THERE isn’t a track in the country that serves up more hard-luck stories than Goodwood and that was again evident at their flagship meeting earlier this month.
Plenty are denied daylight at crucial moments and when the gaps eventually open, the race is normally all but over.
That was exactly what happened to the Sir Michael Stoute-trained JUBILOSO in the Oak Tree Stakes, but the stage is set for the talented three-year-old filly to gain compensation in tomorrow’s Betway Atalanta Stakes (3.00pm) at Sandown.
She had previously produced a career- best performance when third to Watch Me and Hermosa in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot over a mile and the return to that trip is another positive.
Her biggest danger looks likely to be John Gosden’s Duneflower who bids for the hat-trick after recent successes at Doncaster and Ascot.
Even though she is improving rapidly, that form still leaves her with plenty to find with Jubiloso and I expect Ryan Moore to make no mistakes on the filly who is a best-priced 11/10 with Coral.
It’s easy to make a case for plenty in the opening five-furlong handicap (1.50pm), but I’m going to stick with course form for my main selection and side with JUMIRA BRIDGE.
Robert Cowell has booked the services of champion jockey-elect Oisin Murphy for the five-year-old who boasts a perfect two from two record at the Esher track.
He’s not been seen at his best on the all-weather in recent starts, but the return to a course he relishes from only a 2lb higher mark than when winning here early last month tips the call in his favour.
His draw in stall three could be an advantage and Cowell is applying a first-time tongue tie which may also help.
He can be backed at 7/1 with Coral which will do for me in a wide-open contest.
Another horse I could easily see going well is GRACIOUS JOHN who has slipped to the lowest mark of his career.
When you factor in Angus Villiers taking off another 7lbs, the six-year-old is essentially running off a mark of 77, which is an astonishing 33lbs below the best of his form of a few years ago.
He showed enough on his first start for Ian Williams last week to suggest he could run a big race at 14/1 with Coral.
If the bookmakers are to be believed, then William Haggas’ Country has the 1m2f handicap (2.25pm) at his mercy.
The three-year-old somewhat fluffed his lines when well beaten on his racecourse debut at Doncaster back in March, but has made up for that since being stepped up in trip and is unbeaten in three starts subsequently.
However, the handicapper has raised him another 5lbs since his Redcar win three weeks ago and he will need to step forward again.
Instead, I’d rather take a chance on MIGRATION who again brings that all-important course form to the table having already run well here in two starts this season.
He was a close second in the Esher Cup over a mile in April and then won over course and distance earlier this month, proving too good for some useful types.
He’s another one the handicapper has taken no chances with having raised him 6lbs, but he looks on an upward curve and is worth a bet at 4/1 with Ladbrokes.
Jumira Bridge e/w 1.50pm Sandown
Gracious John e/w 1.50pm Sandown
Migration 2.25pm Sandown
Jubiloso 3.00pm Sandown