4.10pm Goodwood Tips & Betting Preview 04/08/2017

Just the two winning favourites in the last ten renewals of this nursery but no surprise there with the tricky balancing act of weight carried versus potential improvement among these youngsters. Tread on for our full race preview ahead of the 4.10pm at Goodwood on Friday afternoon.

IN SUMMARY: Although Rufus King dominates the early markets it is asking a lot for any juvenile to carry nine stone ten in these conditions, and it may be better to follow HOLY TIBER here who has proved she can handle this going with wins at Doncaster and Nottingham. Well weighted off just eight stone today, she is clearly the value call and should prove hard to beat in receipt of so much weight this afternoon.

1 RUFUS KING – Mark Johnston’s son of Iffraaj has to give a minimum of eighteen pounds away to all of his rivals here but is the best horse in the race by some margin if weighted accordingly. No horse has carried more than nine stone three to success in the past decade but he has won two of his five starts including last time out at Ascot when seeing off Dragons Tail by a length and three-quarters over this six-furlong trip. He has placed on good to Soft going but is yet to encounter anything as soft as that expected here and on breeding it is not guaranteed to suit. Stable are in good form with a 21% strike rate.

2 RED ROMAN – One win from four starts for the Charlie Hills colt who scored at Newmarket on Good to Soft on his second start before a sixteenth of eighteen at Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes and a seventh of twelve to tangled in a Newmarket nursery. Dropped a miserly pound for that run he will need to improve again to take a hand here but may well handle the ground better than some.

3 CAROUSE – Still a maiden after three starts for trainer Andrew Balding and third at Epsom last time out over this trip in a Class Five novice, beaten two lengths at the line. His earlier second may have been a better performance on ground with some cut in but faces these conditions for the first time. Stable are going well enough with five wins from their last thirty-seven starts for a level stakes profit of close to twenty points but seems to have enough weight for a maiden off a rating of 84.

4 LUIS FERNANDEZ – Debuted at Beverley when third to Time Trail but has gone from strength to strength since with wins at Redcar and Newbury over this trip on Good to firm and then good ground. Sired by Gio Ponti who won on yielding ground in New York (Belmont), and looks likely to make a bold bid at landing his hat-trick for trainer Kevin Ryan.

5 GIFT IN TIME – Trained by James Given and put in a promising debut in second before finding the company way too hot in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot when fifteenth of seventeen over the five furlongs. Dropped back into Novice company last time out the son of Society Rock ran on really strongly over five furlongs to win by a neck and may well improve again for the first attempt at this trip. Jockey Adam Beschizza felt the same saying after that race that “Gift In Time ran well when he was second on soft ground first time, he just got a bit tired late on but that form worked out. He’s a decent horse but needs 6f now”, though the stable aren’t in good form with zero winners from the eleven recent winners.

6 ROYAL DIPLOMAT – Still waiting for his first win after three starts, the first and second at Naas and Dundalk before moving from Adrian Paul Keatley to Richard Fahey in mid-July. His one race since was a five length fifth at Ripon over five furlongs on soft going when weakening late home in a Novice Stakes which surely leaves him with plenty to find on similar going upped in trip this afternoon.

7 BRANSCOMBE – The second runner for trainer Mark Johnston and thanks to the participation of his stablemate at the top, he will be forced to carry one pound more than his allotted handicap mark, though jockey Richard Oliver negates that with his five-pound claim. So far the son of Invincible Spirit has won one of his six starts at Sandown over five furlongs but was a very disappointing last of six over this trip on soft ground last time out at Newbury which surely doesn’t bode well for his chances here. He was eased off once he started to fade inside the final furlong that day to be beaten forty-seven lengths and virtually pulled up, and he clearly needs to do a lot better here.

8 HOLY TIBER – Two wins from three runs for the George Scott trained filly at Doncaster and Nottingham, both on soft ground with her debut over five furlongs and her last race over this trip at the end of June. She beat Sweet Vixen by half a length that day keeping on well in a Novice Auction Stakes and on ground she clearly acts on (unlike some). Although she has to carry a pound more than her official handicap mark thanks to the race conditions, she still looks on a very attractive mark this afternoon, and with all the race conditions in her favour, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor looks to have an outstanding chance.

9 QUAYSIDE – One win from four starts at Hamilton on Good to Soft over five furlongs but well beaten since when sixth of seven at Haydock a big fourteen and a half lengths behind winner Prestbury Park. He weakened inside the final furlong that day on a much faster surface, and although he only has eight stone here (should carry seven twelve so is two pounds “wrong” today), the Richard Fahey yard are still among the winners (13 from 129 runners in the last two weeks), and thus he cannot be confidently written off with jockey Aaron Jones good value for his three-pound claim.

10 ICONIC KNIGHT – Three runs without a win for Ed Walker’s son of Sir Prancealot with a pair of third places at Brighton and Windsor over this trip at Brighton and then Windsor. He was only beaten three-quarters of a length that day looking a bit one paced in the finish, though he does have room to improve further. His sire has had winners on the soft but they are generally better on a quicker surface and with five pounds more than his allotted weight he is up against it here.

11 MILTON ROAD – Surely unlikely to run here for trainer Mick Channon after finishing a forty-two-length last of six at Sandown on Wednesday. He has to carry seven pounds more than his allotted weight here and even though he has experience on his side after eleven races for wins here over five furlongs and then at Leicester and Nottingham over this trip but looks up against it here.

12 NEW EMPIRE – First-time blinkers for the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained juvenile who was last seen finishing tenth of twelve at Haydock in a nursery off a rating of 72. He was beaten twelve lengths that day but has amusingly been put up seven pounds for that, and even though the stable are hitting 33% thanks to one win from three runners, he runs from eight pounds out of the weights before Noel Garbutt’s three-pound claim and ought to be outclassed.

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