but not the smell of the crowd after new Gov restrictions put the kybosh on plans to allow 5000 racegoers to attend the final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Silence will reign, therefore, for the winner of the centrepiece race, the Unibet Stewards’ Cup at 3.35, a contest with just 27 runners.
The draw advantage, if any, is a complete unknown but the two darts we are going to throw are from traps 19 and 20, so let’s cheer on the stands side.
Favourite for the race is the William Haggas trained Nahaarr, which was impressive when winning at Newbury two weeks ago. That made it 5 wins from just 8 starts and a 7lb impost may not stop this colt making it 6 from 9.
We suggest a win bet at 4-1.
Our other selection has a slightly ‘left field’ look about it, but it’s a ‘left field’ type of race, so we recommend an each way punt on Silent Echo at 33-1.
Simon Hodgson‘s 6-y-o has less than 3 lengths to make up on Nahaarr from last time and has 8lbs and a refitted hood to help it do it. We can dream.
The meeting starts with the ‘consolation’ Unibet Stewards’ Sprint Handicap at 1.50 which has a slightly more manageable field of 16.
We’ll chuck three at this to land the tri-cast(!) – have each way bets on Call Me Ginger (6-1), Batchelor Boy (11-1)and North Wind (20-1).
The Unibet Summer Handicap over 14f at 2.25 brings together two horses which have both had better days but have shown recent signs of a revival and we suggest backing them both.
Braveheart‘s Hochfield is a previous winner at this trip off a mark of 92 and runs off that mark today after a promising 4th at Sandown, so perhaps all is not yet lost. Second in the same race was the dual course and distance winner Platitude, victorious off 102 in 2018 and running off just 89 today.
We think these two are overpriced and recommend each way bets at 8-1 and 10-1 respectively.
The Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes at 3.00 has cut up horribly, with just three runners and a long odds-on fav, so we’ll miss this one out, which leaves us with the Qatar Handicap at 4.10 to complete the televised action from Sussex.
This is a ‘dead eight’ race and we give the best chance to Roger Varian‘s King Ragnar, just 5lbs higher than when taking a half-decent event at Leicester two weeks ago. This Hot Streak colt is still improving and should be backed each way at 5-1.
Cameras are also at Newmarket, where small fields are the order of the day.
Leaving aside the Nursery at 2.05 (cos we don’t like them), the Mansionbet Handicap at 2.40 has thrown up an interesting runner in Mick Channon‘s Indian Creak (No, that’s not a typo).
His comeback race at Sandown at the beginning of last month was a lot better than the finishing position might suggest and we think this horse is overpriced at 9-1. Have an each way bet, please.
The Chalice Stakes at 3.15 looks at the mercy of Sir Michael‘s Katara after an impressive win at Kempton and it’s just about backable at 6-5.
If there is a danger it would be Cosmic Princess so it makes sense to ‘cover’ on this one.
Finally, the Mansionbet Further Flight Stakes at 3.50 has a field of just four and, frankly, if Withhold can’t win this, retirement beckons. Have a whack at 6-4.
The end of a busy week – let’s go out on a high.
Nahaarr 3.35 Goodwood 2pts win @ 4-1
Silent Echo 3.35 Goodwood 0.50pts e/w @ 33-1 (6 places)
Call Me Ginger 1.50 Goodwood 1.5pts e/w @ 6-1 (5 places)
Batchelor Boy 1.50 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places)
North Wind 1.50 Goodwood 0.50pts e/w @ 20-1 (5 places)
Hochfield 2.25 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 8-1
Platitude 2.25 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 10-1
King Ragnar 4.10 Goodwood 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1
Indian Creak 2.40 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (2 places)
Katara 3.15 Newmarket 6pts win @ 6-5
Cosmic Princess 3.15 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 11-2 (2 places)
Withhold 3.50 Newmarket 4pts win @ 6-4