Taking a Liberty for Goodwood finale

Goodwood selections Saturday 5th August

It is the final day at Goodwood and a wet one again, but not quite as wet as perhaps initial forecasts predicted. That said I am still expecting conditions on the slow side and I have taken that into account for the four races under focus.

Goodwood 1.50: Monsieur Kodi & Music Society

For the second year running the Stewards Cup consolation has cut up badly with fewer entries than we would normally expect. That means the race is not really of great quality as well as quantity and won’t take a huge amount of winning with the top weight rated just 88.

MONSIEUR KODI has been busy all season when the ground has been slow and won early doors at Musselburgh at the beginning of April. However his last run at Yarmouth at the Racing League meeting was as good as he has produced all term and proves he can win off his career high mark of 83.

This 4yo should have more to offer yet and any further rain will help this son of Kodiac who already had a decent win record of 5-19. He gained another win at Thirsk in June and the form of that race is working out well as the second home Ramiro won a decent handicap at Ayr last month.

MUSIC SOCIETY was second home in that Ayr race, the only time he has encountered cut in the ground since May when he was also second home at Thirsk on heavy ground. I think some ease is necessary for this 8yo to be seen at his best these days and as a result we can forget his run down the field in a very competitive race at York last weekend on fast ground and as he was drawn on the wrong side of the track.

He remains a force on slow ground and was fourth in this race in 2021 (when there was much more strength in depth) on proper soft ground like today from just 1lb lower.

Goodwood 2.25: Post Impressionist & Mr Curiosity

A long distance handicap that should be set up by the presence of perennial front-runner Torcello.

POST IMPRESSIONIST was thrown into the deep end on seasonal debut in the Northumberland Plate and rarely looked like figuring. However that race will have blown away the cobwebs and this might set up quite nicely for him. The ground is likely to be a plus.

He relished both the step up to this 14f trip and softer ground last autumn, finishing a very unlucky in running third at Haydock before storming to victory at York when his clear run saw him emphatically turn the tables on Haydock winner Double Cherry. His dam Island Remede was a real mudlover and I can see him ploughing through this ground with fitness topped up now.

MR CURIOSITY has made a strong start to his new life with trainer Tim Easterby. He ran three times in July, improving dramatically each time, culminating in a battling success over the useful Chillingham at Ripon two weeks ago.

That was over 12f but he has tried up to 2m in the past and this hold up performer could be suited by a solid gallop here.

Goodwood 3.35: Orazio, Tactical, Mr Wagyu & Sterling Knight

This Stewards Cup looks tricky so I am keeping my options open here given the effect of the draw is not really known.

I have to put favourite ORAZIO into calculations as he looks the class act in the race and acts on the ground. His spring wins on soft at Newmarket and Ascot marked him as a potential group race horse of the future and in the circumstances he did well in the Wokingham last time. He looked ill at ease on the rattling fast conditions, but showed plenty of determination to take sixth place. Back on favoured conditions today, he might well prove a class apart.

TACTICAL is a much more speculative choice. He was top class as a juvenile winning the Windsor Castle over 5f at the Royal meeting and the July Stakes at Newmarket. He was then largely campaigned at 7f or a mile without huge success by Andrew Balding.

He moved to Julie Camacho this year and ran twice with solid performances in the spring including a fifth to Vadream over this trip on heavy ground at Doncaster. However connections have opted to give him a wind op since and out on headgear today. Having dropped to 99 he is dangerously well handicapped if those decisions have a positive effect here.

MR WAGYU is a far more reliable alternative and bids to repeat his win of the consolation race here in 2021 on similar ground. The 8yo is coming back to a more realistic mark now of 95 and showed his continued aptitude for these big field handicaps when third at Epsom and a fine seventh in the Wokingham.

Both of those contests were on fast ground, but I think he appreciates more cut these days. He made most to win at the Curragh off 100 last summer and was third there on soft ground off 103 later in the season. His front-running style lends itself well to this track.

Finally if I had to choose one against the field it would be STERLING KNIGHT. He is proving to be a steadily improving sprinter, especially on soft going.

He did well to win at Windsor on good in June and I am confident he can overturn a 2l defeat by Tanmawwy on quick ground last month on 6lbs better terms. He finished off 2022 in style on slow ground with back-to-back wins at Haydock and as an added bonus the Ed Dunlop stable is in spectacular form with a 7-12 win record this week and Haunted Dream nearly made that eight when defeated in heartbreaking style earlier in the meeting.

Goodwood 5.20: Greatgadian, Liberty Lane & Arthurs Realm

A tricky finale, though one in which there looks to be a single outstanding candidate.

LIBERTY LANE represents the same combination who did us a good turn with Royal Rhyme on Thursday and like that horse he could be ahead of his mark of this sort of ground.

His only go on soft brought about a wide margin win on debut at Nottingham last season, defeating a potential group race performer of the future in Mr Buster. His second to Waipiro at Newmarket looks good now that horse has gone on to success at Royal Ascot and I put two poor efforts after than down to fast ground. He did better when fourth at Newmarket last month, but I am sure he will be transformed by the going today.

GREATGADIAN looks worth an each-way shout given the softer ground. He finished sixth in the Lincoln on heavy ground off 100 at the start of the season, yet gets in off 10lbs lower today.

He has finished in solid mid-division in most of his races since, like the Hunt Cup, but with his declining mark, accentuated by useful claimer Aidan Keeley being on board today, he can take advantage of ground that will be more to his liking today.

Finally ARTHURS REALM must be a big threat if he lasts out the 9f. He is another from the in-form Ed Dunlop stable and will get his favoured going today.

He won the Spring Mile at Doncaster in testing conditions last season, and was third over the same course and distance on Leger Day on soft ground in the autumn. He does struggle to put his head in front, but cheekpieces have had a positive effect on his last two starts and he is worth a try at 9f as he does not quite seem to stay 10f.

Recommended bets:

1pt each-way – Monsieur Kodi – 1.50 Goodwood – 5/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)

1pt each-way – Music Society – 1.50 Goodwood – 8/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)

1pt each-way – Post Impressionist – 2.25 Goodwood – 9/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)

0.5pts each-way – Mr Curiosity – 2.25 Goodwood – 8/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)

1pt win – Orazio – 3.35 Goodwood – 7/2 general

0.5pts each-way – Tactical – 3.35 Goodwood -25/1 Bet365, Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 6)

0.5pts each-way – Mr Wagyu – 3.35 Goodwood – 14/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 6)

1pt each-way – Sterling Knight – 3.35 Goodwood – 16/1 Bet365, Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 6)

1pt win – Liberty Lane – 5.20 Goodwood – 4/1 general

1pt each-way – Greatgadian – 5.20 Goodwood – 12/1 Bet365, William Hill, BetVictor (1/5 odds 1st 5)

0.5pts each-way – Arthurs Realm – 5.20 Goodwood -14/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)

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