Doom Bar Celebration Mile Betting Tips

Doom Bar Celebration Mile (Group2) Goodwood Saturday – There have been thirty eight renewals of the Celebration Mile since it’s elevation to Group2 status in 1977 and the classic generation, with 23 wins have definitely had the best of the argument. Sir Michael Stoute has trained the winner an impressive eight times, and on five of those occasions it was a 3yo who gained the honours, so his representative this year, Thikriyaat has to be of interest.

A 3yo gelded son of Azamour he has won four of his five races commencing with an All Weather victory over a mile on his sole 2yo appearance. Dropped back to seven furlongs for his reappearance at Newmarket in April, he won gamely from Tabaarak, who won next time out. Stepped up to Cl1 level for his next race, (7f Newmarket Gd-Fm May 14) he won again in solid workmanlike fashion. In his next contest he was sent off an 8/1 shot in the highly competitive Jersey Stakes (7f Sft) at the Royal Meeting. Despite a difficult passage he finished a highly commendable second, (beaten 2 1/2L) to the subsequent Deauville Group1 winner, and the close third to the Gurkha in the Group1 Sussex Stakes, Ribchester. Stepped back up to a mile over Saturday’s course and distance, (Gd-Fm) twenty nine days ago, he won again in his hallmark, tough, workmanlike style, and this doughty competitor, who seems to handle most conditions, looks the type who will be hard to beat at the weekend.

Clive Cox won this last year with a progressive 3yo, Kodi Bear, and is trying for a repeat with a similar type in Zonderland. This son of Dutch Art won a listed race at Sandown, (1m Gd-Fm) in May, and was then pitched in at the deep end when asked to tackle Group1 company in the Prix Jean-Prat at Chantilly six weeks later. He finished an abysmal eighth of nine, out the back, but showed he was back on track next time, when winning a Salisbury Group3 (1m Gd-Fm). The form doesn’t amount to a great deal but it does show the Cox contender is going the right way and suggests the Chantilly race can be ignored.

Richard Hannon’s admirable 5yo Toormore’s score is two wins and a place from four Goodwood appearances, and he put up yet another fine course performance last time, when finishing fourth to The Gurkha in the Sussex Stakes thirty one days ago. Both his course wins have been over 7f, but having won a Group2 contest over Sandowns stiff mile there are no stamina doubts. One of the leading two year olds of his generation, and a winner of the Group1 National Stakes at the Curragh, Toormore is still an entire, and connections must entertain hopes of this son of Arakan joining the stallion ranks when he eventually retires from the track. It will come as no surprise to see him involved at the finish so long as “firm” doesn’t appear in the going description, as he hasn’t won on ground faster than good.

Another contender at the weekend who would prefer good or softer ground is the William Haggas trained 4yo colt Hathal. Bought at the “Breeze-Ups”for the hefty sum of 320,000gns, he has yet to justify his mega price tag, but did show signs in his last two runs, that suggest it might be in the right ballpark. He went down to My Dream Boat by 2 1/2L in a 1 mile York handicap (Aug 21 2015) when giving the winner 7lbs, but the subsequent career of the victor has shown what a good performance that was, as My Dream Boat is now rated fully 30lbs higher. Hathal went on to take a Newbury listed race four weeks later (Sep 18 2015 7f Sft) but has been off the course since. It is a big ask to expect the Haggas horse to win as competitive race as this after a break of 344 days but his talented trainer is a past master at producing them at their best after a long absence, and it will not be a great surprise to see Hathal repay another slice of that large purchase price.

Having won the Group3 Diomed Stakes in June 2015, the Group2 Summer Mile the following month and finished a close second to Solow in the Group1 Sussex stakes a few weeks later, the future looked bright indeed for Peter Chappell-Hyam’s now 5yo, Arod. However in his next five races the wheels seem to have come off, and apart from a respectable display on his reappearance, the rest has been very disappointing. However the stable has been going through a prolonged period of underperformance which has to end sometime, and they obviously haven’t given up on their talented son of Teofilo. Certainly if this 5yo entire could bounce back and repeat his fine performance in last years Sussex Stakes he would be a danger to all.

Selection: Thikriyaat

E.W. : Toormore

Qatar Stewards Cup Tips

Qatar Stewards Cup Handicap 6f Goodwood Saturday – First run in its present format in 1840 the race has seen plenty of lightweights in the winners’ circle in the past, but recent renewals have seen a “classier” animal to the fore. Indeed all of the last ten winners were rated at least 95, and three of the last five had ratings over one hundred. An eight year old, three six year olds, and two three year olds have managed to get their heads in front in the last twenty years but the overwhelmingly successful age groups have been the four and five year olds.

