2019 Goodwood Betting Preview

Spright shapes as a big chance of knocking off back-to-back South Australian Group 1’s, coming up a $3.90* favourite in early markets. In a field lacking depth, can anything hold her off?

Jack Zuber
Wed, 15 May, 12:00 AM

The Group 1 Goodwood is South Australia’s premier sprint held over 1200m at Morphettville. Under sufferance of the government, this year’s prize pool has been reduced to $750K and as a consequence hasn’t drawn in the inter-state talent racing fans have been accustomed to. However, Spright comes here off a dashing win in the traditional lead-up for the girls – The TAB Classic (Group 1, 1200m). She’s joined by 1st and 3rd from the Euclase (Group 2, 1200m) and many horses who performed well over the Warrnambool carnival such as the Wangoom (Listed, 1200m) winner I Am Someone. 

Race Shape:

Currently a good 4 (Wednesday) with no rain forecast prior to race day. We’ll be racing on top of the ground without a doubt. The rail moves out into the +4m position from the 1200m-600m, then into the +6m for the remainder. Setting up for a typical Morphettville surface where those coming out wider have every chance off a good speed.  

Looks like a recipe for a stack of speed here with many horses attempting to sit handy from mid-to-wide draws. Cool Passion likely uses her inside gate to lead with Valour Road. Inn Keeper can be handy with Despatch behind it and I Am Someone coming across should he jump. Gets tricky from here. Hard Empire and Casino Wizard won’t want to give up their good draws and will likely settle off the leaders, but Malibu Style, Jamaican Rain, Iconoclasm and Gytrash all have speed to make a play for forward roles – surely this creates a 3 or even 4-wide line. Steel Frost sits off them on the fence with Zalmona and Booker off-mid-field. Behemoth last the fence and Spright, drawn the carpark, will be coming down the outside from last.


The Key Runners:

1. Booker (15) - $9.50*

J: D. Dunn (56.5kg) T: M.Ellerton & S. Zhara.  

This year’s Oakleigh Plate winner comes here off a 10-week break. She performs exceptionally fresh with a record of 5:3-1-0 including the Oakleigh Plate (Group 1, 1100m) and the Kevin Hayes Stakes (Group 3, 1200m) and with 5 of her 6 career wins coming on top of the ground she’ll appreciate the going. Further adding to her claims is the race shape – she’s ideally drawn to get cover off a fast pace and be steaming home in the business end in the right part of the track. She can, however, mix her form after running 9th in the Newmarket (Group 1, 1200m) last-start after getting bumped at the start and shuffled back through the field. To be beaten 4.5L is acceptable. Finding D. Dunn here is a positive, at almost double figures we have to be getting something out of her. 

2. Spright (16) - $3.90F*

J: D. Oliver (56.5kg) T: G. Frazer.

After a run of unlucky placings and flashing light efforts she finally broke through at Group 1 level last-start in the TAB Classic. She was a late drifter there $4.80-$6 as the market came for Cool Passion: $6-$5F but ran right by that mare in the concluding stages to score by 1.2L on the line. Her late splits were excellent compared to the day (as they normally are). That was her first win on soft ground, so the drying surface certainly doesn’t hinder her chances. The race shape plays right into her hands also. She won at Group 3 level sixth-up last Winter, so the long preparation is another non-issue. All signs point to a rinse and repeat of the TAB Classic.

3. Despatch (4) - $16*

J: T. Pannell (56kg) T: T. McEvoy.  

There’s always been plenty of spruiking around for this horse – as is common for any talented McEvoy runner. Said hype started when he won the 2yo clockwise classic on debut at Ballarat and went on to demolish a field at this track over 1000m two starts later after sitting 3-wide-no-cover outside the leader as a 3yo. After starting favourite over Miss Leonidas and failing at Flemington almost a year ago he hasn’t looked back, stringing 3 sharp wins together. The most recent of which came two weeks back at Group 3 level when proving too good for Haunted (good horse) and Zalmona ($67 here represents some value) despite sitting 3 and 4-wide-no-cover. Drawn more conservatively here he’s got the X-factor, good value.

