THERE is nowhere that’s harder to back a winner than Glorious Goodwood. Like all major festivals the races are competitive, but unlike anywhere else you tend to get more hard luck stories and, in many cases, the best animal doesn’t actually win.
Horses can often roll off a true racing line as they encounter the unique undulations of the Sussex Downs, meaning that plenty of doors tend to slam shut as riders search for crucial gaps. Just ask anyone who backed the well-fancied Birchwood in Tuesday’s Vintage Stakes as he was stopped in his run and reduced to a walk when being perfectly delivered to win the race.
My reason for emphasising the dangers of a troubled passage is the horse I fancy the most this afternoon may need plenty of luck in running. She can get outpaced and will more than likely have to weave her way from the back of the field.
Now that the ground appears to be drying out, ARABIAN COMET looks to have her ideal conditions in the Markel Insurance Fillies’ Stakes (3.45pm). William Haggas’ representative was a fast-finishing second in this very contest 12 months ago as a three-year-old and can win what looks a slightly weaker renewal this afternoon at 5/1 with Betway.
The key to this daughter of Dubawi is a strong pace on a decent surface over 14 furlongs. As long as the rain stays away, everything seems in her favour. She loves Goodwood and arguably should have won over 12 furlongs on her seasonal reappearance, but was denied a run at a crucial stage.
They didn’t go quick enough on her latest start at Newmarket and she was caught flat-footed when they eventually did start to race, before running on too late at the death. There should be no hanging around this afternoon. As long as she avoids traffic, she should take all the beating.
Luca Cumani has his string in great nick. His Jordan Princess looks sure to be well-supported, having finished in front of Arabian Comet on her latest start. She got the run of the race that day, however, and is untried over this extended trip.
The same can also be said of the Richard Hannon-trained Lustrous, who is another stepping up to 14 furlongs for the first time. She ran a cracker in the Lancashire Oaks when only just denied on her latest start and may be the biggest danger if she lasts an extra two furlongs.
Finally, three-year-olds get a healthy stone weight allowance, meaning that it would be no surprise to see Simple Verse hit the frame. But, in truth, I would be surprised if she was good enough to beat Arabian Comet.
ARABIAN COMET 3:45pm Goodwood