The opening day of Glorious Goodwood offers good betting opportunities from the yards of Richard Hannon and Mark Johnston.
Goodwood 3:05 – Professor
Glorious Goodwood starts tomorrow with some excellent racing ahead of the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday and the clash of Dawn Approach and Toronado.
The Lennox Stakes is of particular interest and it is often won a progressive horse that is making its way up the pattern ladder. Richard Hannon has won it twice in the past five renewals with two such horses (Strong Suit in 2011 and Paco Boy in 2008) and he supplies a very interesting contender in Professor. The stable is responsible for the shorter priced Producer, who has been selected by Richard Hughes, but we seem to know the level of this 4 year old and at 9/2 he does not appeal as the likely winner. We have to respect the judgement of Hughes but at over twice the price, it is the stable second string that appeals much more.
Professor is ridden by Tom Queally who has won two of the last three renewals of this race for the late Sir Henry Cecil and is just the type of horse that suits Queally in that he is ideally suited by stalking the pace and quickening in the final furlong to seal matters. This is also the ideal type of horse for this track and nearly all the recent winners of this race have been ridden in this manner.
Professor started the season with a hugely encouraging 4th over 6 furlongs off a mark of 98 at Newmarket. He has completed a hatrick since then with wins off 98 at Ascot followed by two listed victories at Haydock and Salisbury. We particularly liked the manner in which he won last time over a 6f trip that is on the sharp side for him. The step back up to 7f will suit as he looks a specialist at this trip and with a rating of 110 he is within 6lb of the top rated horse in this contest Aljamaheer. The latter carries a 4lb penalty so he is theoretically only 2lb well in with our selection and lacks the scope for further progress that Professor has. The other highest rated horses Casper Netscher and Krypton Factor have doubts about them with the former off for nearly a year and with the latter unproven over this trip.
At 10/1 with Stan James who are offering ¼ odds each way Professor looks a strong each way bet in a contest that looks tailor made for him.
Goodwood 3:40 – Oriental Fox
This is a race which Mark Johnston has won twice in the past 10 years and he is a trainer that consistently targets this meeting and particularly the handicaps each year. The early money has come for the stable’s Sir Graham Wade and although he is out of form, this is a trait that we have noticed with the stable’s horses in the past and they suddenly bounce back at this meeting.
However it is Oriental Fix in the colours of the stables 2003 winner Darasim who makes much more appeal. This German bred son of Lomitas has shown progressive form for the stable this year and ran a blinder when just touched off by Arch Villain here in May off 94. Off a 1lb higher mark at Newcastle in the Northumberland Plate he ran an exceptional race when quickening up 2 furlongs from home before being caught on the line by Tominator. It looked like he just failed to last out the 2 mile trip that day and the drop down to 14 furlongs on Tuesday is a definite plus.
Oriental Fox races off a further 4lb higher mark in this handicap but this is not a concern and his racing style of being at the head of affairs and quickening from the front is ideal in these staying contests at Goodwood and is typical of many successful handicap wins for the stable in recent years. Indeed this was how he was ridden against Arch Villain in May when only just caught near the line.
We expect Joe Fanning to be near the head of affairs and then turn the screw as they turn into the straight. From a favourable stall 2 position, he is ideally positioned to execute this manoeuvre and we expect him to take a lot of beating at 5/1 that is generally available and may be bettered as more bookmakers price this contest.
1 pt e/w Professor to win the Goodwood 3.05 @ 10/1 (Stan James)
1.5 pts e/w Oriental Fox to win the Goodwood 3.40 @ 5/1 (general)
Record to date: 107.5 pts staked: 28.75 pts Profit: ROI 26%