A field of eighteen go to post for the first race of Glorious Goodwood, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Khairaat is clearly better than what he showed at Royal Ascot and should put in a much improved display here, but he’ll struggle to return to winning ways with GARCIA in the line up. He finished around a head behind UAE Prince in the John Smith’s Cup, doing best of those held up in a steadily run affair and this should be run much more to his liking. Ryan Moore takes over the ride and with conditions to suit, he looks very tough to beat if matching that form.
1 WHAT ABOUT CARLO – Running to his best at present for Eve Johnson Houghton, producing a career best effort to win at Newbury on his latest start in Listed company. That however put his handicap rating up another six pounds and makes him very vulnerable in a field of well-treated horses. It is hard to rule him out entirely with Charlie Bishop taking the ride, but he is likely to place at best.
2 ABDON – Has been running in pattern company on his last four starts, last seen over course and distance when a disappointing sixth in Listed company. He has been gelded since then and connections reach for first-time headgear. He is now only three pounds higher than when winning a handicap in August and Frankie Dettori takes the ride, so he has to be respected.
3 MASTER CARPENTER – Has drawn four zeros from his last five starts, winning at York in May when taking advantage of his falling mark. Since being raised back up in the handicap he has resumed his struggle, with a mark of 104 leaving him very vulnerable in a race of this nature. David Egan takes five pounds off his back but others make far more appeal.
4 KHAIRAAT – Progressive sort who made all impressively at Chester on his penultimate start before disappointing at Royal Ascot when last seen, unable to get to the lead. He is drawn wide here which is something to note, though if he does manage to get across to the rail he’s likely to be hugely dangerous. Jim Crowley takes the ride and he’s another to consider in a strong field.
5 MURAD KHAN – All four of his victories have come at the mile trip for Hugo Palmer, though he was most impressive when winning at Windsor on his latest start. He has been raised five pounds as a result, but he remains progressive and James Doyle retains the ride. If his stamina holds out he has definite each way claims with the yard having a good spell.
6 THA’IR – Listed winner at Sandown in July 2015, but he hasn’t been seen since a poor effort at Meydan in January 2016 in handicap company. His mark is now four pounds lower, but he has a 558 day absence to overcome and he was also advertised at stud this season. Will need to return at his best to be winning this and judging by the form of Mick Easterby at present (no wins from his last 40 runners), it’s not hard to look elsewhere.
8 BAYDAR – Won a very competitive handicap at Newbury in September, beating What About Carlo and subsequent Old Rowley Cup winner Scarlet Dragon. He is now only two pounds higher than that mark, struggling the last thrice in a mix of pattern races and competitive handicaps. He should be happier back on this slower ground and Josie Gordon is back on board, so he looks a strong contender for Hugo Palmer.
9 BRAVERY – Won the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster in April with a strong late challenge and he’s now only a pound above that mark, though that is a consequence of four poor efforts since. He could only manage sixteenth in the John Smith’s Cup when last seen and although softer conditions should suit, it is not hard to look elsewhere in a field full of inform runners.
10 EYE OF STORM – Last seen 437 days ago in May 2016, where he was fourth in a Listed race over the 1m 3f trip here. All six of his starts for this yard have come at that distance and beyond, so regardless of his absence, this trip is likely to be insufficient. Pat Dobbs takes the ride but he is likely to struggle in such a competitive race on his belated seasonal debut.
11 EDDYSTONE ROCK – Finished second off a two pound lower mark three starts ago at Epsom and he didn’t get the run of the race when held up in a race where the top four all were prominent throughout on his latest start. He remains on the same mark so has definite each way claims under Kieren Fox, though he is very hard to win with and looks vulnerable for win purposes.
12 NOBLE GIFT – Best of his form has come over further for William Knight, so it was a concern that he couldn’t back up a good third at Newmarket when upped to 1m 4f at Ascot when last seen on Friday. He is still five pounds above his last winning mark and despite Callum Shepherd taking off a useful three pounds, he’s likely to struggle until the handicapper relents further.
13 SPEED COMPANY – Last two victories have come thanks to a drop back to Class 3 company, as proven on his penultimate start at Ayr in June. A four pound rise was enough to catch him out on his latest start at Leopardstown where he could only manage fifth and he’s likely to find this a bit to competitive for him, not least as he has never won from a mark this high.
14 UAE PRINCE – Won three starts ago at Ripon and has run to a similar level in two preceding starts, finishing fourth in the John Smith’s Cup when last seen. He had the run of the race that day and he weakened out of things very late on, which is concerning as this should have more pace on. Each way claims with conditions to suit but vulnerable to a fast finisher.
15 GARCIA – Lightly raced four year old for Richard Fahey who has run well on his last two starts, most recently on seasonal debut when a keeping on fifth at York in the John Smith’s Cup. The race was steadily run so his effort can be marked up as the first four in the race all were prominent throughout. He remains on the same mark and Ryan Moore now takes over the ride, so he looks to have a big chance as he remains unexposed at this trip.
16 ERIK THE RED (NON RUNNER) – Running well at this point last season for Kevin Ryan, but he hasn’t been at his best of late and although there are some excuses, he is drawn wide today. He was behind a few of these when keen at York in the John Smith’s Cup and on that basis, it’s very easy to oppose him as he’s some way off his best at present.
17 OASIS FANTASY – Finished a neck second in this race last season for David Simcock and he hinted at a return to some form when fourth at York when last seen. A switch of headgear may suit and although it is not hard to give him place claims, a record of three wins from thirty-three starts doesn’t help his chances. Jamie Spencer takes the ride and he looks set for a minor role with conditions to suit.
18 DARK RED – Running at near his best for Ed Dunlop, finishing a close third at Newmarket when last seen on Saturday. A repeat of that performance would give him outside place claims, but he goes back up in class and is likely to just miss out as he is still two pounds above his last winning mark.