There were a couple of horses that were of note on day one of Galway, but as there was some doubt as to the exact ground conditions, I felt it best to keep our powder dry for day two – and of course day one of Glorious Goodwood.
I think the most likely chance of a winner comes in the Summer Handicap on the Sussex downs. There is no hotter trainer than Mark Johnston right now, and as his horses always run well at Goodwood, it is fair to assume he will have a good week.
Oriental Fox was the moral winner of the Northumberland Plate in my eyes – his sweeping move around the field to establish a comfortable lead with about 2 furlongs to run when all the others were finding it hard to quicken blew me away.
Upped just the 4lbs, at a course where he has run well before (which is so crucial), and a lovely draw in stall two all add together to an almost impenetrable argument.
A standout 5/1 with Paddy Power is tasty, particularly as from about 5pm the day before, they guarantee to refund bets on any horse that finishes second on the first day of the Goodwood meeting.
The second bet on the Goodwood card is in the Molecomb Stakes over the flying downhill 5f, and at a generous 16/1 with Stan James and 888sport, Justice Day is well worth a few quid each-way as he has the rail draw in stall 9, and was unfavoured by racing on the far side in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. He wasn’t beaten far by those at the head of the market here.
Over at Galway the early prices have a major rick in them. BetVictor’s 25/1 about Declan Carroll’s Swiftly Done is extremely appealing. He has always suggested a big mile handicap is within his range and he can run well in the feature Topaz Mile Handicap, especially as the ground will be on the soft side.
The waters were tested at The Curragh last time, and the trainer can continue his lucky streak across the Irish Sea, after Whozthecat’s win in the Rockingham.
If Woolcombe Folly isn’t favourite for the Latin Quarter Chase, nor Nafa market leader in Yarmouth’s 5f sprint, then they too would be worth wagers.
Summer Stakes 3.40 – Oriental Fox 5/1 – (William Hill, Paddy Power)
Molecomb Stakes 2.30 – Justice Day (each-way) 16/1 – (Stan James, 888sport)
Topaz Mile 6.45 – Swiftly Done (each-way) 25/1 – BetVictor