BILL ESDAILE PREVIEWS TODAY’S RACING AT GLORIOUS GOODWOOD
ASCOT Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris attempts to join a roll of honour in this afternoon’s Qatar Goodwood Cup (3.10pm) that includes the likes of Yeats and Persian Punch. Ed Dunlop’s colt rewarded followers of this column with an impressive win at Ascot, but now looks worth opposing at just 7/2 with Unibet.
Not only is the four-year-old burdened with a 4lb penalty for that Group One success, I’m also not sure the drop back in trip to two miles plays to his strengths either. His most impressive performances this campaign have come over two miles and two furlongs in the Betway Chester Cup and the extended two and a half miles at Royal Ascot.
In fact, his defeat at Sandown between those wins came over this very trip when he got going all too late. Admittedly, he was denied a clear run that day. But there is a very good chance that the same may happen again and he won’t get the luck required in running.
Don’t get me wrong, he is undoubtedly the one to beat in what doesn’t look a vintage renewal. But I’m prepared to take him on at the prices.
Next in the betting is Michael Bell’s Big Orange, who arrives here on the back of an impressive Group Two win over 12 furlongs at the July meeting. The first time cheekpieces helped him that day and connections reach for them again this afternoon. He’s won over 14 furlongs before and has some course form, but I’m not totally convinced that this is his trip.
Simenon is getting a little long in the tooth and couldn’t win here in his heyday, while Oriental Fox bounced back at Ascot but may not be able to replicate that performance.
Quest For More won at Goodwood two starts back and was a far more comfortable winner of the Northumberland Plate than the winning margin suggests. He is most definitely on the upgrade, but this requires another massive jump.
The one that appeals most at the current prices is the Andrew Balding-trained SCOTLAND, who ran really well behind Trip To Paris when sixth in the Ascot Gold Cup. If jockey Jim Crowley could ride that race again he would almost certainly have the four-year-old more handy. Last time he was switched off out the back with doubts over him getting the trip.
The reality was that not many were finishing better than the son of Monsun, and he can go close ridden more prominently this afternoon. He has to step up on everything he has shown on the racecourse so far, but at 14/1 with Betway he is worth an each-way flutter.
SCOTLAND e/w 3:10pm Goodwood