Glorious Goodwood

Goodwood Festival Day Three Tips: Two wagers on a trappy betting day

Goodwood race action
Tony has a pair of bets in the handicaps on day three of the Goodwood Festival

"But he has been eased another 1lb on the back of that run - that is a 7lb drop this season - and he eases in class from a 0-105 to a 0-95 here."

Back Alfie Solomons at 17.016/1 or bigger in 17:20 at Goodwood

Day three of the Goodwood Festival has some high quality races but it's the handicaps that bookend the card that Tony Calvin is interested in...

I was really struggling for bets on Thursday's card at Goodwood when I had my first run through, so I am going to take it race-by-race in chronological order on my second viewing, and see what leaps out at me.

It is undoubtedly a small-stakes betting day, though.

Rain a plus for my first selection of the day

In the opener at 13:50 I have given up on my experiment with The Trader after his wildly disappointing run last time.

The problem is that the other 10 in the race presented me with a fair dilemma but, after much deliberation, my wandering pin finally landed on Almania at 11.010/1 or bigger.

I have "previous" with this horse too, having tipped him at Royal Ascot, where he finished a good fifth to South Pacific in the King George V handicap.

His run flattened out a bit close home there, and he didn't finish with a lot of panache over 1m4f again back at that track last time - though the pace of the race probably wasn't ideal - so I think the step back in trip is well worth chancing.

I am a bit concerned by the lack of forward-goers in here, mind you - Wargrave looks the most likely leader - but perhaps Andrea Atzeni will consider pressing on himself if no pace materialises.

The handicapper has been a touch mean for refusing to drop him even 1lb for those two beaten efforts, but the rain this week is probably a plus and there is untapped potential in a horse that was considered a live Derby hope by the yard in the spring.

Good races but no bets in the Richmond or Gordon Stakes

There were some glum faces when Threat could finish only second in the Coventry - though that was obviously a big run - and he is favourite to go one better in the Richmond Stakes at 14:25.

That looks justified but he didn't finish too far ahead of the likes of Guildsman, Golden Horde and Maxi Boy there and he isn't really floating my boat at his price.

As is so often the case with these 2yo races, I find it very hard to get a handle on the betting, so I am happy to pass on through.

I recommended backing Constantinople for the St Leger in a recent ante-post column, so I hope he will further advertise those claims by winning the 1m4f Gordon Stakes at 15:00 in the style of a stayer.

He impressed me when beating the smart Buckhurst over 1m2f in the Gallinule and in defeat off top weight in the King George V handicap and, even though he carries a 3lb penalty, I do think he is the one to beat here.

Whether I would back him is another matter, mind you.

Spanish Mission looked a real Doncaster type himself when a very taking winner of the Bahrain Trophy and I would be in no rush to underestimate him, while the unpenalised Jalmoud is actually the form choice after his third to Japan in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.

The Racing Post race card initially said that Jalmoud wears a first-time hood here - which would be very significant, as his trainer is 14 from 42 in recent years with that headgear option - but he wore one in France last time, which probably accounted for the improvement.

With unexposed types like Dal Horrisgle and Leo De Fury also in here, and other good sorts, this is not a race I will be betting in.

Hermosa's retrieval mission might not end well

Hermosa really disappointed connections when second in the Coronation Stakes and she is another on a retrieval mission, upped in trip, in the 1m2f Nassau at 15:35.

The extra 2f shouldn't be problem on pedigree but her cloak of invincibility has slipped a bit now after Ascot and I think Mehdaayih will prove a stern opponent, and I quite like Rawdaa, too.

Mehdaayih was wildly impressive at Chester before getting messed around up the straight in the Oaks, but she got back on track with a smooth Group 2 win in France last time.

If I was playing in the race, she would be the top of my list at around 7/2, alongside Rawdaa at 8/1, but I would be pushing it to make either a bet.

So I won't.

Drop in class could see Alfie return to winning ways

On to the RTV races then after ITV have gone off air, and Iva Reflection would have been my token choice in the nursery but he was a non-runner earlier, but Alfie Solomons is my second and last bet of the day at 17.016/1 or bigger in the 5f handicap at 17:20.

The Betfair Sportsbook are going five places on this race, so their prices are worth checking out once they go up.

The selection would be worth backing each-way with the extra place concession at 16/1 or bigger.

Hands up, I backed and tipped him at Newmarket last time, and he ran a fair race in eighth, despite the fact that I obviously did my money.

But he has been eased another 1lb on the back of that run - that is a 7lb drop this season - and he eases in class from a 0-105 to a 0-95 here.

And he returns to the scene of one of his better career efforts, when second in a 6f nursery at this meeting last season.


I would normally wax lyrical about the fact that he is wearing first-time cheek pieces here, but as his trainer is 0 from 22 with this option since 2016 I thought I better not!

But apparently the horse wears the headgear on the recommendation of his jockey last time, and he showed enough pace when fourth over 5f at York in May to suggest the step back to the minimum trip won't be an issue.

The draw in one could be, but we will let the jockey sort that out for us.

Good luck on a very trappy betting day as far as I am concerned.

Recommended bets


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.