Day 2 didn't go as planned and to be honest I have been trying to find something positive to say about any of todays selections.
Revision was held up near the rear and at the 2 furlong marker was being pushed along and never made any impression and finished a disappointing 9th
Steel of Madrid was going well and came with a run along with the eventual winner Ulyses but at the 2 furlong marker just didn't quicken and when it was obvious he wasn't going to be involved in the finish was eased down.
Finally we had what we said was a speculative selection in Kiltara at 20/1 who went off at 12/1 so we were not alone. But the 292 break told and she may be worth keeping an eye after today as this will have definitely brought her on.
Anyway onto day 3
The team at Cleeve.
2.00 Goodwood - Matchbook Betting Exchange Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (3yo)
Top 4 Rated:
1) Banksea – 120
2) Ode to Evening – 113
3) Goodwood Zodiac – 110
4) Montsarrat – 110
The two Mark Johnston horses Ode to Evening and Montsarrat are the two biggest threats to our selection.
Montsarrat ran third over a furlong further in a Listed race at Hamilton on soft going, but has lost every time he has been tried above Class 3. He could still improve and he will appreciate any rain at the course.
I actually prefer Ode to Evening of the Johnston runners and he beat our selection by about 5 lengths last time at Newmarket. If replicating that form he will not be far away, but I did not select him as he has struggled off this mark in the past.
Goodwood Zodiac went up 6 pounds for winning last time, but that was in a Class 3 and he needs to improve significantly to cope with both the rise in class and weight. He has run at Goodwood previously and disappointed, which is strange as he goes well at Epsom which also takes balance.
Banksea is very lightly raced and looks like a typical Cumani improver and was not put under too much pressure last time behind Ode to Evening. He has a six pounds pull for the five lengths and that coupled with a likely improvement should be enough to see him win this.
3.10 Goodwood - Qatar Goodwood Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 2) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Big Orange – 116
2) Sheikhzayedroad – 104
3) Pallasator -96
Pallasator was fourth in this race last season finishing ahead of Sheikhzayedroad and behind the winner Big Orange. He has disappointed on his last two starts on unsuitably soft ground, but before that won a small field Group 3 at Sandown. He has place claims at best but is very unlikely to win.
Sheikhzayedroad has been beaten by Big Orange on a few occasions and is consistent finishing in the first three in over 50% of his runs at Listed or above. Again like Pallasator he is unlikely to win but could run into a place.
Big Orange has won for us already this season, when winning a Group 2 easily over a distance shorter than his best. He won this race last season beating a few of these and I fully expect him to win again, as I think he has improved since then and is still improving. A lot of the opposition are fully exposed and his main threat could come from Sword Fighter and Commissioned.
3.45 Goodwood - Markel Insurance Fillies´ Stakes (Registered as the Lillie Langtry Stakes) (Group 3) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 4 Rated:
1) Mill Springs -67
2) California – 63
3) Pamona – 56
I was going to leave this race alone but have decided that it is worth risking a minimum stake on Pamona.
Mill Springs and California are both trained by John Gosden and it would be no surprise if either of them won. Of the two I would prefer Mill Springs and with Frankie Dettori booked it looks as though the stable believes the same. My main concern for California is that she has flopped at Listed level previously and this race is tougher still. She has a lot to find on the official ratings with Pamona.
Mill Springs was upped in trip last time at Royal Ascot where she finished third in the Ascot Stakes behind Jennies Jewel. She won well at Listed level last season and should improve again from her Ascot run. Rain should not inconvenience her as she appears to act on any ground.
It will be interesting to note any improvement in Yarrow considering her connections and jockey booking.
Pamona won at York in a Listed race over today’s distance winning comfortably when staying on. Her third in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot as a two year old is good form and I am sure if repeating her York run should outstay these in the final furlong.