Whether you blame global warning, your chosen deity or simple poor fortune, this has been a far from vintage summer. On Saturday the fickle weather promises to be set-fair, which means that that most sublimely English racecourse, Goodwood, may be glorious once more this holiday weekend.
The centrepiece of Saturday's card is the Totesport Celebration Mile. Most pundits believe that all Gerald Butler's charge Nayyir need do is turn up to claim this. His course record is impressive. He has won the Lennox Stakes twice and was second to very classy filly Soviet Song in the Sussex Stakes last time out. He is also proven on soft going.
The trouble is that the bookies agree and the price of Nayyir is commensurately short. He has the form in the book but one trend does not fit. Nine of the last 10 winners of this race ran at Royal Ascot. Nayyir is worth taking on with Court Masterpiece who won at the Royal meeting.
Ed Dunlop's four year-old is an imposing colt and certainly on the upgrade. Court Masterpiece would ideally want better ground, good horses do, but his sire has produced plenty of horses that have done well on soft going. It is also worth noting that three-year-olds have won 22 of the last 30 renewals of the race. The best bet of the day may be Amanda Perrett's Orange Touch in the Travelsphere Holidays March Stakes. First time out he ran respectably over too short a distance. But in his last race over a mile and a half at Newmarket, he effortlessly dismissed the field. Selections:
2.00 Goodwood: Orange Touch
3.05 Goodwood: Court Masterpiece (each way)