You can almost set your watch by COUER DE LION in these long distance staying handicaps and with conditions set to suit today, he looks a massive price at 20/1. Alan King is enjoying a fine week and must be looking forward to this horse taking his chance today. He ran an admirable race on ground quicker than ideal last time at the Royal meeting, probably unsuited by the slow gallop. I can’t envisage that being a problem here today as there are a few in here who like to stride on. With plenty of juice in the ground he should be staying on past most of these late on and I don’t think you will lose anything backing him each way.
The 2.25 looks an exploitable race on paper. The red hot jolly is unproven on ground this soft and the remainder of the field are a decent price. I’m taking two punts at getting the fav beat and first up is RHYTHM MASTER. He ran a mighty race in the Jersey over 7f, staying on right to the line, suggesting this mile should suit him just fine. Jockey PJ McDonald has apparently been wanting to try this trip for a long time and there looks to be science behind the move up to a mile. He should go well.
Second dart is my old friend TASMAN BAY who drops back 4f which seems a bit excessive considering he ran a mighty race at Ascot. He’s proven himself to be a high quality horse this season but has had the misfortune to bump into one or two smart ones. He has always travelled well so I understand why connections are keen to explore the mile option. It gives David Probert more options during the race as he knows will stay further so he can be aggressive if needs be.
Final punt on a wet Friday afternoon will be another old friend ESCOBAR. I was mad keen on him on Tuesday in the Lennox when the ground was testing and he ran a blidner to finish one length off the winner but unfortunately one place outside of the money. The step back up to a mile should suit today though as he has maybe lost some of his zest in his old age but he still showed plenty of enthusiasm on Tuesday and I will be surprised if he isn’t troubling the judge today.
Goodwood 1.50 – Couer De Lion
Goodwood 2.25 – Rhythm Master / Tasman Bay
Goodwood 3.00 – Escobar
There were apparently excuses for PRINCE ALEX’s poor run at Newmarket the last day and he has since left Ralph Beckett’s yard. Prior to that he looked to have been continuing on the upward curve he had been on since last season when racking up a few victories on the bounce. He won’t mind what the ground does tomorrow and is pretty versatile with regards tactics so off a lovely low weight I do expect him to bounce back to somewhere near his best.
The Stewards Cup is a belter of a race yet again this year and I could tip any number of them in all honesty. Preference though, is for HURRICANE IVOR who ran a cracking race at Ascot last time despite being on the wrong side of the track. Only nudged up 1lb for that effort I think he looks incredibly well weighted and should run a huge race here. He thrashed his side at Ascot and he looks to have been missed by a few.
Goodwood 2.30 – Prince Alex
Goodwood 3.40 – Hurricane Ivor