Syndicate Captain TFA has looked long and hard about Wednesday’s Glorious Goodwood card and unearthed the following gems as he tried to take on the £10,000 Boosted Place 6 pool. He reckons that Moll Davis provides the place value on day two of the festival.
On paper, this looks a tricky contest to kick-off the day with 20 runners in a long distance handicap, although having spent a bit of time looking I’m not sure it’s that competitive.
The bottom half of the field (11-20) are taking on horses at least one or two classes above their normal competition and I’ll be surprised if the winner comes from this half. Assuming I’m correct, it makes the race a little less complicated.
Last year, Lil Rockerfeller was one of the easiest winners of the whole season when he won this race by 15 lengths off a mark of 82. He returns to defend his crown off a 17lbs higher mark this year and has clearly been laid out for the race again.
My view on horses like this is to watch last year’s race again to assess if they would have won with an additional 17lbs. Very rare I’ll support a horse up 17lbs but, given that he won so easily, it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t have won last year with this rating. Therefore, he makes the shortlist.
The best handicapped horse in the race is Fun Mac. He’s run a couple of really nice races this season to be fifth in the Chester Cup and then fourth at Royal Ascot. He’s down another 1lb today and the handicapper is giving him a real chance to get back into the winner’s enclosure.
Dubawi Fifty has some of the strongest form in the race having been second in the Ascot stakes last year and then following up with a second place in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle. Up another 2lbs, he’ll need to improve again but has the look of an improver.
The other clear improver in the race, and the final horse on the shortlist, is True Destiny. Clearly needs a career best to figure today but I thought a 3lbs rise for the win at York last time was very fair and I don’t think he has reached his ceiling mark yet, although the jump in class may catch him out here.
Place 6 Selections – Lil Rockerfeller, Fun Mac, Dubawi Fifty, True Destiny
Very rarely do I go through a 14-runner handicap and can only rule out three horses but this has happened here. However, I’ll go with four horses for a shortlist and a wildcard.
The first two selections come from the same race at Royal Ascot, finishing third (Eminence) and fourth (Persian Moon) in the King George V Stakes. Both have been beaten since but the races were nothing like this sort of test and, given both horses have shown their liking for this sort of big field test, I’d give them a chance to show the Ascot run wasn’t a fluke.
The horse I’ll probably back in the race is Future Investment depending on price. He was taken to Ireland last time for a valuable handicap but I understand why as I think he’s well-handicapped off a mark of 89. Clearly ran below form that day but I expect him to represent value here at a decent price.
Durston is one who will appreciate the rain that is forecast to fall on Tuesday and I thought he handled the heavy ground well last time out at Chester. He needs to improve again but I like the jockey booking with Spencer on board and this race is full of pace. Will need luck in-running but, if anyone can find the splits, Frank can!
My wildcard selection is going to be the unnamed favourite. The four selections are all likely to be decent prices and, in a race where one or two are sure to be punted, I think the favourite at the off is likely to be a pretty strong selection whoever it is.
Place 6 Selections – Eminence, Persian Moon, Future Investment, Durston, Unnamed Favourite
Liberty Beach has the best form in the race and she looks nailed on to run well. Was fourth in the Queen Mary and followed that with a very impressive win in a listed race at Sandown. If in the same form today, she will be very difficult to beat.
The horse with the most potential is definitely the Clive Cox runner Hand On My Heart. I was very impressed with how she won at Windsor, beating two good yardsticks in the process who were both experienced. Needs to improve about a stone to trouble Liberty Beach but you’d expect a Cox runner to improve from debut. Ryan Moore being booked is also eye-catching and if I can get a double figure price, she is probably the EW bet of the race.
Place 6 Selections – Liberty Beach, Hand On My Heart
The highlight of the day although, with only 8 runners, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a horse to place.
Phoenix of Spain was disappointing at Royal Ascot and couldn’t confirm the Irish Guineas form with Too Darn Hot. Too Darn Hot himself wasn’t great either and just held on for third behind Circus Maximus, who has been supplemented for this race.
Clearly, these three present a formidable challenge for the older horses and I’ll be surprised if at least two of them don’t finish in the top three. Given that I’m always looking for value, I would take on Too Darn Hot with Circus Maximus and Phoenix of Spain here.
Place 6 Selections – Circus Maximus, Phoenix of Spain
This is potentially a tricky race for the Place 6 with seven runners and only two places. There is only 4lbs separating five of them (once you adjust for Flippa’s penalty) and I’d need to take three selections I think.
Mighty Spirit will be one of the best two-year old maidens at the moment as he’s run some really good races this season without getting his head in front. On the ratings, he was probably disappointing at Newbury last time but it was a funny race and his stablemate massively underperformed too, so wouldn’t worry about that run. He was previously sixth at Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary and this run puts him in the top few on form I think.
Flippa The Strippa was two places behind Mighty Spirit at Ascot but finished best of all in that race and was the one who impressed me. Won’t be surprised if she manages to turn around the form, although there shouldn’t be much between her and Mighty Spirit.
Lastly, Mrs Bouquet has made all in a couple of nurseries and looks to be improving quickly. This is a significant step up in class and there is a clear question mark about the ground as she’s been running well on firm but, given the stable’s record at this meeting and that she’s improving so quickly, it’s difficult to ignore her.
Place 6 Selections – Mighty Spirit, Flippa The Strippa, Mrs Bouquet
Moll Davis doesn’t have the sexy profile of a few here which is likely to create some value but I see her as an improving filly. Given her last win was franked at the weekend, I think she can cope with the step up in class. She won at Hamilton last time, beating Dark Lochanger with both pulling clear of the field. Dark Lochanger won easily at Chester at the weekend off a 4lbs higher mark and Moll Davis is off a 5lbs higher mark but up in class. Could represent value.
Ocala got her first run on Nearooz last time out at Chester and isn’t guaranteed to confirm the placings today as a result. However, I am worried about the ground if the rain comes as she hasn’t run on anything softer than good and it is 2lbs worse off. Shouldn’t be much between them but, from a value angle, I think Ocala may be underestimated.
Given the complexity of this race and, partially driven by the fact that the two previous selections won’t be well found in the market, I’ll go with another two for my perm.
The top two in the handicap won last time out and neither look too harshly treated to give them a chance to follow up. Naqaawa won very easily watching Chelmsford back and, although it wasn’t a strong race, I thought a 3lbs rise was fair. Capable of running well here.
Finally, Lady of Shalott won on the bridle last time out and, similar to Naqaawa, I’m not sure she beat very much. It looked the sort of ride you would usually see from Spencer and I find it fascinating that he is riding her today. Has bits and pieces of form on softer ground and again, at the likely prices, seems a value play to me.
Place 6 Selections – Moll Davis, Ocala, Naqaawa, Lady of Shalott