It wouldn’t be summer without an annual visit to the Sussex countryside, so we’re pleased to be back previewing the first afternoon of a magnificent five days’ racing from Glorious Goodwood.
There’s only one place to start on Day 1, with Aidan O’Brien and Santiago bidding to stop three-time Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius adding a fourth pot to his overflowing trophy cabinet.
Can the apprentice stayer beat the master of his generation? It’s the first race up in our Glorious Goodwood Tips.
While the racecard may indicate the Goodwood Cup has seven runners, in reality this looks like a match-race between the front two in the market and ultimately whether Santiago can end Stradivarius’ dominance.
Trainer John Gosden has described it as “probably the greatest challenge of his [Stradivarius’] life”, and with Santiago in receipt of 15lb from the Queen’s Vase and Irish Derby winner, you can see why.
But let’s remember one thing, this is Stradivarius. This is the horse that is the pre-eminent stayer of his generation and who only last month demolished the field by 10l to land a fourth-straight Ascot Gold Cup.
If it’s the greatest challenge of his life, then it’s the toughest battle of Santiago’s fledgling career too, and this represents a significant step up from an Irish Derby which doesn’t look particularly strong.
Stradivarius looked better than ever at the Royal Meeting last month, showcasing a deadly turn of speed in the closing stages. He knows every blade of grass at Goodwood and is a worthy favourite to make it four-in-a-row.
Aidan O’Brien could have another smart one on his hands in Battleground. The War Front x Found colt is bred to be a superstar and stepped forward from a promising debut run to win the Chesham at Royal Ascot last time out.
He won a shade cosily that day and should improve further in a race that has been won by some impressive types in recent years, including Ballydoyle’s own Highland Reel in 2014 and Pinatubo for Charlie Appleby 12 months ago.
Battleground looks like one of the few in the field who can match up to those sorts of prospects, with Superlative Stakes runner-up Devious Company another who warrants respect at a bigger price.
Tom Dascombe’s charge was second to the impressive Master Of The Seas at Newmarket in a race which has also produced subsequent Group 2 winner Ventura Tormentor. He should be there or thereabouts as a result.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But when that dog turns up and wins the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood every 12 months, why would you want to teach it any new tricks at all?
Not sure who we’re talking about? It’s Sir Dancealot, who has rocked up at a similar price in the Lennox in each of the last two seasons and put a boot through the rest of his form to win the race.
He has to be given another chance to complete the hat-trick on that basis, although he’ll face a tough time of it up against Group 1 runner-up and Group 3 winner Space Blues.
Charlie Appleby’s hopeful is a proper little speedball and on ratings alone is the one to beat. Last season’s Mill Reef winner Pierre Lapin ran too badly to be true at Ascot last time and can also get involved.
TUESDAY 28TH JULY, DAY 1 GOODWOOD SCHEDULE
13:10 Goodwood – British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies’ Handicap
13:45 Goodwood – You’re On Handicap
14:15 Goodwood – Vintage Stakes (Group 2)
14:45 Goodwood – Lennox Stakes (Group 2)
15:15 Goodwood – Goodwood Cup (Group 1)
15:45 Goodwood – Qatar Handicap
16:20 Goodwood – British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes
16:55 Goodwood – British European Breeders Fund EBF Fillies’ Handicap
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication