Day Two of the Goodwood Festival takes place today in weather forecast to be more clement than yesterday and ground on the perfect side of ‘good’.
Centrepiece is the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes at 3.35, with an elite field of 8, headed by the slightly enigmatic Too Darn Hot.
Last year’s top rated 2-y-o was heralded as the second coming this season and that’s exactly where he finished in his first two races before a lowly third in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, behind Circus Maximus, who re-opposes this afternoon. Training and possibly stamina issues were put forward as the excuses and TDH at last showed what he can do when storming away with the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat just over 3 weeks ago. The name of that race would have been appropriate if he hadn’t won it, but he did and even though it looked a weakish contest for the money, at least he showed flashes of the brilliance evident last year.
This is ‘trust the trainer’ time, folks and we recommend a lumpy win bet at 11-10.
The card starts with the marathon Unibet Goodwood Handicap at 1.50, with 19 runners slugging it out over 2 and a half miles and the field includes last year’s 15 length winner Lil Rockefeller, which is trading at a skinny 4-1. This 8-y-o refuses to go anywhere near starting stalls which does tend to limit the amount of racing it can do on the Flat and its last race was at Cheltenham in March. Clearly trained for today and a flag start, a 17lbs hike in the ratings since last year’s romp is somewhat off-putting at the price.
We prefer to have an each way bet on Dubawi Fifty, which went so close to landing the Northumberland Plate last month after a long lay off. Just as good on turf and only 2 lbs higher, an each way bet at 11-2 is our starter.
In picking that one, however, we must also advise an each way punt on Fun Mac at 12-1. Go back just over a year and you will find Fun Mac beating Dubawi Fifty by nearly two lengths and yet today is no less than 16lbs better off. While it is likely that Fun Mac is not getting better at the ripe old age of 8, a fifth in the Chester Cup and a fourth at Royal Ascot in its two runs this season still make it well handicapped so we get on with hope.
At 2.25 there’s another handicap, this time for 3-y-os with 13 runners due to line up. Favourite at 5-1 is the John Gosden trained handicap debutant Kosciuszko, which, frankly, looks like a plot, having had just the one (promising) run this season, 3 weeks ago. Let’s just say it wasn’t given the hardest race that day and back it each way.
The other interesting runner in here is the Ralph Beckett trained Future Investment which made its handicap debut in the Ulster Derby at Down Royal, finishing an honourable third off today’s mark.
That ranks as the best visible form on offer so we recommend an each way bet at 10-1.
Televised coverage is completed by the Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes at 3.00 and the stand out form in this is owned by the favourite Liberty Beach, trained by John Quinn. Only ‘defeat’ came in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, when she won the race on her side and has since gone on to demolish the opposition in a Listed race at Sandown. Will be hard to beat today so we suggest a big bash at 6-4.
Like Pinatubo‘s race yesterday, we will also suggest a saver bet on the ‘best of the rest’ which could well be Dr Simpson, which is available at 14-1.
Here endeth the lesson.
Too Darn Hot 3.35 Goodwood 8pts win @ 11-10
Dubawi Fifty 1.50 Goodwood 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (5 places)
Fun Mac 1.50 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Kosciuszko 2.25 Goodwood 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Future Investment 2.25 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 10-1
Liberty Beach 3.00 Goodwood 6pts win @ 6-4
Dr Simpson 3.00 Goodwood 0.5pts e/w @ 14-1