GLORIOUS GOODWOOD DAY 1 TIPS – ANGEL GABRIAL CAN SPREAD HIS WINGS
On Tuesday racing folk – and the odd person wearing Gucci loafers with no socks – will descend on the scenic pastures of Sussex that are Goodwood. It’s a quintessentially English affair: Earl Grey will be consumed in the mornings; Lanson Vintage will be enjoyed on the pretty lawns throughout the afternoon; and Pimms will be served, along with smoked eels on rye bread, in the Richmond Enclosure. It is, of course, Glorious Goodwood.
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Whether or not Mother Nature will conspire to take the ‘Glorious’ out of the five-day meeting by sanctioning grey skies as opposed to clear blue ones remains to be seen – indeed, as we Brits know, the only thing you can bank on when it comes to the weather is that you can’t bank on anything. However, the quality of the racing at Glorious Goodwood is guaranteed and the curtain-raiser on Tuesday is the ultra-competitive bet365.com Stakes.
Fast Or Free is the key horse, as he looked potentially Pattern-class last year, but he hasn’t been seen out since landing the Britannia at Royal Ascot 13 months ago, plus he’s up in trip here. As such, he comes with risks attached and I’m inclined to take a chance on ANGEL GABRIAL who looked unlucky when sixth in the John Smith’s Cup at York, having lost ground at the start and encountered traffic problems at a crucial stage in the race.
He deserves plenty of credit for finishing just four lengths adrift of the winner Danchai in that valuable handicap, a margin which would have certainly been narrower had circumstances not conspired against him. Angel Gabrial’s hold-up style of racing means that there’s always a possibility that he will get involved in congestion in big-fields, but he has the ideal pilot aboard in Jamie Spencer to execute such tactics. There will be plenty of pace on here and things could pan out nicely for Ian Williams’ charge.
Labarinto, winner of this contest in 2011, misfired on his return to action at Royal Ascot, but he will be sharper this time and, like the selection, will benefit from the likely strong end-to-end gallop here. However, he does need to raise his game if he’s to defy his present mark and a bigger danger could be posed by Blue Surf who was not beaten far when third in this contest 12 months ago. If the ground deteriorates, the latter’s claims will be enhanced.
Next up is the bet365 Molecomb Stakes, which will be fast and furious with nine speedy juveniles slaloming down the track in a 5f sprint. Supplicant and Anticipated, second and third respectively in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, are likely to head the betting. Supplicant will appreciate this sharper track and, in my opinion, is the pick of the aforementioned duo.
However, the one to be on is REROUTE who landed a decent York maiden on debut prior to finishing a highly creditable fifth in the 23-runner Queen Mary at the royal meeting. In all truth, that probably wasn’t the strongest of races, but it was a fine effort for such an inexperienced filly and she possesses plenty of scope for improvement.
The feature race, the bet365 Lennox Stakes, is very competitive. Aljamaaheer has done little wrong in his career thus far, and deservedly got his head in front when landing the Summer Mile at Ascot last time. The drop back to 7f here shouldn’t inconvenience the four-year-old, but he could prove vulnerable under his penalty and I recommend siding with PROFESSOR.
The selection goes into this contest as the stable second-string, with Richard Hughes opting to ride Producer, but sometimes jockeys get it wrong. Professor appears to be improving with racing and has landed Listed races at Haydock and Salisbury in decisive fashion the last twice. The sharp 7f here should be right up his street and the 12/1 on offer with Paddy Power at the time of writing is too good to miss.
The final of the four televised races on Channel 4 is the bet365 Summer Stakes, and it’s a classy handicap. A case can be made for most of the 14 runners, but the most appealing one is SILVER LIME who arguably produced a career-best when landing a well-contested Ascot handicap earlier this month, for which a 7lb rise looks fair. The booking of Ryan Moore catches the eye and he is preferred to Cavaleiro and the reappearing Camborne.
1.55 Angel Gabrial
3.40 Silver Lime