#OffTheBridle with J.T McCoy - Glorious Goodwood & Galway!
Horse Racing: A week of G’s for the Gee Gees
There surely aren’t enough hours in the day to pour through the week’s top quality action both sides of the Irish Sea, let alone pick any winners….but we’ll try.
Before we look ahead, we must briefly look back at the King George and salute the masterclass given by Enable, on ground unknown and against (older) colts, including some serious Group 1 performers.
If, like me, you’d backed Ulysses, you would have been happy turning in for home when he appeared, as he did in the Eclipse, on the bridle and seemingly cruising. But Enable was already 3 lengths in front and showed a gradual turn of foot to allow her to maintain the gap. We’ll take the e/w money on Ulysses (backed at 8s and 10s) and move on.
Galway Day 1: Monday 31 July
So many people have told me that the Galway festival is even better craic than the Cheltenham festival. That’s a big call – can anyone sway me into heading over next year?
Galway kicks off today and the shrewdies would have you believe that there is only one way to start the meeting – by backing Thunder Speed in the 7.05, who has already been backed into 11/2 from 8/1.
I’ll be having a small helping of that, followed by a double Willie Mullins nibble on Lagostovegas in the 7.40 at 17/2 currently, and Poet Power in the last at around 9/2. This mare is out of Yeats and despite apparent weakness in the market, should be there or thereabouts against the boys.
Galway Day 2: Tuesday 1 August
The 17.55 sees the highly rated Bamako Moriviere attempt to get around a chase course at the second time of asking. Impressive over hurdles, you’d think that if he completes the course he should be difficult to beat. The price? Likely to be short.
Goodwood Day 1: Tuesday 1 August
Kicking things off in the 1.50, Garcia looks a worthy favourite and the booking of Ryan Moore catches the eye. As always with these big-field handicaps, it often pays to have an each-way saver on something at a bigger price and Oasis Fantasy might be the one at around 14/1. My heart would love to back What About Carlo, but I think he wins at Newbury and nowhere else.
In the 3.00 there are question marks over Limato, tried ow at 7f again, and Librisa Breeze, although the latter’s turn of foot can be devastating. Instead, I fancy AOB to re-familiarise himself with the winners’ enclosure with Spirit of Valor at 5/1.
Big Orange will be a firm favourite with punters and the crowds in the 3.35 after his success at Ascot but at odds on, I’d take him on with Sheikzayedroad, US Army Ranger and Oriental Fox. A scattergun approach perhaps, but decent e/w prices on offer for all three.
Nothing else catches the eye on Day 1….but looking further ahead to Day 2…
Goodwood Day 2: Wednesday 2 August
The Racing Post app tells me that Godolphin’s Secret Advisor had been as big as 14/1 in the ante-post market for the 2.25. Now heading the market at 7/2, and picked y Buick as his preferred ride from three choices, one has to take note. I also like the look of Sofia’s Rock who comes from 3rd in a Group 3 last time out into a handicap. Must have a decent chance and a good bet at 5/1.
Happy Like a Fool looks sure to go off favourite in the 3.00 and should justify the short odds following a good run when beaten favourite to Heartache at Ascot in June. Again, Ryan Moore catches the eye, riding one in a race in which Messrs Tabor & Magnier have a runner. I’ll take the 7/4.
The 3.35 will hopefully see the return to form of Churchill, taking on Ribchester who, like the Tin Man, is a horse I simply can’t bring myself to back, even though he keeps going in.
With the top two in the market prohibitively short, I’m taking the 33/1 about Zonderland for Clive Cox, purely because my daughter fed him a Polo (other brands of mint confectionery are available) at the Lambourn Open Day in April.
More Galway and Goodwood thoughts to come later in the week.