Glorious Goodwood Festival 2021
Author: Jordan Yates
A big welcome to the first of my Goodwood preview’s of the week, I’ll be putting up a preview for each day of the Glorious Meeting and I’ll be taking a look at around four races each day, mainly the big pattern races. The first race I’ll be sharing my views on though is the 1:50 which is a Class 2 Handicap that’s contested over a mile and two furlongs. Mark Johnston always has a strong hand to play at this meeting and I’m interested in his runner Maydanny here, who’s the mount of Jim Crowley. He won this race last year and is now racing off a twelve pound higher mark, which is obviously not ideal. However, he arrives here on the back of a narrow defeat of which he’s now a pound lower than, another thing to note would be that course and distance form counts for a lot around here and I think he’s got a solid chance of another big run at this meeting. His main danger looks to come in the form of Migration for the David Menuisier yard who’s come in for a lot of money.
The first group race of the week is up next at 2:25 which is the Group 2 Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs. In this particular affair I think the Royal Ascot winner Berkshire Shadow will be tough to beat for the partnership of Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy. The two-year-old colt by Dark Angel was impressive when winning the Coventry at the Royal Meeting and looks a potentially high-class sort moving forward, his main rival here for me will be Lusail for Richard Hannon, who’s also a Group 2 winner.
It’s more group race action at 3:00 where we have the Group 2 Lennox Stakes which is also ridden over a distance of seven furlongs. Godolphin are currently dominating the market and I think they can take this with the five-year-old Space Blues who’s the choice of William Buick. He’s not been seen since a disappointing showing at Meydan, however, he’s a Group 1 winner and escapes a penalty for that success here with it being over six months ago. If returning to that standard at this level he’ll be tough to beat. It’s a horse that’s a personal favourite of mine in Creative Force who looks to be his main danger, a very likable sort who’s been a revelation this season and will likely give his running once more here.
The feature race on Day 1 of the meeting is the Group 1 Goodwood Cup at 3:35. The multiple winner and reigning champion in Stradivarius will be attempting to retain his crown again, and I’d love it if he did. It causes me a great deal of pain for what I’m about to do, but for the first time ever I’m going against him here, as I’ve opted for two each-way punts at decent prices. The first of these is the Mark Johnston trained Sir Ron Priestley who’s the mount of Franny Norton. He’s a very consistent son of Australia and has taken his form to a new level this season, culminated with a Group 2 success over Al Aasy last time out at Newmarket. This requires another step up from him but he’s got very solid place claims at least. The second one is Emperor Of The Sun for Donnacha O’Brien, who you can currently find trading at around 25/1. He was fifth in the Gold Cup at Ascot last time, only a place behind Stradivarius, and before that he got the better of the smart Search For A Song in a Listed event. Again, he’ll need to step up too if he’s to get involved but he’s a lot more unexposed than most of these and has every chance of out running his odds.