) – ALOUNAK

Andrew Balding has a very interesting contender on his hands here for the rest of the season at around about this Group 3 level.

Alounak, trained previously in Germany, was bought by King Power and sent to Balding for this summer and it seems the change in routine will bring out the best in him.

The son of Camelot was consistent last season when winning at Group 3 level, finishing second to Desert Encounter in the Grade 1 Canadian International and then running a close fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (also Grade 1) to finish off the year.

Those last two runs were his 8th and 9th of the season though and if he’d been trained properly, he could well have achieved more.  Now with Balding, he’s run a good second behind Fanny Logan in the Hardwicke but probably wants this faster ground and is good value in the market.

The aforementioned Desert Encounter is next best, ahead of Pablo Escobarr and Communique who may just want it softer now but has great form.

Saturday 1st August 2020

1.00 Deauville (Prix du Carrousel – Listed Race) – GHOSTWATCH

It’s very hard to know at the time of writing what sort of price we should expect for Ghostwatch, given that while he travels and will be well-fancied he does indeed have competition this time in the shape of Alkuin, Ashrun and Time Shanakill.

After an injury ruled out Charlie Appleby’s gelding for around 20 months, he made a very underwhelming reappearance in June which made many think his racing days may already be over.

However, having been well backed at Newmarket the son of Dubawi ran a stormer in soft ground to finish second in a 1m6f handicap last time.  He’ll be fitter now, is heading in the right direction and will like this better ground.  He has a huge chance.

In behind the main danger could well be Alkuin who is on a four-timer, though it’s tough to know after a wide-margin win last time whether he really is that good or whether he’s simply been getting things his own way.

An important thing to keep in mind here in connection with Ghostwatch, and indeed Wedding Dance who has a big chance in a Group 3 on the same card, is that William Buick has chosen to stay at Newmarket instead of travelling to France to ride them, leaving that honour to James Doyle.

Be on the lookout then for any significant money at HQ for Danilova, Expressionism or Moonlight Spirit who are all ridden by Buick for Appleby and Godolphin.

2.25 Goodwood (Handicap) – LAAFY

Sir Michael Stoute, as we well know, is a dab hand at improving these four-year-old handicappers and in Laafy he has one that arguably should be coming into this race as a winner.

Last time out at Haydock, having already won easily at Newbury, the Noble Mission gelding seemed to dislike the very soft ground over the mile-and-a-half trip but stayed on nicely anyway to run a close second to Deja, another well-handicapped type.

Now going up to 1m6f, on much faster ground and having had four weeks off we should see a different Laafy and a new career best, something that will help him comfortably bely his mark of 101.

Improvement from Hochfeld is expected and he rates as the main danger, while Platitude and Indianapolis can go well but hopefully without landing a blow on the selection.

3.00 Goodwood (Lillie Langtry Stakes – Group 2) – ENBIHAAR

Enbihaar is a super mare, and while she may have occasionally been inconvenienced by softer than ideal going she has largely been very consistent.

In fact, John Gosden’s daughter of Redoute’s Choice improved enough last year to land a career best in this very contest, before going on to pretty much match it in the Park Hill Stakes.

She is arguably a Group 1 filly, if only there were enough opportunities at this trip for her, and has the advantage of wanting the trip over this ground unlike at least a couple of her rivals.

Enbihaar could be short in the betting on Saturday but is rock solid, with Ralph Beckett’s runner-up from last year Manuela De Vega expected to fill the same spot again ahead of Snow and Cabaletta.

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