HENRY Candy’s CODE OF HONOR was a confident selection for this column a few weeks back at Sandown and he didn’t disappoint, storming clear and returning at a rather generous looking 4/1.
I know connections were surprised the talented three-year-old was only put up 6lb by the handicapper for that easy three-length win and he can take advantage of that leniency by landing today’s opener at Glorious Goodwood, the Gordon’s Stakes (2.15pm).
It’s not as competitive a race as 13 runners would suggest, with the majority of the field looking pretty exposed.
But top-weight Tha’ir was a good juvenile and got his head back in front when dropped in class nearly two weeks ago. The second that day has since won, but a wide draw, coupled with the fact Godolphin’s horse has to concede a lot of weight to my selection, means I can swerve him at the likely prices.
The Richmond Stakes at 2.45pm has, like so many other races at this festival, become a Richard Hannon benefit with the handler saddling the winner in four of the last five renewals.
However, his Thunder Strike ran a shocker last time and has something to prove in what looks a trappy contest. I’m not sure I’ll be getting involved but there seemed to be no fluke about the way Miracle Of Medinah belied his odds of 33/1 to complete a hat-trick in a Listed contest on his last run and he’s likely to be a fair each-way price again with Coral.
The two-mile Goodwood Cup (3.15pm) looks a decent renewal but those at the head of the market all have something to prove.
Mount Athos returns to a more suitable trip after looking outpaced over a shorter distance but I’m concerned his trainer will be wary of protecting his mark ahead of another crack at the Melbourne Cup in November.
Both Saddler’s Rock, last year’s winner, and Colour Vision were top-class stayers but they have lost their way of late and Caucus has come up short in five previous attempts in Group company.
ALTANO is a bit of a speculative selection as I’m not convinced about the jockey, especially having his first ride at a tricky track like Goodwood, but this German raider could arguably have won the Ascot Gold Cup if his rider hadn’t given him so much to do.
Apparently, he was ridden to get the trip then, but there are no worries about that today as the son of Galileo is twice a winner over two miles and is versatile ground-wise. He’s also incredibly consistent, winning 11 and finishing placed a further seven times from 25 career starts.
He’s cracking value at 10/1.
CODE OF HONOR 2.15pm Goodwood
ALTANO e/w 3.15pm Goodwood