3.25pm Goodwood Tips & Betting Preview 21/05/2016

3.25pm Goodwood – Al Basti Greatwood Stakes (Handicap) Class Two – 7f

Without a single course and distance winner in the field this should be fun but luckily for us there is a decent bit of value to be had with Zhui Feng (9/1 Each Way) at a price. It is more than easy to ignore his 2000 Guineas run when tenth of thirteen to Galileo Gold and beaten less than ten lengths as that was Group One and a classic, and this is a handicap. The race before he was third, only beaten a neck and a neck by Thikriyaat and Tabarrak, with the winner still unbeaten after taking a Listed race next time out, and the runner up winning a competitive handicap next time out. A mark of 100 doesn’t seem too arduous in those circumstances, and with the drop back to seven furlongs ideal and Pat Dobbs above average around here he looks a rock solid each way option.

Andrew Balding has decided to let our old friend Ian Fleming (11/1) takes his chances here as he looks to make it three out of three for the season. He is particularly difficult for the handicapper to get to grips with having won both his starts this season by just a nose, but we are thinking that may have been clever jockeyship by Ed Greatrex who is superb value for his five pound claim. A five pound weight rise for such a narrow success seems a bit harsh on paper, but we get the feeling he has a little bit left up his sleeve and if he is held up again and produced at the right moment, he may yet be able to land the hat-trick.

Roger Varian is responsible for top weight Haalick (7/1) who may well have won last time out at Lingfield granted any luck in running whatsoever after being blocked not once but twice and having to come around his field to end up a running on third. Many who saw the race feel he was the moral victor but if he had won you can be pretty sure he would have been put up in the weights, so he could yet be well in here and is very much at the top of our early pre race short list.

With the Sir Michael Stoute yard out of sorts for a couple of years but back with a bang this season, some of us wonder if he may have some well handicapped horses in his yard and Arab Poet (11/1) could well be one that fits the bill. After three runs last season the son of Poet’s Voice finally got off the mark at Lingfield over six furlongs when easily beating Alshaqee (winner since) by two and a quarter lengths. The third, fifth, and seventh have also won since so the form has a solid look to it for a maiden and he was duly put away to look forward to a 2016 campaign. Returning to action last month at Beverley he was beaten a length and three quarters by the well regarded Garcia, fading inside the last on good to soft going, but dropped back half a furlong here and on a quicker surface with that run under his belt, he could go very close today.

No trainer is in hotter form right now than Richard Hannon, and he has Oh This Is Us (11/2) in here as the three-year-old son of Acclamation looks to land his hat trick for the season. Bit highs wins have been over a mile and not this seven furlongs but he has cruised up and hit the front at the furlong pole on both occasions so we aren’t overly concerned about the drop in trip and are a bit more worried about the extra nine pounds the handicapper has lumbered him with since his last run!

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