We move into the fourth day of Glorious Goodwood 2012 and racing fans will be looking to end the week on a high in the betting jungle.
Friday’s card sees three top class Group races complimented by a wide open renewal of the Betfred Mile and there is plenty of money to be won on another enthralling day’s action at the meeting.
14:00 Coutts Glorious Stakes (Group 3) (4yo+, Class 1, 1m 4f, 7 runners)
Seven runners go to post for the Glorious Stakes and John Gosden’s Gatewood arrives at Goodwood on the back of three very taking victories, most recently at Epsom and Royal Ascot. He is certainly a horse going in the right direction, but he’ll find this company a lot tougher and he has some formidable rivals to contend with.
Luca Cumani’s Quest For Peace can be forgiven his poor run in the Hardwicke at Ascot and he will be there or thereabouts, as will Godolphin’s Songcraft who has been very consistent for his new yard after joining from Andre Fabre.
However, this can go the way of DUBAI PRINCE who can prove he has a class edge against his rivals in Group Three company.
The son of Shamardal has always been highly regarded but things have not gone completely his way since he left Dermot Weld for Mahmood Al Zarooni two years ago. After three victories in his first three starts, his form dipped dramatically at the end of last season and he looked badly out of form at Meydan earlier in the year.
A facile success in a four runner race at York last time out hopefully proved Dubai Prince is back on course and if that is the case, he remains a seriously talented individual. The four-year-old looks a very nervous horse, but with Ahmed Ajtebi in the saddle, he can coax him to glory on only his second start over 1m4f.
Nick Wilby’s selection – Dubai Prince
14:35 RSA Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3) (3yo, Class 1, 1m, 14 runners)
Fourteen horses go to war for Group Three honours at 2.35 and it looks a really competitive renewal of the race.
Irish 2000 Guineas flop Trumpet Major carries a penalty as he steps down in class but the colt proved he is capable of winning giving weight away in the Craven earlier this year.
He is afforded plenty of respect, as is race favourite Gregorian who has run well in the French Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes and in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly last time out.
He brings the best form to the table, but Roger Varian’s ALJAMAAHEER is open to lots of improvement and the Jersey Stakes third can go two better on only his fifth start.
The colt continues to progress well and after winning a listed heat at Newmarket with plenty up his sleeve in May, he put up a big performance at Royal Ascot last time out. The step up to a mile is sure to suit here and the highly regarded son of Dubawi can take this before he tackles Group One company.
Nick WIlby’s selection – Aljamaaheer
15:10 Betfred Mile (Heritage Handicap) (Formerly Known As The Golden Mile) (3yo+, Class 2, 1m, 20 runners)
The absence of Trade Commissioner in this year’s Betfred Mile will be a great blow to ante post punters and the market leader’s defection has left the betting for the contest wide open.
Mark Johnston’s Fulbright will be out to prove that he stays a mile for his in-form trainer and the favourite is 6lbs well in on the handicap. He is capable of running a huge race, as is Charlie Hills’ Captain Bertie and Royal Hunt Cup hero Prince Of Johanne.
However, this can go the way of SWIFTLY DONE who will be looking to make it a hat-trick of victories after successes at Doncaster and Newcastle this season.
The selection has improved rapidly over the last twelve months and though he is up another 4lbs here, that might not be enough to stop him.
True, his last three victories have all come on soft ground, but he has won on good in the past and he is drawn perfectly in stall one. He looks to have been underrated by the bookies and he looks a great each-way shout.
Nick Wilby’s selection – Swiftly Done
15:45 Gordon's King George Stakes (Group 2) (3yo+, Class 1, 5f, 17 runners)
The King George Stakes looks a daunting punting puzzle and at 7/1 the field, it looks a seriously competitive race.
Last year’s Prix de l’Abbaye hero Tangerine Trees heads the market along with Aussie raider Ortensia, but both are left with a little to prove after their last two runs and the latter will be carrying a penalty for her success in the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.
They are still respected, as is the incredibly pacey Hamish McGonagall and the improving Angels Will Fall, but a chance is taken on Henry Candy’s AMOUR PROPRE who would be more than capable of winning this on his best form.
The selection remains a very fragile sprinter and despite winning three times at Group Three level, he has never quite reached the heights expected of him.
The form which saw him finish second in this twelve months ago before landing a Group Three in Ireland would be good enough to have him in contention here and if he can bounce back from his poor performances this season, he remains a sprinter with plenty of talent.
With none of the sprinters standing out ahead of a wide open race, a chance is taken on Amour Propre returning to something like his best at very appealing odds.
Nick Wilby’s selection – Amour Propre