One of the most anticipated festivals of the season, Glorious Goodwood is five days of top class racing, showcasing some of the best horses in the world. With no less than thirteen group races and some brilliant handicaps, it is not a meeting to be missed. With that in mind, we’ve been looking ahead and found five horses who need to be watched at Glorious Goodwood.
Few will forget the quite remarkable turn of foot that this five year old son of Mount Nelson showed at Ascot in October. Blocked for a run all the way until the last 150 yards, he blasted home under Robert Winston to win by half a length and it should have been far, far more. He returned this season with a good fourth in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, finishing with a flourish and he’s entitled to come on for that run. He is yet to cut it at this level, but the raw ability is there and he’s certainly one to pay close attention to as he may not be done improving just yet.
There was absolutely no stopping Big Orange in this race last season, or the season before for that matter, producing his trademark all the way run to win the contest by an easy two lengths. All heart, grit and determination, this six year old is one of, if not the gutsiest horse in training. He proved that on his latest start when winning the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, making most after fending off the late challenge of Order Of St George. That horse came home with a rattle and it looked very unlikely that Big Orange could hold him back, but he proved any doubters wrong when keeping him at bay all the way to the line. He is a very warm order to win this race for the third straight year and it’s hard to argue against that fact, as he is simply top class.
After proving himself to be a top class three year old, Ribchester has been imperious this season and a win in this race would cement him as the top miler of the season. He was simply sublime when winning the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May and once again proved his class when taking the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, despite wandering around in the final furlong. He now faces his biggest test yet as he takes on dual Guineas winner Churchill and Coral-Eclipse second Barney Roy, two three year olds who receive seven pounds from him. Can he win it? That is very much up for debate, but if he does manage to fend off those two brilliant horses, he will certainly cement his legacy.
Although it came as a shock to many and most believed her stable-mate would easily defeat her, Winter beat Rhododendron decisively to win the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in May. She would back that effort up with subsequent wins in the Irish 1000 Guineas ahead of subsequent Group 1 winner Roly Poly and most recently the Coronation Stakes, where she once again slammed that rival. She looks the real deal and clearly is one of the top filly’s of her generation, looking simply a class above on her latest runs. She is a tall order for this race and it’s not hard to see why, though the possibility of softer ground has to be of concern. Nonetheless, she deserves favouritism and a win in this contest would surely prove her to be one of the best filly’s we’ve seen in recent years.
The progression of Battaash has been quite simply remarkable this season for Charlie Hills, winning twice and a step up into Group 2 company is clearly the right move. He returned this season with a good win at Sandown in the Scurry Stakes and proved he was more than capable in group company when impressively blasting clear off the front to win the Charge at the same venue when last seen. Tactically versatile and firmly on the up grade, he shows a quite frightening turn of foot when asked and there is no telling where his progression ends. This is undoubtedly his biggest test yet, but victory over the likes of the 2016 King’s Stand Winner Profitable and Palace House winner Marsha would surely put him as one of the top sprinters of the season.