For anyone who has never been to Goodwood, if you get a chance, don’t miss it. The course is often described as being the most scenic in the world, and it would take something special for another course to take that crown. It really is a wonderful sight on a bright sunny summer day during the Glorious Goodwood festival. I go every year for the first two days, the highlight usually being the Sussex Stakes on the Wednesday, and I have many great memories of that race, which include two impressive wins by the mighty Frankel.
A very common way to approach festival races nowadays is of course to use trends. One of the main trends I have found over the years to be prevalent every year in pretty much every class, age range and distance of race is the trend for horses you’ve backed with your hard-earned to suffer interference, get blocked on the rail, get bumped or baulked, to ‘not-get-a-run’ or whatever else the Goodwood gods can throw at it. It is just one of these things you have to live with, although one way to try to take care of that bad-luck angle is to search out jockeys with good records at the course.
One such jockey was the now retired Richard Hughes who has of course moved into the trainer ranks, who returned an 18.7% level stake profit at Betfair SP in his last 7 years of rides at Goodwood. That is pretty impressive for a large number of rides (105 wins from 532 at 19.7% strike rate).
So, in the absence of Hughes, who rides well at Goodwood these days? In terms of strike rate, looking at just the last 5 years, Andrea Atzeni is 14.7% from 68 rides for BSP profit £233.40 (328.5% ROI). Those figures include a couple of massive BSP winners (Breton Rock at 163.8 and Flying Bear at 58.19), but apart from those, he does seem to have the knack of riding well at the course. Another to keep an eye on is William Buick with 13 from 81 for an 80% ROI, whilst two others with similar figures are worth comment. Ryan Moore has a 17% strike rate over the last 5 years, but that has returned a £43.41 level stake loss at BSP. The other is Frankie Dettori who has good positive figures, but he will miss the first two days of the festival even after the reduction in length of his current ban.
In terms of trainers to follow at the festival, some of the following are worth a check. Richard Hannon is 9 from 45 for a £19.60 LSP (43.6% ROI) and the stable (father and now son) are worth looking out for in the Vintage Stakes, the Lennox Stakes, the Molecomb Stakes, and in particular the Richmond Stakes on the Thursday where the yard has won 6 of the last 10 runnings. This year, Hannon has one entry in the Richmond Stakes, Neverland Rock, who may be worth keeping an eye out for.
Keep a close eye on trainer Mark Johnston’s handicap runners at the festival. He tends to go in a bit mob-handed and the strike rate of 12% in the last 5 years isn’t the greatest, but it will be a surprise to me if he doesn’t bag one of the handicaps at least. Don’t worry about his charges’ form coming into the race, as they often find a new lease of life when they set foot on the Sussex downs. The opening handicap on Tuesday is a good place to start, as Johnston has won 4 of the last 10 runnings of this race. He has just the one entry this year, Rainbow Rebel who is looking to complete a four-timer having won consecutively at Pontefract, Haydock and Chester.
Others to watch out for are top trainers William Haggas and also John Gosden whose winners are almost always from colts and fillies in Group races. Some trainers who have struggled for winners in recent years are George Baker (0 from 44 in the last 5 years), Roger Charlton (0 from 24), Sir Mark Prescott (0 from 15), and one to avoid in particular it would seem, is Richard Fahey who tries hard but doesn’t get the returns with just the 2 wins from 113 tries in 5 years.
Whatever angles you follow at Goodwood during the Glorious Festival, you will almost certainly need a bit of luck on your side to come out ahead, so here’s wishing that for each and every Betfan client.