Glorious Goodwood

Goodwood Festival Day One Tips: Suedois a solid proposition in Lennox Stakes

Goodwood race action
Tony has four bets to consider on the first day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival

"In fact, he loves this race. He was beaten a mere short-head by Sir Dancealot last season, and ½-length into third when a 25/1 chance in 2017."

Back Suedois at 12.011/1 win and 2.747/4 place, or bigger, in 15:00 at Goodwood

We have an excellent week of racing in store with the Goodwood Festival taking centre stage. Tony Calvin has four bets for you to consider on the opening day...

High class Group races but no bets for me

It is a relatively quiet punting start to the week for me on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood - the meeting may not be officially called that any more, but it is how most refer to it - and mainly because Group races rarely do it for me.

The Vintage Stakes at 14:25 is a case in point.

The seven-runner Group 2 juvenile is undeniably a fascinating contest, but it leaves me cold as a betting medium.

Pinatubo is clearly the rightful favourite after brushing aside the highly-regarded Lope Y Fernandez, who re-opposes, in a sparkling time in the Chesham, but he meets some very decent sorts here.

Mystery Power looked good in the Superlative Stakes but a 3lb penalty makes it tough for him here, and the placed horses in the July Stakes, Platinum Star and Visinari, as well as wide-margin Salisbury winner Positive - a Clive Cox 2yo who wins first-time-up has to be respected - also clearly add a lot of depth to the race.

I couldn't even begin to entertain a bet, and a similar comment applies to the Goodwood Cup at 15:35 mainly because I find it very hard to see past the winning machine that is Stradivarius.

This John Gosden fella isn't too bad at keeping his top horses on the boil, is he?

I am sure plenty will actually think this race has an excellent betting shape to it, with Dee Ex Bee and Cross Counter clear of the rest on official figures and available at each-way prices which will result in a minimal loss if they are placed, but I can leave it alone myself.

Goodwood big field 1280.jpg

Cross Counter probably didn't get the run of the race when fourth to the favourite in the Gold Cup and is the most likely beneficiary if Stradivarius fails to wins for the first time since October 2017.

But maybe the second and third favourites aren't nailed on for a place, with the likes of 3yo Dashing Willoughby getting 15lb from them and Yorkshire Cup runner-up Southern France could improve at his first start at the trip, too.

Course lover can go well in Lennox again

I was going to swerve the Lennox Stakes at 15:00 as well but Suedois is such a solid proposition that I think he merits a win and place investment in what is a very competitive Group 2, I admit.

The handicapper thinks this 8yo is in decline, as he has dropped him 6lb to a mark of 109 this season. His 2019 campaign opening mark of 115 would make him the form choice here.

That official decline could be a touch hasty as he has quite clearly put up a series of good performances this season, albeit without getting his head in front, and we know he loves it here.

In fact, he loves this race. He was beaten a mere short-head by Sir Dancealot last season, and ½-length into third when a 25/1 chance in 2017.

It is perhaps a sobering fact that he has yet to win in this country - though he has won six times, including in Grade 1 company - and maybe that has led to connections trying him in first-time cheekpieces here.

And you can definitely see them making a difference, as he has often traded very short in-running after travelling into his race so smoothly - indeed, he hit 1.222/9 in the run in this race last year - and his trainer is a very respectable 8 from 53 with this headgear option since 2016.

Back him at 12.011/1 win and 2.747/4 place, or bigger.

Happy to give Jazeel another chance with Hunter as a saver

I did my money on Jazeel in the John Smith's Cup at York last time, where I was never in with a shout of collecting as he was held up miles off the pace, and nothing from the rear got into the race that day.

So he ran respectably, with that in mind, to be beaten just a little over 5 lengths and he is able to race off a 3lb lower mark here and just 2lb higher than when previously beating Beringer at Sandown.

So I am going to give him another chance at 15.014/1 or bigger in the opening 1m1f197yd handicap at 13:50.

He proved when he won the Silver Cambridgeshire for Mick Channon last season that he needs a strong pace at aim and, prior to York, he had a looked a progressive horse for his ever-impressive new handler.

There is plenty of pace in here, it seems, so he could be set for a big show on a course that he ran a fair third at last season.

Saeed bin Suroor has been operating at a 38% strike-rate in the past fortnight (going into Monday's racing) and that obviously makes his Mountain Hunter of interest in here.

And I will have a saver on that horse at 16.015/1 or bigger (the Sportsbook are going 14/1, five places, at the time of writing, so that is obviously something to strongly consider).

The stable did us a favour at York on Saturday and this horse has an eye-catching profile, dropping in class after contesting the Group 1 Dubai Turf and finishing a good seventh in the Wolferton at Royal Ascot, a Listed race that was in effect more like a Group 2 given the first four home were Addeybb, Magic Wand, Elarqam and Latrobe.

Godolphin finish 1280.jpg

So he did very well to be beaten just 6 ½ lengths there, especially since the soft ground may have not been ideal.

The handicapper dropped him to 107 on the back of that run, too, and Cieren Fallon taking off another 5lb is an obvious plus, as well.

Mountain Hunter won a 1m2f Meydan handicap off just a 2lb lower mark three starts ago, and he also bolted up on his only start here, back in August 2017.

Groom can give us a Boom thanks to interesting headgear stat

That's all I fancy in the four ITV races but another headgear stat has got me itching to press the back button in the 5f handicap at 16:45.

Back Boom The Groom at 15.014/1 or bigger from his midfield draw.

Very surprisingly, he opened up at 28/1 and 25/1 in the marketplace early on Monday afternoon, but I make him a bet at 14/1 or bigger (if you can get 16s, so much the merrier).

He ran okay in the Epsom Dash but he hasn't really been shining this season. However, he has come down a bit in the weights as a result (7lb this term) and he actually won this race off a 15lb higher mark in 2016.

Of course, the 8yo is nothing like the same force now but the first-time blinkers for him is a very interesting angle.

Very interesting.

And it reaches must-bet material when seeing that his trainer is a superb 8 from 18 with this new option since 2016, and the last two horses he has run in this initial headgear won at 33/1 and 10/1 this season.

That is some stat, with the most recent winner being Compton Poppy at 10/1 at Chepstow over 5f last Friday.

If only I had looked before those victories (and those were far from the only big-priced winners in these circumstances, as Sir Jamie obliged at 16/1 at Lingfield last year)! I fear Dark Shot most.

Best of luck at Goodwood all week. I am back tomorrow, as per usual.

Recommended bets


April 14 2017 to July 29th 2019 inclusive (all recommended exchange bets are settled at Betfair SP)


New customers only. Bet £10 on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and receive £40 in FREE Bet Builders, Accumulators or Multiples to use on any sport. T&Cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.