Five runnings of this contest so far and just the one winning favourite with 14/1 chance Shady McCoy winning for trainer Ian Williams last season. Plenty of runners to work though so let’s get on with the race previews ahead of the 5.50pm at Goodwood this afternoon.
IN SUMMARY: Another tough Goodwood handicap but if we read the race right they will be going flat out from the off which may well set the race up for SINFONIETTA (each way) to pick them all off late on in this contest. A late finisher over this trip he stays further and with a bit of luck in running can put in a huge effort.
1 IFWECAN – Won well enough on his return this season over this trip at Newmarket in May but found Group Three company beyond him in the Criterion Stakes at the beginning of last month when sixth of eight to Home Of The Brave, beaten ten lengths at the line. The return to handicap company ought to suit, but a rating of 95 leaves him with a career best to find to win here for trainer Martin Smith who arrives here without a winner from just the two recent runners.
2 WAR DEPARTMENT – Consistent son of Frozen Power who has won four of his twenty-eight starts including a Class Two event at Newcastle on the all-weather two races back. Put up four pounds for that win he finished thirteenth of fourteen at Hamilton last time out when finding them too quick for him over six furlongs, and will be happier back at this trip but is another needing a career best here off 95 and any overnight rain will seriously hinder his chances.
3 MEDBURN DREAM – Hacked up by nine lengths at Lingfield on rattling fast ground over seven and a half furlongs in June but clearly annoyed the handicappers who put him up a big ten pounds. That saw him finish a well beaten three and three-quarter length sixth at Windsor last time out when weakening close home but remain on the same high mark this afternoon which may well prove that bit too much for him. Paulo Henderson’s stable form is hard to gauge with no runners in the last two weeks.
4 WAR GLORY – Hasn’t won for over a year now after scoring at Chelmsford over the mile last July but has been running well in defeat since with a five length fifth to Quixote in a Class Two over a mile at Haydock seeing him put up to a career high mark of 95. That seemed too high and so it proved with a loss at York and another at Newmarket off four pounds lower. Same rating this afternoon for Richard Hannon less Hollie Doyle’s three-pound claim and looks to have each way chances if everything goes his way.
5 SINFONIETTA – Trained locally to the track by David Menusier, the son of Sinndar has won once from his eighteen starts but placed in nine others in races of this standard and better. Last time out he finished a four length fourth to Laraaib over a mile and a quarter when one placed close home but a fast run seven here should suit him an awful lot better and if he tracks across as expected from his high draw her can finish like a train and grab them all close to the line.
6 REPUTATION – Ran well here in the Qatar Stakes over course and distance last season as a three-year-old off a rating of 83 but has to suffer an added eight pounds this afternoon after a win at Epsom saw his rating raised. Yet to win over this trip and possibly better over shorter and may find the cut in the ground and likely early pace stretches his stamina that bit too far. John Quinn stable seem out of sorts with just the one win from their last thirty-two runners.
7 BOY IN THE BAR – Yet to win over further than six furlongs and another who may find this trip too far on this ground and in this company, especially when having to come out of the nineteen stall. He also has five pounds more to carry than his career best winning mark and was beaten over six lengths last time out at Ascot – he would be a surprise winner here for trainer Ian Williams who hasn’t had a winner in the last fortnight despite the ten attempts.
8 CENOTAPH – One of the Ballydoyle lesser lights with one Dundalk maiden win for the son of War Front who is bred to be so much better than that. Ryan Moore rides for Aidan O’Brien who has 29% success rate at the time of writing, but a poor draw in the eighteen stall and a fourth to Severus over this trip at The Curragh last time don’t look likely to add up to enough to see him successful here, though a double figure price for any horse from the yard is such a rarity that a place could yet be a possibility.
9 SUN LOVER –Gelded by connection after winning his maiden at the fourth attempt at Newcastle last September and wasn’t seen until finishing second at York over this trip in June when well supported to make a winning return and sent off the 11/2 favourite. He was expected to improve for that and was sent off a shade of odds on at Doncaster before being beaten a head by Classic Seniority but if he improves again as seem likely, he looks a major player for Newmarket handler Roger Varian and jockey Andrea Atzeni.
