Galway in Ireland is not much like Goodwood in Sussex but both places will be hosting major racing occasions next week. The Galway Festival is a six day binge of betting and Glorious Goodwood involves five days of racing at the highest level. Even though the surroundings may be different the punters will be looking to back winners and win the battle to beat the bookies. Gigginstown have entered 13 horses in the Galway Plate and Stradivarius is the banker in the Goodwood Cup.
Galway is a relatively small harbour city on the west coast of Ireland and Goodwood racecourse is part of an English estate that stages the Festival of Speed and the Qatar Goodwood Festival otherwise known as Glorious Goodwood. Betting turnover at each meeting is huge but both are prolonged meetings and a test of stamina. Favourite backers will be hoping Stradivarius can do the business on and one of the classier runners can win the Galway feature.
Horses experience trouble in running at Goodwood and some punters are reluctant to get involved. However, that negative can be turned into a positive by identifying horses who can handle the track. Pace is a key element for jockeys and riders who have experience at Goodwood are worth their weight in gold. Jockeys can go for home a long way out and can get picked up so patience is a virtue when it comes to race riding. The leading jockey is Jim Crowley and the most successful trainer is Richard Hannon. He will have plenty of chances and any backed should be noted.
At Galway it is more about the market movers than horses suited to the track. Visitors save up all year round and the betting ring is buzzing on all six days. There have been huge plunges on horses and some have won but others have got the bookies out of trouble. The racing combines moderate fare on the Flat and over jumps and some lucrative prizes. Willie Mullins and Dermot Weld dominate proceedings for trainers and Barry Geraghty and Fran Berry are the jockeys to have on your side.
Glorious Goodwood has always been a valuable meeting but Qatar took things to a new level when they became the title sponsors in 2015. The Group 1 contests enjoyed a massive injection of prize money and the quality of the fields has improved. The Sussex Stakes is now one of the richest all age mile races of the season. Without Parole will be looking to follow up after winning at Royal Ascot. Stradivarius won the Gold Cup and can win the Goodwood version this year. The horse can confirm his status as the best stayer in Britain and Ireland.
Withhold is the each-way alternative to Stradivarius. The horse has won two competitive handicaps with plenty in hand and has earned a start in a Group race. However, winning a handicap of a winnable mark is a different kettle of fish to winning a stakes race at the highest level. Finishing first in the Goodwood Cup looks beyond Withhold but the horse can make the frame at a decent price. Stradivarius is fairly priced at odds-on to win the race.
Gigginstown have 13 entries in the Galway Plate. Ireland’s champion owners often go mob-handed in the major chases in Ireland. Sub Lieutenant could be the class horse in the race at the weights. If the horse produces his best form he must have a chance. Sub Lieutenant has not always had luck in running but given a clear passage the horse can win the Galway Plate for Gigginstown but Stradivarius is the banker of the week across the two big meetings in Britain and Ireland.