The big horse racing action shows no signs of letting up and the stage is set for the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival which gets underway tomorrow.
There’s some cracking action to look forward to on the first couple of days as Stradivarius chases a third straight Goodwood Cup, while the £1million Sussex Stakes follows hot on its heels on Wednesday.
Our horse racing expert previews the feature races and best bets for days one and two of the Festival.
Day One – Goodwood Cup
Day One’s feature race sees three of the top-four from last month’s Ascot Gold Cup renew their rivalry.
All the attention is on Stradivarius in his hat-trick bid, and despite only being five-years-old he has already achieved so much having scooped the £1million jackpot as a four-year-old, winning the Yorkshire Cup, Ascot Gold Cup, a second Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup.
He’s already started this season in similar fashion, winning the Yorkshire Cup and the Ascot Gold Cup, and showed guts and determination to win the latter last month.
Stradivarius is 8/11 to strike again at Goodwood, and he will be tough to stop.
Gold Cup runner-up Dee Ex Bee deserves some consideration as well at 9/2, and has performed well on both soft and good to firm ground, winning off the latter in his last two starts over tomorrow’s trip at both Ascot and Sandown.
However, I just can’t see him being able to repel Stradivarius and my fancy, Cross Counter, here.
The Charlie-Appleby trained horse did well to finish fourth at the Gold Cup behind Stradivarius having been held up in running.
Unlike Ascot, this race is likely to be run at a stronger gallop, and he has previous at Goodwood having broken the one-and-a-half-mile track record here last year.
Day Two – Sussex Stakes
Eight have been declared for the £1million Sussex Stakes on day two of the festival, with the field headed by John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot, who comes into the race on the back of landing the Group One Prix Jean Prat.
Prior to that he had been disappointing, finishing third behind Circus Maximus in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
Circus Maximus was supplemented for that win, and has been again for this race at a cost of £70,000 and connections will fancy their chances of making it a double.
Queen Anne Stakes winner Lord Glitters also lines up as well as my fancy, the Irish 2000 Guineas victor Phoenix of Spain at 11/2.
Following that victory, the grey was below par at the Royal meeting as he finished a distance sixth. You can bank on him producing a better showing this time round though, and I expect him to reproduce his Guineas form where he was too good for Too Darn Hot.
Do any of these horses feature in the top current race horses?