HUR5 From Goodwood Preview – 4th August

It’s the final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and that can only mean one thing… HUR5! This preview will serve as a guide to each of the five races featuring in Saturday’s competition and outline the key contenders to hopefully give you a better chance of winning. The ground at Goodwood looks to be good to firm for Saturday’s racing – a perfect racing surface that looks set to serve up some quality racing.

1:50 Goodwood – Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Handicap

A six furlong consolation prize for those who did not make the cut for the Stewards’ Cup later on the card – the first cavalry charge down the straight six furlongs of the day. Classic Seniority ran a good second in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup last time out 15 days ago and has been running consistently enough this season despite not having won yet – but he is running from a lower mark now and could be dangerous. Oeil Du Tigre has been running very consistently this season and is unbeaten here at Goodwood, notching a hat trick of wins here this summer. Despite being up in the weights now, the course form could be a massive player in this handicap and he could step up to the plate in this. Boy In The Bar is another course and distance winner and has got Ryan Moore on board today. He is on a good handicap mark here and couldn’t get a clear trip in running on his latest start at York. Tommy G has champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa on board today and has course form, having finished second in this last year – he could run well again after some good performances this season.

2:05 Newmarket – Chalice Stakes (Listed Race)

The second race in today’s competition is the listed Chalice Stakes over a mile and a half at Newmarket’s July course. Some quality fillies line up today including the John Gosden trained Highgarden who finished second over course and distance on her last start in the Aphrodite Stakes and looks a prominent contender in today’s race. Crimson Rosette is in good form after finishing second in a group 3 at Haydock and third behind Second Step over this course and distance in June, however, the hood is removed today which presents an unknown. Buildmeupbuttercup has run well over this distance at Goodwood in May but was largely outclassed behind Crystal Ocean at Newbury but a return to this class could help her run for a place. Another classy filly is Melodic Motion who was very consistent last season, including a second place finish in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster – she was badly hampered last time out which could be used as an excuse but will have to improve on the bare form she has shown this season.

2:25 Goodwood – Qatar Summer Handicap

A staying handicap at Goodwood now, over 1 mile and 6 furlongs – many of these here have featured in races such as the Northumberland Plate and the Chester Cup, a field of 14 look set to go to post which should serve up a decent race. Walton Street runs for Godolphin and was 3rd at Royal Ascot in the Duke of Edinburgh and brings some good form to this race. He is lightly raced and the trip should not be too much of a problem, he will also improve for his first run back after a slight lay off and can go well again. Platitude has seen a lot of improvement for his new yard this season and registered a second success at this course in May, it would be no surprise to see him put in another huge effort here. Soldier In Action is another with proven form at Goodwood and won this race last year off a higher mark. He has been running below-par this season but has got the champion jockey on board and a return to this course might bring out the best in him. 

3:00 Goodwood – Qatar Gordon Stakes (Group 3)

The group 3 Gordon Stakes has thrown up some good winners in the past, including two time group 1 winner Ulysses. Only four horses contest the mile and a half contest this year including Dee Ex Bee who was second in the Derby and if he can return to that form he should find this race easy enough to add to his record, but his last two runs at group 1 level have been below that Derby level but a drop in class should help with that. Cross Counter is lightly raced and has won three of his five starts, he also ran a great race in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot when he finished fourth behind Baghdad and that form looks strong. He needs to step up again but if the favourite is unable to dominate then he could take advantage and improve again. Sun Maiden is the only filly in the line up and therefore gets an allowance – she is very lightly raced and will improve from her third placed finish in the Ribblesdale and it will be interesting to see how well she does here. The outsider of the field is Bombyx who has been running in the best form of his career but will need to improve significantly again here if he’s to play any part in the finish.

3:40 Goodwood – Unibet Stewards’ Cup Handicap 

The feature race of the day is the Stewards’ Cup over six furlongs, last year’s winner Lancelot Du Lac is back for more, despite not having run as well this season a return to this course and distance could bring out the best in him again. Spring Loaded won last time out over five furlongs at Ascot and despite a large weight to carry, he’s got Ryan Moore booked and a return to six furlongs shouldn’t be a problem. George Bowen won the Scottish Stewards’ Cup last time out and has great form over six furlongs this season and is capable of another strong run off of this mark. Aeolus has better form on soft ground of late but he finished second in this race last year and won earlier in the season – he has been a talented horse in the past and is capable of running a good race again at this level with the maestro Gerald Mosse on board. Growl was thought to be a group level horse in the past but has not quite lived up to that form, however he has been fourth in the last two runnings of this and could run well again this year now that he is 10lb lower in the weights than he was this time last year and was a good fourth at York last week. Lower in the weights is the filly Foxtrot Lady who won the Bet365 Handicap at the July Festival last time out. She is only a 3 year old and therefore open to further improvement which could come to the fore in this race now that she has got more experience in these big field handicaps.

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled. The entry form goes live Friday night.

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