David Nicholls with four previous winners on the board must fancy his chances of making it five with his vastly improved 5yo entire, Orion’s Bow. A winner of his last five races, he started the sequence on Newcastle’s All Weather track in May off a lowly 69, and completed the five timer a fortnight ago at Hamilton in the Scottish Stewards Cup off a mark of 97. He took it up inside the furlong marker and won by 3 1/4L from the very good yardstick Hoof It, (won the 2011 Stewards Cup carrying 10st). He races on Saturday off a 6lbs higher mark which seems fair, but a bigger concern would be very fast ground. By Pivotal he does like to get his toe in but has got plenty of form on Gd/Fm and Gd.

The Nicholls yard is also represented by the 6yo Kimberella and judging by his last time out win at York, is no back number. He was quite impressive winning this Class2 event on fast ground off a mark of 99 so Saturday’s 103 looks doable. He has no Goodwood form but was a most unlucky loser of Epsom’s “Dash” so the downhill track shouldn’t present any problems. Worth considering!

Roger Varian’s 5yo Double Up ran a fine race over 5f at Haydock in May where despite being hampered was only beaten 1 1/2L and 3/4L by Take Cover and Cotai Glory in a conditions event. He looked a very progressive animal last year winning three handicaps, the last of them off a mark of 98. His mark at the weekend of 105 does look quite tough but with form on the track, and a progressive profile, stepping up to 6f he is worth considering.

A course and distance winner at the beginning of June off a mark of 80, Andrew Balding’s 3yo filly Dancing Star has attracted market support. She was impressive three weeks ago at Headquarters winning off a mark of 96, so her new mark of 102 doesn’t look too bad, and she just might become the first 3yo filly since Sir Michael Stoute’s Autumn Sunset (8st2lbs)  won in 1983.

Poyle Vinnie ran a great race to finish second in last years Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of love 103 and races on Saturday off a pound lower. Michael Appleby’s 6yo finished a respectable 3rd to Right Touch and Kimberella three weeks ago at Chester when apprentice ridden. Reunited with his usual pilot, Andrew Mullen, he is worth considering at a big price.

Sprint specialist, Robert Cowell’s 5yo has come in for plenty of support. He hasn’t won since his two year old days but showed the talent was still there when finishing second in this last year, and coming 4th in the Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of 102. His two runs this term have failed to catch the judges eye, but again racing off 102 and coming from this yard it would come as no surprise to see him involved at the business end.

Oddsguru’s E.W. Selection in last week’s International at Ascot Right Touch, was taken out to wait for this, so has to be of interest. Trained by Richard Fahey, he demonstrated his wellbeing three weeks ago when taking a Chester handicap from a poor draw off a mark of 95 and previously had run well over the Goodwood track last April off the same mark. In a 7f contest and apprentice ridden, he was beaten less than a length when finishing 4th but had been given an awful lot to do. Out the back with a furlong to run he finished best of all, so with Ryan Moore taking over steering duties it could be a different story at the weekend.

Selection:    Toofi

E.W.       :   Poyle Vinnie.

Kodi Bear Fancied For Celebration Mile

Goodwood

Kodi Bear is a rapidly improving animal and has a terrific chance in the Celebration Mile.

Inaugurated as a Group3 event in 1967, it was elevated to it’s present status in 1977 and features most of the top milers of the last four and a half decades, including the mighty Brigadier Gerard, Mark of Esteem, and Ravens Pass on its roll of honour. The classic generation have been the most successful age group, collecting in thirty two of the fourty seven renewals since its inception. Of Saturday’s trainers, only John Gosden has previously hit the back of the net, (Mutathir, 1998 and Ravens Pass, 2008) but Roger Charlton,represented by Captain Cat at the weekend, has had two placed from only three runners in the past decade. David Simcock,s only runner over the same period was placed, and James Fanshawe has had one placed from four attempts.

The Gosden runner this time is the 3yo Richard Pankhurst, and he will be trying to emulate his sire Ravens Pass. On only his second racecourse appearance, at Royal Ascot in June last year, he looked an outstanding prospect, when beating the very useful Toscanini by nearly four lengths, earning a rating of 116. He hasn’t been seen since, but coming from this yard, a fourteen months absence may be no bar to success. However with the weekends weather outlook in mind, it is worth remembering that his sires offspring much prefer top of the ground conditions, and a waiting brief is advised.

The patriarch of the Hills clan, Barry, won the race three times in the eighties and nineties, is unrepresented in this years renewal, but son Charles, who is having such an outstanding season, holds a strong hand with the 3yo Dutch Art colt, Dutch Connection, and the 4yo Cable Bay. Both have strong course form so the idiosyncratic track shouldn’t pose a problem to either, but soft ground would probably be a negative for the three year old. As the ground, at the time of writing is soft and the meteorological forecast is changeable, the stables best chance may lie with Cable Bay. He was probably given too much to do when held up in midfield in the 7f Hungerford Stakes three weeks ago, and finished fourth, but a reproduction of his run in the 1m Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May would make him a serious contender. Held up out the back by Jamie Spencer, he ran on well in the final furlong, finishing fifth about a length and a half behind the top class Night Of Thunder. One for the shortlist!

