Glorious Goodwood has absolutely lived up to its name and reputation as a festival, and I feel extremely privileged to have seen many racehorses of utter class in my time, but Frankel winning the Sussex Stakes puts him top of my mental pecking order ahead of Sea The Stars and Zarkava.
Frankel winning the Sussex Stakes is another example of the ‘Classic Generation’ having the apparent upper hand over the older horses, and they can continue this trend in the Nassau Stakes in MISTY FOR ME. The Nassau is a Group One contest for fillies and mares over 1m 2f and attracts horses of the highest calibre, The Aidan O’ Brien trained filly built on her dual group one two year old career in emphatic style winning the Irish 2000 Guineas and then the Pretty Polly Stakes, with the Pretty Polly performance being the stand out, destroying Midday, who she will re oppose here again on Saturday. Misty for Me has proven that her optimum trip is over the distance, tiring in the Epsom Oaks, yet staying on in the Irish guineas, and given the fact three year olds are given 9lb due to weight for age, she should be very hard to beat.
The Stewards Cup is the marmite of betting opportunities –some people love it, some people hate it. There will be a field of 30 runners trying to win this Class 2 handicap, and instead of taking a chance with an outsider, we are playing it safe and sticking with the top weight, the best horse by far in the race, HOOF IT. Kieren Fallon seems to get on tremendously well with this horse, which landed another plunge for trainer Mick Easterby when winning the SkyBet Dash at York, a 20 runner handicap as 3/1 favourite. He is clearly one of those horses that come along that is a group horse slumming it in handicap company, much like Royal Ascot winner Deacon Blues, and as long as the horse deals with the ‘bounce factor’, the Easterby’s could be landing another one of their famous gambles Saturday.
We switch our attention to Newmarket for our final selection, is for in form trainer Andrew Balding, who seems to thrive in tricky handicaps, and has another potential leading player in LAY TIME, whose form looks absolutely rock solid. The filly made her debut last year in a Salisbury maiden, which was won by Group horse for Sir Michael Stoute Shim Sham, and had UAE Oaks winner Khawlah in second. Lay Time finished fifth that day, and then went and won a maiden on her seasonal debut this year, winning a seven runner maiden over 7f two weeks ago by three lengths. The Balding yard is synonymous with horses coming on for their runs, and this daughter of supersire Galileo looks like the sky is the limit for her.
2.20 Newmarket – Lay Time (Nap)
3.10 Goodwood – Misty For Me
3.45 Goodwood – Hoof It