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Glorious Goodwood day one: Recent rain gives Collaboration outstanding chance

27 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Glorious Goodwood day one: Recent rain gives Collaboration outstanding chance

Get ready for some top-class action and superb betting opportunities at one of the highlights of the British flat-racing calendar

Goodwood’s Glorious meeting gets under way on Tuesday and, with the recent weather having been anything but glorious, the week will start with ground on the soft side of good. This could have a big impact on the draw with a wide trip not the disadvantage it usually is when the ground is riding much faster.

The festival opens with a 10f handicap for older horses as usual and it is worth noting that the in-form Mark Johnston has won this race three times in the last nine years. He runs two very exposed runners in Fire Fighting and Sennockian Star, plus an interesting sort in the shape of Zand. The horse is having his first start for the stable and also his first start in this country for two years. Market support could be significant.

One runner who is sure to be suited by the softish ground is Collaboration. He won three on the bounce earlier in the season and has been hit with a 23lb rise for those wins, but he shaped as if still in form when running on late in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot. The ground would have been far too fast for him on that occasion and he looks overpriced here.

Another who could run well at a big price is Spa’s Dancer. He was the best part of seven lengths behind Collaboration at Chester’s May meeting, but it was difficult to make up ground on that day so this horse needs marking up plus he now gets a 9lb pull in the weights with that rival. Conditions will suit, but he is rather quirky and appeals much more as a place bet than a win bet. Alternatively have him to follow home Collaboration in a forecast bet.

Astronereus the solid choice in Summer Stakes

The Summer Stakes at 3.45 is another great betting heat. This used to be a race dominated by Luca Cumani and Mark Johnston, but neither have had a winner in this now for six years. Both trainers have strong entries and perhaps the best of them is Ajman Bridge who ran well in the John Smiths Cup last time out when the drop back in trip worked against him. This step-up in trip looks as though it will suit, but the ground might not so he is passed over.

Battersea is most likely the best handicapped horse in the field and looks a live Ebor contender but the ground looks like it has once again gone against him. On better ground he would be a confident selection, so it is worth seeing how much the ground dries up. At the time of writing, he can’t be backed. If it does dry out it would also bring Oasis Fantasy into the reckoning as his run behind subsequent Northumberland Plate winner Quest For More over this course and distance was a great effort.

If the ground remains on the soft side, though, it could be worth sticking with Astronereus. He has been in great form this season – winning two big handicaps – and he seemed to improve again for the step-up to this trip last time out. He has had just 10 starts so could still be improving and his form last season was much better on softer ground than it was on firmer ground, meaning his achievements this season on fast ground need upgrading, too. Out of all of these runners, he is the most solid.  

Cash the Czech in the last

Sticking with the handicaps, Amanda Perrett, the trainer of Astronereus, also has a live chance in the closing race of the day. She saddles Czech It Out, who won at this course on his reappearance after a year off earlier this season. It looks as though he has been saved with this race in mind and the step up to a mile from 7f should bring about further improvement. He doesn’t necessarily need to improve at the distance, though – when winning here in May he beat Scottish Glen, who has won both his starts since marking that down as strong form.

Czech It Out is drawn in stall 17 which will be viewed as a huge negative by some, but the ground should negate that and the biggest impact of the draw will simply be getting a bigger price about the selection. The biggest danger could be progressive 3yo Third Time Lucky.

Second place special: Betway will refund losing bets on selected races up to £25 if your horse finishes second and is beaten by less than a length. Terms and conditions apply.