Race Time: 2.35pm Meeting: Goodwood Distance: 7f
Full Race Name: 888sport Stakes (Handicap) Class Two
If it keeps raining Goodwood can get very soft indeed by race time which will make carrying top weight here all the more difficult, but all things are possible in handicaps by definition. Boomshackerlacker (25/1) in the one eventually left to carry nine stone ten today and George Baker has booked Pat Cosgrave to do the steering. One of only two horses in the race who won last time out, the son of Dark Angel ran on strongly over further to score at Vichy in France when last seen in action and that was on a softer surface which certainly seems to suit him and as he has scored in better class than this we aren’t that willing to write him off quite yet. Course and distance winners are always worth a second glance, and as Magic City (14/1) won the race in 2013 he certainly fits the bill! Trained by Richard Hannon he is one of those horses who promises so much and then rarely delivers, with this season a prime example after three runs without looking like winning, though the fact that the handicapper hasn’t put him down an ounce could be seen by many (including us) as more than a little harsh. A closer look at his form suggests he may have needed his last run after returning from Dubai with a five month gap between racecourse visits, and he may well strip a lot fitter this afternoon and could well run a big race at a big price, though not if the ground gets too soft. Pastoral Player (25/1) is next on our pretty questionable short list and ought to run a big race for trainer Hughie Morrison who has once again booked Charlie Bennett to take a useful seven pounds off the back of the eight year old who likes it here having won over course and distance as recently as late July. He was beaten in to sixth last time out at Newbury on a softer surface which is a big concern, and has never actually won on anything softer than Good so he will need a serious drying day or two to have a decent chance but is well weighted on his best form (has won off a rating of 107 back in 2012 and races off a mark of 89 today), but may not have his deal conditions, though he could still possibly make the frame?
Local trainer Amanda Perrett likes to have a winner here if at all possible, and we are still hopeful that Czech It Out (12/1) has more races in him, even if he did let his supporters down here at the Festival when failing to see out the mile. He had looked good over course and distance first time out this season despite appearing to need the run and being sent off an unfancied 16/1 shot and ran almost as well last time out when dropped back to the seven when second to the bang in form Mullionheir at Newbury when only going down by a neck, (Pastoral Player in behind) though he as been put up three pounds in return for collecting £3728 less expenses which seems an unfair kind of deal. Lastly, and looking for a three year old with chances and how about Brian Meehan’s lightly raced Fox Trotter (8/1) as an option? He rounded off his two year old campaign with a second place to Smaih in the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury which was on soft going which could be a clue, and he ran a race full of promise when fourth after eighth months off when two lengths behind Enlace and as he is four pounds better off today and will strip a lot fitter, we expect him to turn that form around today.