MARK Johnston is always a front runner for leading trainer at Glorious Goodwood and he will be hoping SOFIA’S ROCK can boost his tally in today’s 1m4f handicap (2.25pm).
The three-year-old finished a close third behind Raheen House in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket last time out and runs off the same mark here.
He looks versatile when it comes to ground, having won on both soft and firm, so the impending rain shouldn’t harm his chances should it hit the Sussex Downs earlier than is forecast.
Johnston has his stable in great form, the jockey booking of Ryan Moore is another thumbs up and I just can’t resist backing him each way with 188BET.
Godolphin come into the race with four chances but William Buick’s decision to climb aboard Secret Advisor suggests he’s the one expected to go closest.
However, he’s only ever run on good or good to firm ground and with that element of doubt in the back of my mind I am happy to stick with my selection.
Kicking off the card is the two-and-a-half-mile handicap (1.50pm) and Richard Fahey could get his day off to a flyer with SUEGIOO.
He won the Chester Cup back in 2014 and then nearly followed up in the Northumberland Plate that summer.
Despite not winning for three years, Suegioo has been running well in some top races, including last year’s Goodwood Cup.
Stepping down in class off a mark of 99, he is now well-handicapped and I view him in a different league to many of these.
Finishing a creditable fifth to Thomas Hobson at Ascot in June was a good performance and I can see him going closer this afternoon.
He disappointed in the Northumberland Plate recently, but stays well and he will appreciate this marathon trip.
Hawkerland and Akavit could be dangerous racing off a feather weight, but this is a big step up and I’d rather go with the proven Suegioo at 16/1 with 188BET.
A big attraction today is American-trained Happy Like A Fool in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes (3.00pm).
The daughter of Distorted Humour will be Wesley Ward’s first ever runner on the Sussex Downs and she’s a short price at around 7/4 to make it worthwhile.
Her second to Clive Cox’s Heartache in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot is the strongest piece of form on offer and she looks the likeliest winner.
However, Goodwood’s undulating track is unlike anything the filly has raced on before and I’m happy to take her on at the prices.
She may just find herself battling it out with one of Cox’s again, with KODITIME reappearing after his midfield finish in the Norfolk Stakes.
He didn’t have much company in the closing stages and was left wandering around a bit in the middle of the track.
Cox applies blinkers for the first time today which will hopefully keep him on task and the 14/1 with 188BET looks good value.
Havana Grey is likely to have his supporters after landing a Listed contest in commanding fashion at Sandown last time out.
The ground is a bit of a concern, though, with all of the colt’s five starts coming on good to firm.
Suegioo e/w 1.50pm Goodwood
Sofia’s Rock e/w 2.25pm Goodwood
Koditime e/w 3.00pm Goodwood