WE HAVE already seen some incredible horses at Goodwood this week and this afternoon Battaash gets the opportunity to match Stradivarius’ feat by winning at this meeting for a third straight year.
Charlie Hills’ speedball is ideally suited to this downhill track and as long as he doesn’t boil over in the preliminaries, the Group Two King George Qatar Stakes (3.35pm) looks his for the taking.
He has comfortably landed the last two and today’s opposition don’t look particularly strong, so it’s no surprise the bookmakers are offering a best price of 1/3.
This is a race to watch and enjoy rather than bet on, but there are plenty of other punting opportunities.
With a prize fund of £150,000, the Unibet Golden Mile (3.00pm) is one of Europe’s richest mile handicaps and Frankie Dettori fans will be out in force as he is riding hot favourite Mojito.
Trained by William Haggas, who won this race 12 months ago with the Queen’s Seniority, this five-year-old shrugged off an absence of 637 days to comfortably win the Coral Challenge at Sandown last month.
Since then he has been the hot favourite for this race but, although favourites have won two of the last three renewals, only four in total have been successful in the race’s 32-year history.
There is also the dreaded bounce factor to consider, so at just 7/2 I’m happy to look elsewhere.
The draw is crucial in mile races at Goodwood with a low stall a major advantage – in the last decade, eight winners have come from a single figure berth.
Mojito has stall nine, which isn’t the worst, while last year’s winner Seniority will have to defy gate 11 if he is to become the first dual winner.
Wentworth, trained by Richard Hannon Snr, was the last three-year-old to win this prize in 2013 and I think BEAT LE BON will repeat the trick for his son.
This son of Wootton Bassett has won his last two races over seven furlongs, including one success at this track, and he shapes as though the step up to a mile will suit.
Ideally drawn in stall three and with just 8st 13lbs on his back, he looks a great each-way bet at 10/1 with Ladbrokes.
I always like to throw a couple of darts at big handicaps like this and my second selection is Keith Dalgleish’s WHAT’S THE STORY at around the 14/1 mark.
Unsuited by soft ground in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot, either side of that he won a competitive mile handicap at York and was then an excellent third to Pivoine in the valuable John Smith’s Cup last time out.
He is a very consistent horse in these big handicaps and even though he is yet to run at Goodwood, his draw in stall two is perfect.
It was hard not to be impressed with DUKE OF HAZZARD at Newmarket in a mile Listed race last month and I expect him to follow up in the Group Three Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (2.25pm) today.
He won his maiden at this meeting last year, so we know he handles the track, while PJ McDonald, who has been among the winners this week, retains the ride.
The only slight worry is that his Newmarket win was in first-time blinkers, so they will need to work again, but I think that’s a risk worth taking.
It’s a competitive race with the likes of King Ottokar, Turgenev and Biometric, but he looks the best bet at a general 9/2.
Sir Michael Stoute has won the last three editions of the Group Three L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes (4.40pm) and he can make it four in a row with reigning champion MIRAGE DANCER.
This five-year-old son of Frankel is unbeaten in three starts over course and distance and can continue his fine record on the Sussex Downs.
Duke Of Hazzard 2.25pm Goodwood
Beat Le Bon e/w 3.00pm Goodwood
What’s The Story e/w 3.00pm Goodwood
Mirage Dancer 4.40pm Goodwood