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Yesterday's tips saw us get a 9/4 winner with Zero Ten. Exchange Rate was punted off the boards into 4/1 favourite at one point, and was given a strange ride, where he was at least 5 or 6 horses wide throughout the entire race, which was a big disappointment. Today we head to Goodwood for the first day of their Glorious Goodwood festival, and we're back at Galway for one selection.
Mark Johnston loves sending runners to Goodwood, especially the Glorious Goodwood meeting, so it's always best to give a second look at his runners. I fancy SKY DEFENDER to hopefully bounce back to form, at a track he handles.
Mark Johnston is in profit of 36.82 to £1 level stakes at this festival, and that is from 530 runners, which has produced 62 wins and a further 104 more places. That might not seem much, but for the amount of runners he has, and he will have multiple runners in each race, that is still a very good stat. Though it's a very encouraging stat, as he aims a lot of his horses at this festival, it's not the reason why I'm siding with Sky Defender. This horse finished 2nd in this race last year, where he finished behind Maydanny, who had a very easy time of things in the lead last year, and he won easily. Sky Defender was giving away 14lbs to Maydanny that day, and today he is receipt of 3lbs, which is a 17lb swing in the weights from last year. Maydanny has obviously been in better form recently, but there are reasons to believe a big run is on the cards for the selection. He's dropped to a mark of 99, which is the first time his rating has dropped below 100 in over a year, with the last time he was rated 99, he won at Epsom. Goodwood and Epsom are compared to be similar tracks, and those specific tracks seem to get the best out of this horse, as he's won at Epsom once, finished runner-up once and he's finished runner-up at Goodwood on both the times he's raced at the track. He recently finished last at Epsom, but there were excuses for that run, as he was making a run up the rail but was impeded, which resulted in Franny easing him down, and rightly so.
The ground should not be an issue, with him running well on slow ground previously. He's finished 2nd in the Sky Bet Handicap at York last year, as well as running a nice race in 3rd in a Group 3 at Windsor, also on soft ground. The forecast is suggesting rain, but the ground might dry out a little so Good To Soft is also fine, with him finishing 2nd in a Group 3 in Germany on GTS.
I'm hoping the race will be run to suit. I'd expect Maydanny to make use of stall 2 and go from the front, or at least get close to the pace. He might be challenged by Cockalorum, who also likes to make the running, which was the case last time in the John Smith's Cup at York where he almost made all. Data Protection who is drawn wide, and is a horse who is always sent to the front, which means it might be best for horses to come from off the pace, especially if they take each other on. From Stall 7, I hope Sky Defender breaks well and sits just off the pace, that way he is in a good position to go and hopefully avoid trouble when/if the front runners start back pedaling.
Advised: Each Way
A wide stall has done KINROSS no favours, but I still think he can run a nice race despite being drawn in 13 out of 14.
I get the feeling this trip on a downhill track like Goodwood on a slow surface will be ideal for this horse. He seems to have good pace and a good turn of foot, but generally looks to be tiring in the final half furlong. This was the scenario last time at Haydock, where even though he won, and won by 1.25 lengths, he was tiring late on, and that could be due to the fact he might've needed the run, as it was his first run in 107 days, but I don't think it was that as he was well found in the market, which suggests that the yard thought he was ready to strike. The same happened at Haydock in September of last year, but this time over a mile. He had the turn of foot to take the lead, but with about a furlong to go, his efforts weakened and he couldn't keep up with the strong stayers at the trip, which shows to me that he is probably best suited to a fast paced 7f on an easy track, like Epsom or Goodwood, where there is a downhill finish.
The form of that win has been franked slightly, with Njord (2nd) since running a big race in defeat when finishing 2nd to Order Of Australia, who is a Group 1 winner. Glorious Journey (3rd), won next time out in good style in a Group 3 at Newmarket, beating Motakhayyel, who won the Bunbury Cup on his next run.
Being drawn wide hasn't done him any favours, but if you'd want that to happen to any of yours horses, you'd want it to be on a hold-up horse. Thankfully, Kinross is a hold-up horse, so it doesn't make a big difference, as he will be tucked in.
