Triple Champion Hurdle winning jockey Steve Smith Eccles previews the action.
Another typically ultra competitive Goodwood card this Friday and I suspect any lucky punter finding the first six winners for the Jackpot could be in for a pretty penny.
The first race sets the tone and at his very best Sixties Icon would have to have a decent chance. Having said that, the Noseda yard have had a torrid season and this five year old was clearly out of sorts last time out. Tranquil Tiger is my selection here; he was mugged on the line by Lion Sands at Newmarket last time out in a Listed race and sports first time blinkers this afternoon which may well make all the difference.
At 2.50 we have the Stewards Cup consolation race, for those who did not get in to Saturday’s contest, and trainer Dandy Nicholls has six runners to go to war with, possibly headed by last year’s runner up Joseph Henry. I narrowly prefer the chances of Express Wish who did not get the rub of the green at York last time out, when third to Lesson In Humility, but wears a visor for the first time today and he will be my tentative selection in a very difficult race to unravel.
At 3.30 the Totesport Mile is another ultra-competitive event though I may have a few bob on the consistent Masaalek. Trained by the in-form Marcus Tregoning and ridden by Richard Hills, he has finished in the first three in all his races this season and has ground trip and draw in his favour. If there is a problem it could possibly be his running style, as he does like to come from off the pace, and will need the gaps to appear when needed, but he does have a touch of class and should be there of thereabouts.
The Richmond Stakes over seven furlongs at 4.05 is unlikely to shake up the ante-post betting for next year’s Classics this afternoon but I do feel that the Mick Channon trained Rileyskeepingfaith is overpriced at 9/1. After finishing second on his racecourse debut at Ascot he stepped up on that effort when winning his maiden at Newmarket in a decent race and with the third and fourth winning since the form has an above average look to it. This represents a big step up in class for the son of Hunting Lion but he is a fine stamp of a horse and likely to improve again and could well upset some of his shorter priced rivals here.
Richard Hannon trains Sohcahtoa in the nursery at 4.40 who had educational run first time out at Newbury when fifth behind Orizaba who went on to win the Vintage Stakes here on Tuesday. Returning to the track in June he won a decent maiden here and with the second and fourth both winning since, once again the form stacks up. Reported to have improved considerably again after that run, and with the step up in trip ideal, he will take some beating this afternoon and will be backed accordingly.
This Sir Michael Stoute trained Visit proved to be one of the best of her generation last season over six furlongs and looked as good as ever on her return when beaten a neck by Rosaleen over a mile at Sandown in a decent Listed race. With that race under her belt, plenty of improvement at home since, and the drop back to seven furlongs here, she should prove extremely difficult to beat and should be yet another winner for Ryan Moore at this meeting.
The last race is a tight five furlong dash but I would not put anyone off having a small bet on Piscean at a double figure price. A course and distance winner as a two year old, he clearly handles the track and is in blistering form on the Newmarket gallops of late and if he can break a little smarter than is normally the case then on this faster ground (he hated conditions at Ripon and that run can be ignored), he could make the frame at a good price.
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