The wonderfully named Slim Dusty leads us in to the first day of the Glorious Goodwood festival, with the centrepiece being the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup at 3.35.

“A pub with no beer” is the definition of a vile inn, of course, and refers to the attempt by Stradivarius to complete a five-peat in today’s contest.

The 7-y-o made a mess of the Ascot version (or his jockey did) and comes here on something of a recovery mission. Unfortunately the heavy going extant this afternoon may scupper Strad‘s chances and, with Alan King‘s recent rain dance working a treat, we are firmly on the side of Trueshan.

Forced to miss Royal Ascot when the going remained stubbornly on the firm side, Trueshan had a warm up at Newcastle in the Northumberland Plate and should take all the beating with the fragrant Hollie doing the steering.

We recommend a win bet at 9-4.

Televised action starts with the Unibet Chesterfield Cup Handicap at 1.50 and our first port of call in this 13 runner affair is Migration, trained by David Menusier.

This 5-y-o was looking pretty smart in its 3-y-o season, before injury necessitated no less than 641 days on the sidelines. Notwithstanding that, Migration was backed as if no tomorrow on its belated reappearance at Salisbury, flying home from the rear to finish a close fourth and, off just 1lb higher, we must be with it today under Mr Buick. Take the 3-1.

We also like the chances of Johnny Drama from Andrew Balding‘s yard.

Better known as a classy AW operator, JD showed what it could do on turf by winning a 20 strong York handicap on first run since February. Well suited by ‘cut’ when previously trained in Oireland, SDS can go close at least at an attractive 10-1.

The Unibet Vintage Stakes at 2.25 is lacking in many runners with soft ground form, including the short priced favourite Berkshire Shadow, which won the Coventry on good to firm.

We take a slight chance on Angel Bleu, which finished a good second just last Saturday in a Listed race at Ascot and will relish today’s conditions, having won on deep ground in May. Something to find on official ratings, but worth a sneaky each way at 9-2.

Charlie Appleby would appear to have the Unibet Lennox Stakes at 3.00 well sewn up, saddling both last year’s winner Space Blues and young pretender Creative Force.

Our preference is for Creative Force, the mount of Popeye, and we recommend a bet at 7-4.

That just leaves the 5f sprint handicap at 4.10, the Back To Goodwood Handicap, which is down to 12 runners after a raft of nons.

We’ll risk a small e/w punt on Blue De Vega, hopeful that the return to hock deep going will spark a revival under the champion jockey. 8-1 looks fair.

We return tomorrow, dear reader, with more bad puns and a few selections.


Trueshan 3.35 Goodwood 4pts win @ 9-4

Migration 1.50 Goodwood 2pts win @ 3-1

Johnny Drama 1.50 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places Hills/Skybet/Paddy/Betfair)

Angel Bleu 2.25 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 9-2 (2 places)

Creative Force 3.00 Goodwood 4pts win @ 7-4

Blue De Vega 4.10 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places SkyBet)

* “A Pub With No Beer” by Slim Dusty (1957)

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