If on song, then it's hard to look past last years winner, Space Blues, but he's not been seen for 122 days. Charlie Appleby is clearly capable of getting one ready on the back of a layoff, but at the prices I'd be wanting to look elsewhere, and I'd be more tempted to back his stablemate, Creative Force, who is a horse on the up.
Advised: Each Way
I thought that it was worth taking on STRADIVARIUS at Ascot last time, and I was correct in thinking that, but I don't think it means that he is finished by any stretch of the imagination.
It was a tactical race for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, and Joe Fanning took the initiative and gave Subjectivist a cracking ride. He made the manoeuvre to get the lead at around the four furlong point, and he kicked around the bend, and he wasn't for catching. That definitely didn't suit a lot of the horses in the race, especially the ones who were off the pace, and only a handful were actually involved in the race at all. Stradivarius was boxed in on the rail at the time Subjectivist went for home, and you could tell that Frankie wasn't happy being in that position. As soon as Joe Fanning kicked around the bend, Frankie was looking for the room, as he knew he had to go with the leader, but he couldn't get him out. He only had two behind him coming around the bend, but due to his good turn of foot as a staying horse, he managed to finish 4th. It was literally mission impossible from where he was, so he ran well to finish where he did.
Though he has won the Ascot Gold Cup a couple of times before, I think he is better suited over two mile, as he does have that turn of foot which a lot of stayers don't have, and he can put that to use much better over 2m, which is why I think it's daft to write him off. The Gosden's are dead set that he prefers fast ground, but I think he handles any ground, and even though it might be soft, I don't think it will be bottomless ground, so he should be fine. At the time of writing you can get 2/1 with William Hill, but looks like he is drifting.
The money seems to be coming in for Trueshan, who I can't follow, as I think the hype around this horse is mental for the form he has. He won the Group 2 staying contest on Champions day, where Stradivarius finished virtually pulled up. I think the fact Strad has a hard campaign and was aimed at the Arc, to then run in the race at Ascot less than two weeks later on soft to heavy ground, it didn't work out well. The form of that race is ridiculous and to believe that Trueshan is the next big thing on the back of that is a bit daft in my opinion. He beat Search For A Song and Fujaira Prince, who were 1st and 2nd in the Irish St Leger, which isn't a great Group 1. In behind them you had Morando who is a Group 3/Listed horse at best. Spanish Mission was in that race, but hated the ground, so you can't say he ran his race. The predicted slow surface is enough to put me off Spanish Mission again today. Trueshan has since finished 2nd to Japan over 13.5 furlongs, and then 6th in the Northumberland Plate. I'm happy to be humbled if he wins tomorrow, but I think he will need it to bucket down and turn into bottomless ground if he was to win.
RAZDAN is a very interesting runner if he turns up in this race today. He raced yesterday, where he ran a blinder to finish third when you consider the trip he had. He was blocked on the inside rail, had to switch very ride around the bend and then ran on strongly. With a clear run I think he would've hosed up, but that's all ifs and buts.
I do think he will turn up in this race tomorrow, as the trainer loves to race the same horse on multiple of occasions at the Galway Festival. He famously landed three wins in the same week at the Galway Festival on One Cool Poet back in 2019, so as long as this horse has returned okay from his race yesterday, I'm sure he'll be racing today.
Off a mark of 74 you'd have to say there's more to come, based on his last two efforts. He didn't go unbacked the time before yesterday, where he ran on strongly again but was narrowly denied at Ballinrobe. This drop back in trip might be a concern, but with the ground being soft and the stiff finish, that should counter the drop in trip, so his strong stamina at this trip will be seen to great effect.
Advised: Each Way
Goodwood (Saturday – Lillie Langtry Stakes)
With the overnight rain, it has turned the ground to heavy, and with a little more rain forecast, it should keep the ground on the slow side. All of this will suit WONDERFUL TONIGHT, who is a monster on soft ground. She will be fit for this, as she was prepped for the King George, where she was NR due to the ground. This is easier, as it's just fillies, and she is a Group 1 winner, and is the class horse in the race.
She is priced up at 6/4 currently, but will go off shorter if the ground remains slow, which I think it will.
12:00 Newton Abbot - Race: 1
12:10 Hamilton - Race: 1
12:20 Roscommon - Race: 1