Cheltenham Day 4 uploaded - Cheltenham Day 3 & Premier League Darts Week 6 uploaded - Midlands National in Antepost Focus & Cheltenham Day 2 uploaded - Cheltenham Day 1 uploaded - Cheltenham Daily (Mon) & The Players' Championship Golf uploaded
That’s Glorious Goodwood done and dusted for another year and the next stop is the York Ebor Festival where I will be covering all four days. Between now and then it’s proper cracking-on time with the book.
Hopefully you kept the faith with Brando who won the Prix Maurice de Gheest (Group 1) this afternoon at a shade over 9/1. At those odds it was as if bookmakers were making us an offer we couldn’t refuse! That’s the last time I will use that line for Brando, I promise.
One of my Horses to Follow (that column returns on Thursday mainly with eye catchers from Goodwood), I made the point in today’s ‘Thought of the Day’ that Brando looked very much overpriced at nine times the price of Caravaggio having finished ahead of him in the July Cup despite being unfavoured by his track position at Newmarket when he was held up in last place in a race where it paid to be on the pace. A great result for Kevin Ryan given all his problems this season.
Back to Goodwood and after a slow opening day we had a steady stream of winners for the rest of the week with the top weight, Soldier In Action, the highlight at 11/1 on the final day underlining my faith in those towards the very top of the handicap in the staying handicaps for older horses this season, as highlighted in the penultimate blog. It will be interesting if that trend can continue in the Ebor to add to virtually every other valuable 1m4f+ handicap for non 3yos this campaign. The highlight of the week from a non-punting perspective was Expert Eye cantering all over his rivals in the Vintage Stakes. I didn’t think that 8/1 was a bad price at all with some firms for the 2000 Guineas straight afterwards but that’s now a distant memory being top priced 4/1.
The St Leger was made a deal more interesting with impressive victories for Stradivarius in the Goodwood Cup (is he fast enough?) and Crystal Ocean in the Gordon Stakes (will he stay well enough?). If both get there in fine shape alongside the Irish Derby winner, Capri, with the Great Voltigeur winner (traditionally the best trial) still to come, I’d say we’re in for the best St Leger in many years. The Shergar Cup doesn’t do it for me so the world’s oldest classic may be the subject of this Wednesday’s Ante-Post Focus.
The World Athletics Championships provides some form of entertainment (how does Michael Johnson cope with having to discuss at length the Brit who finished sixth in the heat?) but the main focus for the website this week is the final golf major of the season, the USPGA Championship, and the restart of the Premier League.
Both Ciaran Meagher (who enjoyed such a good Open Championship for us with 45/1 and 16/1 winners amongst others) and I will be giving our views on the upcoming four days from Quail Hollow on Tuesday. This was the scene of Rory McIlroy’s first PGA Tour title in 2010 and he then won the Wells Fargo at the same course in 2015 so if he has a good final round tonight in the WGC event (I very much hope so having been my 10/1 recommendation) where he is lurking three shots off the pace, then I’d expect him to be very well backed. I fancy either Rory or Matsuyama to reel in the joint leaders Zach Johnson and Thomas Pieters.
My Premier League preview will be uploaded on Thursday and hopefully I can match last season’s efforts where we made a 31 level points stakes profit throughout the season. Premier League Picks will restart on Friday where I highlight my three best bets of the weekend. I’m sure I’ll also be dabbling more in the Champions League this season and then, of course, we have the World Cup to look forward which I will be covering in depth.