Phoenix can rise to top
Steve Hughes provides his best bets for Wednesday at Goodwood and Galway, which features the two major races of the week.
Wednesday is the key day for the big races with the Group 1 Sussex Stakes the standout race of the week at Goodwood and the Galway Plate the centrepiece of the fixture in Ireland. I have selections for both, plus suggestions for two other races at Goodwood. We got plenty placed each-way on Tuesday via Ventura Knight (SP 18/1), Suedois (advised 9/1) and Innamorare (advised 14/1).
Goodwood 1.50: Dubawi Fifty & True Destiny
One of the longest flat races in the calendar gets proceedings underway at Goodwood and I have two fancies here.
There would be no more deserving winner all week than Dubawi Fifty, who made a sensational return after twelve months off to be collared on the line in the Northumberland Plate last month. That was his first run since narrowly losing out in the Ascot Stakes at the 2018 Royal meeting – a race that proved his stamina for marathon trips. Whilst he continues to rise in the weights, he is thoroughly genuine and might get a nice tow into the race via last year’s winner Lil Rockerfeller.
A viable alternative is True Destiny who looked useless in his early races for Roger Charlton, but with hindsight simply needed extreme distances to bring out the best in him. He won on his first attempt at 2m at Lingfield last autumn and has gone on to win three more times at the distance, with two photo-finish defeats in his other two goes. He won cosily last time at York despite giving the impression the ground was a bit lively for him. Yesterday’s rain will ensure the going is perfect for him today. He came from too far back over 17f at Pontefract, but I think he already possesses the stamina for 21f.
Goodwood 2.25: Desert Icon & Durston
I am going with two win bets in the second at Goodwood.
Desert Icon looks to have been campaigned cleverly by trainer William Haggas to get him generously handicapped. He won a weak looking Pontefract maiden over 10f in the spring, so could not get clobbered by the assessor, and was then dropped back to a mile when only third at Newmarket. Clearly his future lies at this 12f trip and he won on handicap debut at this trip when taking the Bibury Cup at Salisbury. He is only up 7lbs today and off 92 still seems well treated.
I must have a bet on Durston too as there is a mass of front-runners in this race, which could leave it ripe for the taking for a closer like him. He already has a win over 14f at the galloping Doncaster trip and was a rare horse to come from last to first in the straight when winning at Chester last time. Yesterday’s rain will help him as it will place more emphasis on his proven stamina and in Jamie Spencer has the perfect jockey to plot a path through.
Goodwood 3.35: Phoenix of Spain
I think the favourite Too Darn Hot is worth taking on given he has been beaten in all three attempts at a mile or beyond this season. Instead I am plumping for his conqueror in the Irish 2000 Guineas, Phoenix of Spain.
That performance is probably the best on offer in this race when making all to win by 3l. He was not in the same form at Ascot last time behind some of his main rivals here, but it is possible he was still feeling the effects of that superb comeback.
Adaptable regarding tactics or ground, his form was very solid as a juvenile, notably when just touched off in the Doncaster Group 1 at the end of the year. I prefer an each-way bet on him with the eight runners due to go to post.
Galway 7.20: Peregrine Run & Ravenhill
A classy renewal of the Galway Plate and I like two at opposite ends of the handicap.
You can’t say that Peregrine Run has been plotted up for this as he is aiming for a summer six timer. However whilst he is in this form and whilst he has his favoured good going, he has the class to compete off a big weight. He was useful as a hurdler, winning a good ground class 2 at Cheltenham. Blinkers have brought about further improvement as a chaser recently and his Mayo National win showed he can win in a big field. Conditions were far too soft for him when only ninth in this last year.
The 9yo Ravenhill is making up for lost time having made his debut under rules barely 18 months ago. He had plenty of experience in points prior to that and has had the requisite three runs over fences to qualify for this. I liked the way he went about his business when winning the trial race for this at Limerick. Jumping boldly and always in the front three, those tactics often do well in this race where it can be difficult to make up ground.
1pt win – Dubawi Fifty – 1.50 Goodwood – 6/1 general
0.75pts each-way – True Destiny – 1.50 Goodwood – 9/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt win – Desert Icon – 3.00 Goodwood – 7/1 Bet365
1pt win – Durston – 3.00 Goodwood – 7/1 Bet365
1pt each-way – Phoenix of Spain – 3.35 Goodwood – 6/1 general
0.5pts each-way – Peregrine Run – 7.20 Galway – 20/1 Coral (1/5 odds 1st 5)
0.75pts each-way – Ravenhill – 7.20 Galway – 16/1 Bet 365 (¼ odds 1st 5)
Next column – Thursday 1st August – Galway & Goodwood