10 LOST AT SEA – Just the four runs so far starting with a Conditions Stakes win at Doncaster after which he was stepped up in class without success with a sixth in the Listed Rockingham Stakes at York followed by a ten length ninth in the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. Put away for the winter he returned at Newmarket when only ninth over the mile, but he did weaken close home that day and drops down a furlong here. As that was his first run in nine months he seems sure to improve for the race and dropped four pounds today as well as in class and trip, he could be the dark horse here for each way punters.
11 THE WARRIOR – Local trainer Amanda Perrett is in good sorts of late with two winners from the five runners for a 40% strike rate and a level stakes profit of 3.25 points but will do well to add to that with the son of Exceed and Excel. After joining the yard from Aidan O’Brien in February last year, he took twelve races before his only win for new connections over the mile at Kempton on the all-weather and has run seven times since without another win. Some decent placed efforts have still seen his ratings rise to 90 last time out (89 today), and that looks too high for him on what he has shown recently.
12 PASTORAL PLAYER – Can be a tricky ride as he seems to do his best when weaving through horses close home, but he does arrive in good form after a win last time out at Epsom which has seen him put up to a rating of 89 today. Now a veteran at the age of ten, jockey Charlie Bennett takes three pounds off his back and gets on well with the gelding, winning over course and distance here last season, but he will need the race to open up in front of him to get involved and that risk needs to be built in to his price today.
13 BARON BOLT – Loves it at Catterick with all three career wins there, and will find Goodwood a very different proposition though he didn’t run too badly when eighth of fifteen over course and distance in May. He carries six pounds less than that here which has to give him a chance of some sort though the twenty stall is not a help and his chances seem to diminish accordingly. Trainer Paul Cloe is going well enough with two winners from just the nine recent runners (22%) but this looks a tough call for the son of Kheleyf.
14 TRUTH OR DARE – A top four placing in six of his seven races since moving to the James Bethell yard but they have seen his handicap mark kept on the high side though that didn’t stop a solid three-quarter length second to Century Dream last time out at Ayr over the mile. He can start slowly and may struggle to make that ground up over this trip if repeating those antics today, but with a level break he has to be included in calculations.
15 NOBLE PEACE – Henry Candy trains the son of Kyllachy (who he also trained), and will be hoping he can win his fourth race on his eighteenth start this afternoon. Last time out he finished fifth to Pastoral Player at Epsom in a Class Four handicap over this trip but was only beaten a length and three quarters at the line despite finding himself short of room at a crucial time, and off the same mark here he seems sure to make a bold bid at following up his May course and distance victory.
16 MEDIEVAL – Dropped a very generous four pounds by the handicapper after a below par effort when ninth of eleven over a mile and a quarter at Newmarket, but that may have been more about the trip than his abilities. Some decent juvenile form in Listed class would give him serious chances at these weights if he can repeat last season’s efforts and not easily dismissed despite his price if he still has the speed for this trip.
17 MR BOSSY BOOTS – Three places from four starts since leaving Ralph Beckett to join Sussex trainer Amanda Perrett who has booked Jim Crowley to ride in a throw back to yesteryear. Decent on the polytrack but yet to win on turf after four attempts but ran well enough in second at Lingfield in a better race last time, and if there is a big surprise, he could be the one to provide it from a decent draw for an in-form stable.
18 EASY TIGER – A winner last time out for the Malcolm Saunders stable after a length and a half victory from Twin Appeal over this trip at Leicester, that was only his second start for the yard after leaving William Muir. He has been put up a sensible three pounds for that but looks to be improving slowly, and would be a stronger fancy with a lower draw for a stable in good form with a 33% strike rate in the last two weeks.
19 GORING – Seems to handle any ground with wins on Good to Firm, Good, Good to Soft, and Soft and scored over this trip at Chepstow in June. His last race can be ignored (said to be slightly injured in the race), and not without a slim chance off of the same rating today. Eve Johnson Houghton yard are going great guns with five from their last twenty-six runners for a 19% strike rate and hard to just ignore
20 LUIS VAZ DE TORRES – Bottom weight for the Richard Fahey trained five-year-old, who has won six of his twenty-eight starts and over £42,000 in prize money. Both wins this season have been over this trip at Catterick and Musselburgh in lesser races and he will need a career best to win in this class off his current rating. Not far away in third at Ayr last time out but this looks a lot tougher.