Our first two selections were disappointments, with Law Of The Sea emptying after travelling very strongly, with Ian Williams suggesting that he may have had a wind issue whilst the tacky ground also didn’t appear to suit.
2023 Qatar Goodwood Festival, Day 5
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
Lattam was behind from the start in the Mile, was keen early and then got blocked in his run after being outpaced. It paid to be handy in the Mile, and he’s worth keeping onside, with a strongly run straight mile much more likely to suit.
The day was saved by Balance Play, who won the last in the style of a very progressive horse indeed, making it a winning day for readers. Another good handicap awaits him in the future, and he might get further.
Ground: Has been drying since Wednesday’s deluge, and conditions were changed to good to soft, soft in places after the Golden Mile. However, rain is set to hit the course early (68% chance of rain from 6.30am on Saturday) conditions could easily become as testing as they were on Wednesday and soft ground horses will be at an advantage.
It’s a proper punting challenge tomorrow with three big handicaps including the Stewards’ Cup (3.35) one of the year’s biggest sprint handicaps.
The King and Queen have enjoyed two winners this week and they have a chance in the shape of topweight King’s Lynn. He was unlucky not to get a lot closer in a valuable five-furlong Heritage Handicap when not getting a run as the two groups merged before doing much of his best work late there.
Whilst only ninth in the Wokingham – when perhaps not suited by being stuck on the far side, having travelled into the race in style – his soft ground form includes a third in the 2021 Wokingham when perhaps an unlucky loser, a Group 3 second to note mudlark Vadream, a Listed success and a creditable second at Chester to a subsequent Listed winner.
Should the ground get much worse then he’d be one of the biggest beneficiaries, and there’s no doubting he has the talent to carry topweight. Big weights haven’t stopped Gifted Master (topweight), Khaadem, Summerghand (topweight) and Commanche Falls in recent years and King’s Lynn could go close to doing the same.
Another contender who could see a drop in price is Sterling Knight, a heavy ground winner at Haydock last September who was a good third behind Tanmaawy in a valuable sprint handicap at Windsor when he did best of those from off the pace. Able to handle all sorts of ground, if conditions became severe then he surely has the potential to outrun odds of 16/1 at the time of writing.
Monsieur Kodi made the most appeal in the consolation (1.50) as a horse with recent soft ground form but overall, the race wasn’t that appealing and it’s easily left.
There can’t have been many more impressive winners than Sweet William at Newbury last time out, and John and Thady Gosden’s highly progressive charge can land another valuable prize in the Coral Summer Handicap. Having attempted to give the Queen’s Vase runner up Saint George over a stone in April, he was an easy winner at Doncaster and took advantage of a generous opening mark at Newbury, travelling through the race like a horse capable of handling a much higher rating than 88 before easily beating four smart handicappers in style.
Runner up Novel Legend was rated 94 after good efforts in the consolation Chester Cup and Ascot Stakes, whilst third Aztec Empire was third in the Northumberland Plate last time out so the form is rock solid and a drop back in trip ought to be no issue, given how well he travelled. The rain holds no fears either as his dam was a winner on heavy ground in pattern company.
Backers of Free Wind got stung in the Hardwicke Stakes when she disappointed as a well backed favourite, but stepping back up in trip (winner of the Park Stakes over 1m6f by 7 lengths in 2021) and down in class, she has every chance of making it a lucrative Saturday for the Gosden team in the Lille Langtry (3.00). If back to her best she can beat the progressive River of Stars and Time Lock, who might improve for stepping up to this trip.
The ground has scuppered much interest in the 4.10 where New Business was the most attractively handicapped (although he’s unraced on softer than good) and I any case Sophia’s Starlight should run a big race if able to back up hr excellent second on Tuesday when the saddle slipped.
There are plenty of good-looking types on paper in the maiden (4.45) although the ground could change things completely. Empire Of Art ran a nice race on his debut at Doncaster on soft ground and would be the token pick but it’s a watching brief on the likely surface.
Plenty could be given a chance in the last race of the meeting, with the thriving Mostawaa and the potentially well handicapped Graignes near the head of the shortlist, although none made enough appeal to include in the selections.
BACK Sweet William 2 pts win in 2.25 Goodwood at 9/4 (⭐
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BACK Free Wind 2 pts win in 3.00 Goodwood at 11/10 (⭐
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BACK King’s Lynn 1 pt each/way in 3.35 Goodwood at 12/1 (⭐
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BACK Sterling Knight 1 pt each/way in 3.35 Goodwood at 22/1 (⭐
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PROFIT/LOSS (AUGUST 2023): PROFIT 0.50 points