Unfortunately, yesterday’s preview wasn’t as successful as Day 1. Amleto found one too good in the opener, with The Goat just far too good for him and the rest.
2023 Qatar Goodwood Festival, Day 3
Tuesday 1st August – Saturday 5th August
Live on ITV1 HD and ITV Hub from 1.30pm, and Mark Your Card on Racing TV from 11am
That confirmed the change in conditions, with the winning time – 2m 49.13s (slow by 14.83s) – suggesting the ground was bordering on heavy as the rain continued to pour down at the time of writing.
Matilda Picotte was a very big disappointment in the Oak Tree Stakes, having earned a decent early position despite her draw and then finishing well out of the places. La Isla Mujeres ran a much better race but found a couple too good in the shape of There’s The Door and Persist.
Ground: Heavy, soft in places.
Onto the Day 3 action, where fans have a big clash to look forward to in the Nassau Stakes (3.35) with defending champion Nashwa facing French hotshot Blue Rose Cen. The ratings and the market suggest that we’re in for a thrilling contest, and it can go to the visiting Blue Rose Cen.
A winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac and Pouliches at Longchamp on testing ground, she took her form to a new level when dominating the Prix de Diane, leaving Never Ending Story and the rest of the field for dead. It must be said that she enjoyed a charmed run there as her stablemate left a perfect gap up the inside, but the way she kept up her gallop was impressive (second, third, fifth and sixth all held up) and there’s little doubt she’s amongst the year’s leading three-year-olds.
She can expect a tougher test against Nashwa – who was most impressive in the Falmouth Stakes – but it’s possible we’ve not seen her very best yet and, with weight for age in her favour, it will take a mighty effort to stop her.
This is not a two-horse race – the very progressive Al Husn arguably ran a career best when beating Nashwa in the Hoppings’ Stakes at Newcastle, when her late stamina seemed to make the difference. She has a second to Via Sistina on soft ground at Newmarket in the formbook, although these conditions will be much more testing.
Above The Curve was just behind Nashwa in last season’s Prix L’Opera but she was beaten fair and square in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh and might not be the same horse this season. Never Ending Story has been disappointing since her second to Blue Rose Cen whilst Caernarfon has enjoyed a cracking season, although she looks likely to find a couple too strong again here.
Elsewhere on the card, Perfuse must have a big chance in the opening Kinscem Handicap (1.50pm). There are no prizes for picking him on form but, as a wide margin winner on heavy ground at Nottingham this season, conditions won’t bother him, and he was in front half a furlong out at Royal Ascot in the King George V Handicap before getting outstayed, having sat close to an extremely hot pace whilst travelling best. The form of that race is the strongest in the field here and he must be well handicapped off an unchanged mark of 94.
The Richmond Stakes (2.25) looks an interesting contest on paper, but the ground has made it a non-betting race, and it looks one to watch.
That’s not the case in the Gordon Stakes (3.00), where most of the field have form with some cut in the ground at least, including favourite Espionage, who will probably be a popular suggestion given his close second in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud (heavy) last year. He should step forward from his reappearance win at Roscommon, but the form of his Group 1 second hasn’t really worked out and this looks a decent renewal of the contest with the whole field having form that entitles them to be involved.
In the Nursery (4.10), Gray’s Inn looked to be best at the weights after his Listed fourth last time, having previously taken a Chester nursery off just 3lbs lower.
The state of the ground means there’s too much uncertainty over the valuable EBF Fillies Maiden (5.20) to make it worthwhile. In the closing handicap (5.55) Democracy Dilemma has much of the best form and a soft ground win to his name. He looks likely to be a popular choice for Hollie Doyle and David Evans.
BACK Perfuse 2 pts win in 1.50 Goodwood at 5/2 (⭐
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BACK Blue Rose Cen 2 pts win in 3.35 Goodwood at evens (⭐
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PROFIT/LOSS (AUGUST 2023): PROFIT +2.50 points