5.15pm Goodwood Tips & Betting Preview 04/08/2017

Sir Michael Stoute is the only trainer to win this more than once in the last ten years and struck with Poet’s Voice last season and looks to add to that with Swiftsure here. With three favourites (one of them joint) in the last five years punters will be hoping for more of the same, but why not read on for our horse by horse race preview for the 5.15pm at Goodwood plus or selection, of course.

IN SUMMARY: A competitive looking event to end the card but one that can go the way of the Perrett trained OPINIONATE (11/1) who makes his handicap debut after a nice 202 day break. He is very lightly raced and created a good impression when winning a Lingfield maiden in January.

1 SHYMKENT – Plenty to do off joint top weight of nine stone seven but with two wins from four starts this season he deserves his current rating of 90. Trainer David O’Meara is getting a reputation as a bit of a master in these valuable handicaps but the gelded son of Pivotal will need to improve a little on his tenth of eighteen in the King George V handicap to win at these weights, though he did win on soft ground at Carlisle and may handle these conditions better than most. Danny Tudhope rides as you would expect, though the stable are in appalling form with no winners from a big sixty-six runners in the last two weeks which makes him hard to make a realistic case for.

2 BEAR VALLEY – Trainer Mark Johnston continues in good form and loves nothing more than a winner or two at Glorious Goodwood, and with a strike rate of 21% thanks to eighteen winners from their last eighty-six runners. Hasn’t been at his best lately with a last of twelve at York (beaten over eleven lengths) and an eight of nine at Ascot beaten over ten lengths. Inexplicably only dropped a single pound for both those runs he would need a career best to win here and on recent efforts that looks to be asking too much.

3 SWIFTSURE – Trainer Sir Michael Stoute won this last season and looks to follow up with The Queen’s son of top sire Dubawi who has had two runs since being gelded with an easy six length win at Pontefract over ten furlongs followed by a less inspiring third to Roar at Newmarket over the same trip. He did look a bit once paced that day so the step up in trip may bring about some further improvement, but he has been put up an added six pounds for that and even with Ryan Moore back in the saddle he looks to have his work cut out.

4 COUNT CALABASH – yet to win this year after three starts, but he did sign off last season with three wins in a row at Brighton, Bath, and Newmarket over eight nine and ten furlongs, though not in that order. His one start for Eve Johnson Houghton after leaving Paul Cole saw a staying on three-quarter length third at Windsor over a mile and a quarter, and he could well improve for the step up in trip this afternoon. His stable are in great form with a 24% strike rate and close to ten points of profit and although a bit of a dark horse, he cannot be easily ruled out.

5 RESHOUN – Left the French stable of Alain de Royer-Dupre last month and makes his debut for Ian Williams this afternoon after changing hands for £75,000. Stays this trip easily enough and won on his debut at Angouleme but ran his worse race on good to soft going and may not be best suited to these conditions. Stable are only hitting a 7% strike rate in the last two weeks but he is a potential improver and is well worth watching here.

6 ME TOO NAGASAKI – One of the few here who won’t mind any further rain after winning on heavy at Haydock albeit by only a neck at the line, though he did look as green as grass that day and will improve with experience.. Not exactly bred for this trip on paper being by Iffraaj out of a Refuse To Bend mare, he ran on really well last time to finish a three-quarter length second over the stiff Sandown mile, suggesting he has a lot more stamina than some would think, and leaving the step up in trip looking ideal and likely to bring about further improvement.  Frankie Dettori rides for Jeremy Noseda (just like in the old days) on this rapidly improving sort, and with two wins from just the four recent runners (50%), he has to be included in any calculations and tops our shortlist.

7 CROSS STEP – One of two Charlie Appleby/Godolphin runners here and the mount of James Doyle for the first time this afternoon. A son of Kitten’s Joy, he ought to handle the going as well as any even though he is yet to race on anything worse than good, but his fifth to Duke Of Bronte last time out at Newbury looks to leave him with plenty to find here. One maiden win is the only one on his CV so far at Lingfield (and that was by a short head), and off the same rating as when well beaten last time, others look to have better chances.

8 LONDINIUM – The second of three Mark Johnston runners and a winner last time out here on Wednesday in a Class Two handicap over this sort of trip. He scored by a length and a half on soft ground which is encouraging here and has a six-pound penalty to carry after scoring by a length and a half. Oisin Murphy replaces Joe Fanning in the saddle today but if the horse arrives in the same form then a penalty may not be enough to stop him as he effectively drops in class looking to pick up some more prize money. His trainer said after that run that Joe [Fanning] said Londinium was always travelling very well and was absolutely cantering at the top of the hill, when he was torn between tactics but decided to kick for home. He’s a horse who doesn’t normally do well away from home, but he’s in again on Friday and so might get used to Goodwood”, and as things stand he ought to be a major player here.

9 WALTON STREET – The hardest horse in the race to gauge after one run and one win at Pontefract on Good to Soft ground when scoring by a length and three-quarters from Roddy in July. There is plenty of speed on his mother’s side which makes this trip in question, but he is open to any amount of further improvement and may be well in here off a rating of 84 for his handicap debut. Charlie Appleby is in great form with seven winners from his last twenty-nine runners for a 24% success rate and he has to be seen as a major contender here.

10 SEE OF ROME – Caught the eye on his fifth start when winning his maiden by a very easy five lengths on Good to Soft ground and was possibly ridden too aggressively next time out on his handicap debut at Newbury before finishing last of ten. Back on ground with plenty of give in it, he could be a different beast altogether for jockey turned trainer Richard Hughes, though the stable could be in better form with just 6% of winners in the last two weeks.

11 TUFF ROCK – Blinkers on for the first time despite breaking his duck at the third attempt last time out here over a mile and a quarter when holding on all out to score by a nose at the line. He may well have idled in front that day hence the application of the head gear, but he still needs to improve considerably to take a hand here with a mark of 83 anything but generous on what he has achieved so far.

12 OPINIONATE – Trained locally to Goodwood by Amanda Perrett and owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, he will run in the famous pink and green colours carried to success by the likes of Frankel, Arrogate, and more recently Enable. Just the two runs so far have seen a second at Kempton and a maiden win at Lingfield, both on the all-weather with the latest over a mile in January. A son of Cacique out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, the trip may well be within his reach while the form of his last race has worked out well with the second, third and fourth all winning next time out. A rating of 81 looks reasonable enough and he ought to be able to get involved in the finish here if he can handle both the track and the softer surface this afternoon.

13 STAR OF THE EAST – The third of the Mark Johnston trio and with Silvestre de Sousa in the saddle on his seasonal debut. Two wins from five starts as a two-year-old mark him down as above average, and he sneaks in here off bottom weight off of joint bottom weight of eight stone twelve, but this will be his first run for over ten months and it may well be asking a bit too much to win a race of this standard after such a long lay-off. The truth is we do not know if he has trained on from two to three until we see him in action, or if he stays this far on this ground and as things stand, others appeal that little bit more in this race.

14 NESHMEYA – Non-Runner.

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