Racing across three different tracks for our delectation and delight today, with the main action coming from the meeting at Goodwood.
Centrepiece from Sussex is the Group 2 Celebration Mile at 3.35, which sees the much delayed return to action of Benbatl, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor.
There is little doubt that the old Benbatl would eat today’s opposition alive, being a triple Group 1 winner, but the 7-y-o has been seen only once since February last year and even that was way back in September.
On balance, the right call would be to oppose with the 3-y-o Chindit, who has emerged from the Burmese jungle to run with great credit in three Group 1s this season. (“before my time” merchants can look that one up.)
After a Group 3 win in April, Chindit has finished a close up fifth in the 2000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace and the Prix Du Jacques Marois, the latter just 13 days ago and Pat Dobbs can get him home today. A win bet at 3-1 is advised.
We also suggest an each way tickle on the still improving Perotto, a two time course winner and a close third in a Group 3 last time out. 11-1 is available.
The Group 3 Prestige Stakes at 1.50 kicks off the televised action and we think that the favourite will win it.
Daneh romped home by 4+ lengths on racecourse debut in June, before finishing strongly into a close third in a Deauville Group 3 at the start of this month. This looks the best form on offer and with Popeye aboard again the 7-2 on offer should be taken.
At 2.25 the Quadpot Starts Here Handicap over 7f has the Clive Cox runners as first and second favourites and that’s probably about right.
Much has been made of the jockey bookings here, with stable jockey Adam Kirby apparently jumping ship off Aratus to ride Dance Fever, but we think this is more a Pukka Pie problem, as it would be a long, long time since Adam could weigh out at today’s 8st 7lbs.
Aratus comes here unbeaten as a 3-y-o after two ultra smooth wins and is just 4lbs higher than the latest one at Newbury. David Egan takes the ride ad we should back this one at 3-1.
The Group 3 March Stakes at 3.00 has a field of just five and Nagano is an odds-on shot to take the race. Whilst we don’t think this horse is bulletproof, we can’t find a sensible alternative, so this is a ‘no bet’ race.
Just the one race at Newmarket, the Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes at 2.45 and we are hopeful that it will be won by Tabdeed from the Owen Burrows yard.
This lightly raced 6-y-o has had just eleven races in all, winning five of them and drops into Listed company for the first time in ages. Just touched off in a Newbury Group 3 last time out, this should be within Tabdeed‘s grasp and is worth a bet at 9-4.
The remaining two races are at Beverley, beginning with the William Hill Silver Cup Handicap at 2.05.
We are strong on the chances of Life On The Rocks in this.
3 runs for Kevin Ryan produced a 4th, 3rd and 2nd in Maidens, after which the colt joined Richard Fahey. Having a first run since early June, LOTR showed signs of rustiness before staying on really strongly to finish third at Ripon on handicap debut two weeks ago. With that run under his belt, this is a confident selection at 3-1.
Final race on the telly is the dear old William Hill Beverley Bullet at 3.15, which has a field of 11, many of which are the usual suspects.
We’ll take a slight chance on one of the new kids on the block and suggest an each way bet on Significantly at 13-2.
Karl Burke‘s 3-y-o was progressing rapidly until a hood removal problem prevented a hat-trick last time out and provided Big Cliff can get it right this time, he could surprise some of the more fancied runners.
Now off to see whether they can get Kohli out.
Chindit 3.35 Goodwood 3pts win @ 3-1
Perotto 3.35 Goodwood 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (4 places Skybet)
Daneh 1.50 Goodwood 2pts win @ 7-2
Aratus 2.25 Goodwood 3pts win @ 3-1
Tabdeed 2.45 Newmarket 2pts win @ 9-4
Life On The Rocks 2.05 Beverley 4pts win @ 3-1
Significantly 3.15 Beverley 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (4 places Skybet/Paddy/Hills/Betfair)