We had a decent 3 points winner at 4/1 in Big Orange. He led from pillar to post and quickened nicely at the business end of the race to win by 1 1/2 lengths. That gave us a 9 points profit today which now puts us in front for the meeting. Our other two selections didn't fair so well.
Firstly Banksea in the 2:00 was down the pack and come two furlongs out it was obvious he wasn't going to play a part in the finish and Andrea Atzini eased him down to come home in his own time.
Then in the 3:45 we had Pamona who ran a strange race. She pulled quite hard for most of the race and Jim Crowley had to keep her on very tight rein then at the two furlong marker he asked her just to quicken to get the gap on the rail and she got to the head of affairs and seemed to be going best off all, then at the furlong marker she just didn't quicken and stayed on at the one pace. I think all the earlier exertions cost her the race and maybe she will be worth considering next time if they take the headgear off.
Just as an aside John Gosden was interviewed on Channel 4 just before the race and talked about his two runners California and Mill Springs - how many times do they interview connections and then they go onto have a winner? Uncanny.
So we are now in front for the meeting and lets hope we can build on that tomorrow.
The team at Cleece
2.00 Goodwood - Betfred Glorious Stakes (Group 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Elite Army
3) Mount Logan
Elite Army was an unlucky second at Royal Ascot for us and should have been awarded the race. He drops in class here and that makes him a major player if he copes with the unique nature of the course.
Scottish looked good when winning a Listed race at Newbury just over a week ago and is sure to be thereabouts as long as he does not bounce after that effort. He has run at Goodwood coming second in the Gordon Stakes to Highland Reel, which is good form over course and distance.
Mount Logan drops in class having finished 4th behind Dartmouth in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot finishing behind Highland Reel. He has yet to win at this level, but it is his liking for Goodwood that makes him a selection here, as there are only two points separating the top 3 in this race. He has run at Goodwood on three occasions winning all three and I think that course form makes him a player and good value.
2.35 Goodwood - Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3) (CLASS 1) (3yo)
Top 3 Rated:
2) Promising Run
Thikriyaat showed decent form when second to Ribchester in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and that was on unsuitably soft ground. If he can continue his improvement he can give our selection most to do.
Promising Run is one of four Godolphin runners in the race and wears a first time visor which is concerning. He has not run particularly well this season and is on a redemption mission here.
Forge is the other threat here after finishing third behind Thikriyaat at Ascot, but I am not convinced about him over a mile. He could be a typical Stoute horse and improve as a four year old, but I don’t see him winning this.
Emotionless could well be our bet of the week as I think he is a class above his rivals here. He was 5th in the St. James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot at Group 1 level and previously he won a Group 2 at Doncaster at the end of last season. He will appreciate the better ground compared to Ascot and he looks to be a well-balanced type so the course should suit.
3.10 Goodwood - Betfred Mile (Heritage Handicap) (formerly known as the Golden Mile)
Top 4 Rated:
1) Third Time Lucky
2) Franklin D
4) Celestial Path
I was interested in Third Time Lucky but was put off him by two factors – he has only had the one start this season when he pulled hard (another three month break may result in the same) and Paul Hanagan. Paul Hanagan is a top jockey and I really like him as a judge of pace and getting the horse in the best position; however he is not great at Goodwood with only 5% of rides winning.
Franklin D won very impressively a couple of weeks back and despite a 3 pounds penalty is still well in prior to his rise in the weights. Ryan Moore booked shows thoughts are positive and if he does not get blocked from stall 1 he could win this comfortably.
Both Jailawi and 5th rated Carry on Deryck are drawn on the wide outside which will make things very difficult unless the gaps appear at the right time. My preference would be for Carry on Deryck of the two.
Celestial Path is a threat but my concern is that he did not cope with Epsom so is likely to encounter issues in running at Goodwood especially in a big field. If he is close coming into the final furlong he will not be far away.
Donncha is a horse we have backed already this season and I am convinced that he will win one of these big handicaps. He ran well to finish second on ground that was too soft for him and I am sure he can improve again on a quicker surface. He has run well at Goodwood finishing sixth in this last year and winning over 7 furlongs earlier in the summer. Adam Kirby is in great form and will hopefully find the gaps in the final furlong before driving the horse out to win.
3.45 Goodwood - Qatar King George Stakes (Group 2) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 4 Rated:
2) Easton Angel
Goldream has been disappointing this season but is perfectly capable of winning this having been successful at Group 1 level last season. I am more concerned by his long break which perhaps indicates a problem that could explain the poor form.
Muthmir won this last season and I thought he would go on to bigger things, but has not shown anything like the zip of 2015. He was behind both Easton Angel and Marsha in a Listed contest at York and is unlikely to reverse the positions here.
Easton Angel has improved this season winning two and finishing second in three Listed races at York and Sandown. I think he will find it difficult to pass Marsha, but both can take advantage of the allowance for three year olds and females.
Marsha as I mentioned beat both Muthmir and Easton Angel and can confirm those positions again by winning this. I think she has more improvement to come and can win from Easton Angel and Cotai Glory.