Steve Hughes has his best bets for day four at Goodwood
A good mix of races on Friday at Goodwood and I have selections throughout the afternoon. We made another profit on Thursday through Communique (advised 5/1).
Goodwood 1.50: Second Step
Although he is now at the veteran status at the age of seven, Second Step looks as good as ever and he can land this possibly sub-standard Group 3.
He has been ultra consistent since joining the Roger Charlton stable last season, placing in the first two on his last seven starts, including three victories. The most recent of those was in a listed contest at Newmarket last month where he was always doing enough to hold off Dylan Mouth.
Of his last three defeats, two were at the hands of Poets Word (in this race last season) and Crystal Ocean – the two horses who fought out the epic finish of the King George on Saturday. His form figures at this track read 312 and fast ground is definitely no problem to him.
Goodwood 3.00: Escobar & Fire Brigade
The presence of two Mark Johnston horses should ensure the strong pace that ought to make this race a typical big field contest favouring stalking horses. With fresh ground available on the inside I like the look of two low drawn horses.
First choice will be Escobar, with trainer David O’Meara having apparently found the key to him. He won his first two starts as a juvenile for Hugo Palmer including a listed contest at Newbury. However he completely lost his way in 2017, eventually being sold at the autumn sales. However he is rapidly regaining his best form of late. He won a minor handicap at Haydock but with considerable ease having travelled on the bridle throughout. He ran much better than ninth would suggest in the Hunt Cup from the unfavoured near side. Latterly he was a strong second over this mile trip at Sandown. A strongly run mile seems to suit him perfectly.
The alternative is Fire Brigade. Well fancied for the Lincoln, he had no chance from his high draw. He was a solid second at Haydock next time and then had a wind operation. He did not get a true chance to suggest if that had worked at Newcastle last time. A slow early pace meant he had little chance to get involved from the rear. He has decent form in big fields, notably when third in the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket and has an ideal low draw.
Goodwood 5.15: Baritone
Although his form is of a modest nature to date, there is surely more to come from Baritone and he makes plenty of appeal, especially as this race could turn into a burn up.
Trainers Mark Johnston and Tom Dascombe are well represented – and largely with front-runners. Baritone is likely to be ridden with restraint by Ryan Moore and I expect his first run beyond 10f to bring about improvement.
He was a solid third at Ascot in a small field on his handicap debut, but this stronger gallop will see him to better effect and his maiden form was promising enough – especially his debut run at Newbury off a strong pace.
1.5pts win – Second Step – 1.50 Goodwood – 100/30 Paddy Power
1pt win – Escobar – 3.00 Goodwood – 13/2 Betfred, Totesport
0.75pts each-way- Fire Brigade – 3.00 Goodwood – 11/1 general
1pt win – Baritone – 5.15 Goodwood – 5/2 Bet365, Skybet