As the rain continues to fall in the south of England, so too does the chance of all 11 entries taking up their chance in Saturday’s Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
The ground at the Sussex course is currently described as soft, but with plenty of wet weather hitting the area on Wednesday, and more forecast for periods of Thursday, it could prove very testing.
That won’t be a problem for antepost favourite Kodi Bear.
Clive Cox’s gelding ran a cracker to finish second in the Dewhurst Stakes behind Belardo on his only run with cut in the ground last year, so should handle the conditions without much trouble.
He has undoubtedly improved since that run 10 months ago, most recently running out an easy winner in a Salisbury Group 3, brushing aside the likes of Tullius, Custum Cut and Shifting Power.
At Evens, he’s not much of a price with 10 others in the contest, but it could yet contract further.
When the entries were announced, the three-year-old was chalked up as joint favourite with Qatar racing’s Lightning Spear.
But with the ground taking a battering, trainer Olly Stevens offered this warning.
A LOT of rain in the South East continues to reduce Lightning Spear’s chances of running @Goodwood_Races on Saturday.
— RobinsFarmRacing (@RobinsFarmRacin) August 26, 2015
The doubts about his participation caused Ladbrokes to push the Summer Mile Stakes runner-up out to a 5/1 shot.
If he were to take his chance he could offer a solid competitor to the jolly, based on his Group 1 fourth in France last time out.
But with the son of Pivotal looking unlucky to run, there could be some each-way value in the field.
Dutch Connection and Richard Pankhurst are both admirable animals, the latter an intriguing entry after 434 days off the track.
John Gosden’s horse was however pulled from his intended comeback at York on account of the ground. It was good-to-soft that time, so his participation looks unlikely.
The former has produced his best efforts on a good-to-firm surface, all three wins coming in those conditions. And having tasted defeat on both outings over a mile, this trip on testing ground could just find him out.
Another that the trip holds questions over is Breton Rock. While he will be at home getting his toe in, he too has been beaten over a mile on both attempts, so has stamina to prove.
As for the likes of Balty Boys, Fire Ship, Captain Cat and Gabrial, all four are admirable types but probably not quite up to the same quality as the rest, so are discounted for now.
Whether, when the race inevitably cuts up a bit they become value remains to be seen, but for now there looks too much competition for them to get involved with.
So that leaves Charlie Hills’ Cable Bay. The 7/1 shot is reportedly set to take his chance regardless of the ground, so that is the first base covered.
He finished behind the aforementioned Breton Rock last time out over 7f, but was staying on at the end.
An extra furlong here, and a similar effort that saw him get within 2l in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes behind 2,000 Guineas winner Night of Thunder will see him go very close.
He has yet to win on soft ground, but with two very solid efforts in Group 2 company with cut in the ground show he copes with it admirably.
The four-year-old colt has plenty of class to be competitive and with the race likely to see a few drop-outs, could be a shrewd antepost pick at the prices.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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