Who’s ready for Day 2 of the 2023 Goodwood Festival? The action on Wednesday 2 August begins at 1.50 and comes to an end after the last of eight races at 5.20.
I’ve got a few tips for the occasion, including a drastically-improved sprinter who is the day’s NAP.
1.50 – The Goat e/w @ 11/1
It’s the ambitiously-named The Goat each-way (4 places) for me in the 12-runner, 0-105 handicap over 1m4f that opens the card on Wednesday.
You could argue the three-year-old son of Cracksman was given a harsh opening mark of 81 based on his first three starts, but after a great effort in a strong novice at Kempton last time out, I suspect he’s actually got a fair bit in hand.
He was third that day behind a couple of nice types for John & Thady Gosden, beaten only 3L by Lion’s Pride – who has an entry in the G3 Gordon Stakes here on Thursday and is 20/1 for the Betfred St Leger – and just a nose off the 93-rated, subsequent winner Middle Earth.
I think the selection is well-handicapped and if he, as I expect him to, acts on the ground and relishes the extra furlong, he ought to be very dangerous.
2.25 – Olivia Maralda @ 8/1
Just over half-an-hour later is the G3 Oak Tree Stakes, which sees 16 fillies & mares aged three and above compete over 7f.
This looks a devilishly-tricky puzzle to solve, but my overwhelming thought at time of writing is that Roger Varian’s Olivia Maralda is overpriced.
Despite being the highest-rated horse in the field and boasting arguably the standout piece of form courtesy of her comfortable Listed success at Epsom on Betfred Oaks day, she’s almost double the price of current favourite Jumbly. The latter has a fantastic chance, don’t get me wrong, but I would argue the selection has equal opportunity.
I’m suggesting the straight win, but I wouldn’t put anyone off an each-way play (4 places) at current prices.
3.00 – Kylian @ 7/4
My NAP for the second day of the 2023 Goodwood Festival is Karl Burke’s much-improved Kylian in the G3 Molecomb Stakes over the minimum trip.
I tipped up this horse to win the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown in early July, but I must admit I wasn’t expecting him to do in that manner. Emphatic is the only description.
Burke has always thought very highly about this two-year-old son of Invincible Spirit and after that performance you have to assume he’s going to develop into a top-class sprinter.
This could age terribly, but I don’t think this is a deep race either. Big Evs is the one to be most wary of as a 3L winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, but I have major doubts about how that form is going to work out.
Ultimately, I’m expecting Ryan Moore’s mount to be much the best here.
4.45 – Queen Regent @ 13/2
Providing she can prove as effective on turf as on the all-weather, John & Thady Gosden’s Queen Regent must have a smashing chance in this fillies’ handicap over 1m2f.
This daughter of the late Roaring Lion shapes like she’s crying out for this step up in trip and, as a thrice-raced filly, is improving with every run.
In particular, her effort when runner-up to the re-opposing Value Added at Wolverhampton last time out was full of promise. Giving the latter 7lbs, she was keen throughout and outpaced at a crucial time but kept on eye-catchingly at the end. I fully expect her to reverse that form given she’s 2lbs better off and should improve significantly for the run.
An opening mark of 90 is hard to get a gauge on, but I like siding with the unexposed, promising types in these races – and she is certainly that.