  7. Valour Road (9) - $10*

J: L. Currie (55.5kg) T: S. Miller.   

Seems to have really come of age as a later 3yo after starting $10 in last year’s Winterbottom (Group 1, 1200m). After romping in by 5.3L in a Lark Hill trial in slick time he ran them down with a fair amount of ease first-up in a lowly rating 70 at Ascot. His form, however, stood up when leading all-the-way in the Euclase last-start at $5 holding off some smart horses including runner-up Tofane who we have plenty of time for. Both wins his preparation have been on soft tracks and we’re left wondering if he’s less effective on very dry ground, especially stepping up to Group 1 level. He doesn’t look to get an easy time in front. Can’t chime into the $10 available. Suggesting he drifts slightly prior to jump.

8. Cool Passion (2) - $6.50*

J: B. Vorster (54.5kg) T: T. McEvoy.    

Gave a great kick on the bend after controlling the mid-race tempo in the TAB Stakes last-start – fighting doggedly to the line but just not good enough for Spright. They really came for her late there in the back of running 4th from on-speed in what turned out to be a questionable Canterbury Stakes (Group 1, 1300m). Improving ground will be no issue but we question whether the 2kg drop in the weights will be enough to deal with the significantly increased amount of pressure in this race and hold off the likes of Spright and Booker. Although it’s tough to see her turning the tables she deserves to take a place in the market.

10. Iconoclasm (12) - $8*

J: C. Williams (54.5kg) T: D. O'Brien.     

After a forgettable WA campaign in the Summer, this talented 4yo returned a winner at Caulfield over 1200m 3 weeks back. He got the race shape to suit on that occasion as favourite and main rival Miss Leonidas took an age to get across. What was impressive however was how he fought back when headed by Miss Vixen some 100m out. In spite of the 3 weeks off is he looking for 1400m now? Adding to his problems is the draw, landing him in a sticky spot between horses that may also want to find similar positions and he does have the propensity to over-race under such conditions (Kingston Town run). With the prospect of a tough race shape and non-ideal set-up, we have to be around him at $8.

11. I Am Someone (7) - $14*

J: D. Holland (54.5kg) T: P. Preusker. 

Has been up for an age although is with a stable renowned for keeping them fit. Split Miss Leonidas and Eduardo (at $17) two runs back in the Bel Esprit (Listed, 1100m) at Caulfield from an on-pace position. That solid form reference had him thrown into the Wangoom at Warrnambool where he was a noted drifter: $4.40-$5.50. The catalyst for that drift was perhaps his map from 14 but Holland got right up along the rails from the back of the field and was too good late. Drawn better here we’re expecting him to go back to taking up a position early. Although the Miss Leonidas line stacks up well this seems an after-thought way up in grade. Seems a few rolls under.

14. Jamaican Rain (11) - $10*

J: T. Harrison (54kg) T: R. Lamming. 

The improving track has to be seriously against this mare, having recorded all her best figures on significantly rain-affected tracks. Her recent win in the Mannerism (Group 3, 1400m) on good ground is a different realm to this. Her Cranbourne trial since a serious flop in the Coolmore (Group 1, 1500m) where she started a $5 favourite due to the Heavy 9 was sound. Drawn alongside Iconoclasm the two face similar map issues. With Williams on the Iconoclasm, Parnham on Malibu Style, Tourneur on Gytrash and Tegan Harrison getting back on this runner (after Boss and Oliver) Jamaican Rain has every chance to be dictated to early. Against.


  1. Spright ($3.90F*).
  2. Booker ($9.50*).
  3. Despatch ($16*).
  4. Cool Passion ($6.50*).

Betting Plan:

Betting right up on Spright who looks to get all favours at an acceptable price early. Can’t lose on Booker who also receives a conductive race shape and Despatch who brings the X-factor. F

  • 70% of the race bank on Spright at $3.90*.
  • 20% of the race bank on Booker at $9.50.
  • 10% of the race bank on Despatch at $16*.   



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