Final day of the Goodwood Festival takes place this afternoon and the sprinters take centre stage with the Unibet Stewards Cup at 3.40, when no less than 28 horses will endeavour to trouser the £155,625 first prize.
Leaving aside our vague feeling that this sort of race is not a propitious betting medium, we feel duty bound to have a crack at it, so here goes.
Favourite at 6-1 is your actual ‘Group horse running in a handicap’ in the shape of Khaadem, last seen being thrashed by a 33-1 German jobbie in a Group 3 at Newmarket. Drawn on the wing and off a rating of 107, no thanks.
Our two against the field are Summerghand and Spanish City, which are available at 12-1 and 16-1 respectively.
Summerghand is the mount of Ryan Moore has been knocking on the door in all its 4 races this season and ran well above its handicap mark in a Conditions event last time out.
Spanish City may look on paper to be the second string of Roger Varian‘s two but is the better weighted of them and, with newly applied headgear, should give David Egan an exciting ride.
The pain continues with the Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Handicap, the consolation race for the ‘big ‘un’, which opens the card at 1.50, but at least there are only 23 runners in this one (deep joy).
Fav at 6-1 is Puds, trained by Richard Hughes, but there is a horse in this at more than twice the odds which is clearly weighted to finish in front of it, so we will have an each way bet on Blue De Vega at 14-1.
Second pick in this race is Tinto, which finished like the 4.30 from Paddington in a 5f handicap here on Thursday and will definiely benefit from the extra furlong. 12-1 is the price of this one.
The Qatar Summer Handicap at 2.25 over 14 furlongs sees Braveheart‘s two at the head of the market at 5-1, but we will have the temerity to oppose them with two of our own, starting with Corgi. This is a horse that always runs well in these valuable handicaps and also acts on this course, so, at 11-2, it represents a pretty safe each way bet and might actually win.
Our second pick is the Tom Dascombe trained Proschema, which has been threatening to come good any day soon, so let’s hope it’s today at 7-1.
The Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes at 3.00 sees the decider between Enbihaar and Dramatic Queen, with the score currently 1-1. Of the two we marginally prefer DQ, but will oppose them both with a win bet on Manuela De Vega at 7-2.
4thin The Oaks and 5thin the Irish equivalent, today’s race represents a drop in class and she can show what she’s made of under Harry Bentley.
Cameras are also at Newmarket for two races and while the Nursery can be filed under ‘too difficult’ we think that Blue Gardenia is a worthy each way punt in the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at 2.05.
Squeezed out and eased last time behind today’s favourite, the addition of cheek-pieces and Frank taking over on top could see a much improved performance and she should be backed at a tasty 8-1.
Now for a snooze while watching the cricket.
Summerghand 3.40 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (6 places)
Spanish City 3.40 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (6 places)
Blue De Vega 1.50 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (5 places)
Tinto 1.50 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Corgi 2.25 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 11-2 (4 places)
Proschema 2.25 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (4 places)
Manuela De Vega 3.00 Goodwood 2pts win @ 7-2
Blue Gardenia 2.05 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 8-1