Another trainer enjoying a good season is Clive Cox, and his 3yo colt Kodi Bear is a rapidly improving animal. Having finished second in the Group1 Dewhurst Stakes in his last race as a 2yo, he was all the rage on his belated reappearance in a listed race at Windsor at the end of June, but had to work quite hard to collect on the good to firm ground. Thrown in at the deep end in a Gp1 at Chantilly a fortnight later, he was well beaten, but may have found the race coming too soon. Given a four and a half week break, he destroyed a decent field in a Sailsbury Gp3 three weeks ago. This progressive colt will handle soft conditions at the weekend and looks the one to beat.

Olly Stevens’ 4yo colt, Lightning Spear is by pivotal so will appreciate any easing of conditions on Saturday, a point emphasised by his staying on fourth in a Gp1 in testing conditions at Deauville three weeks ago. Only his fourth start on turf, he stayed on well going down by 1 1/2L, 1 1/2L, Nse, to Esoterique, Territories, and Wild Chief. He is another on an upward curve, and given holding ground at the weekend could well be in the mix.

Selection: Kodi Bear.

E.W. : Lightning Spear.

Stewards Cup Betting Tips 6f Goodwood Saturday

Magical Memory

Magical Memory is a sprinter going places, and it would be no surprise if he becomes the first of his generation since Danetime in 1997 to lift the cup.

I hope you were on last week’s E.W. selection in the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Postponed. What a great ride from Andrea Atzeni, undoubtedly one of the most talented pilots riding at the moment. He exploited the Cumani colt’s reserves of stamina and courage to get back up in the shadow of the post and won by the proverbial nose. Speed rather than stamina is the prerequisite for Saturday’s test, and Charlie Hills’ yard which is doing so well with its sprinters this year is the first port of call.

His 4yo Tanzeel, who won with such authority on the Knavesmire last week is of obvious interest with a 6lbs penalty, but is not a definite runner, so perhaps the one to concentrate on is his 3yo Zebedee gelding, Magical Memory. While 3yo winners of the Stewards Cup are something of a rarity in recent years, this can be put down to the paucity of qualifiers in this age group, something that is not a problem for the very progressive Hills 3yo. He was hugely impressive in his last race, a £100,000 Cl2 handicap at Newmarket, which he took in very taking fashion by 2L, earning him a rating of 102, and comfortably qualifying him for Saturday’s contest. Magical Memory is a sprinter going places, and it would be no surprise if he becomes the first of his generation since Danetime in 1997 to lift the cup. One slight caveat would be that all his wins have come on tracks with a stiff uphill finish and it remains to be seen how he copes with Goodwood’s downhill helter skelter course, ( he finished 6th of 12 behind Son of Africa on his only course appearance ). However he seemed to cope well on the Newmarket July course, the early part of which is downhill, so perhaps any concern is misplaced and he is shortlisted.

Roger Charlton has won the race three times, so certainly knows what is required. Two of his three winners have been with 5yo’s, and he is represented by another of that generation, Huntsmans Close on Saturday. Unfortunately he got loose before the Wokingham Stakes, for which he had been strongly fancied, at Royal Ascot, and had to be withdrawn, but did redeem himself a week later when comfortably winning a competitive affair at Windsor. A winner of the Ayr Silver Cup he is very much at home in the hurly burly of these big handicaps and is another for the short list with his nice racing weight of 9st2lbs.

If getting into the race, Peter Chapple-Hyam’s 4yo, Direct Times, would be of considerable interest. Very lightly campaigned, he has only run five times, and has won three of them, last time under Saturday’s pilot, the very promising apprentice Tom Marquand. They easily won a Cl4 Newmarket handicap six weeks ago, carrying the steadier of 9st9lbs. With just 8st2lbs, (including Marquand’s 5lbs claim) on his back, Direct Times will think he’s loose, so although Saturday’s contest represents a huge step up in class, he is seriously considered.

Beaten less than 2L in a class2 5f Ascot handicap last time, and a similar distance in a very competitive 5f heat at the Curragh prior to that, Mike Murphy’s 5yo Discussiontofollow now returns to what is probably his optimum trip in a race that he finished 6th in last year, so is of definite interest.

Richard Fahey’s Tatlisu was backed in to 8/1 for the Wokingham, but disappointed badly, finishing 24th of 25. He ran much better last time off the same Mark (97) as Ascot, finishing 2nd in a Cl2 handicap at Hamilton. Racing off the same mark again at the weekend, and at a course where on his only other appearance he performed well, it would be no surprise at all to see his uber shrewd trainer taking another trophy back to Malton.

Dean Ivory’s 7yo gelding Tropics has been plying his trade at the top level, and indeed went as close to winning in this grade as you can without actually doing so in the July Cup last time. However his rating of 113 gives him a burden of 9st13lbs to carry on Saturday. As no animal, apart from Hoof It, who managed to win with the welter burden of 10st in 2011, has carried more than 9st10lbs in the past thirty seven years, the super game Ivory gelding is reluctantly passed over.

Selection : Magical Memory

E.W. : Huntsmans Close