The added influx of cash has made this first day at Glorious Goodwood as competitive as ever and some of my picks are more in hope than expectation, but I’m sweet on the chance of Dutch Connection in the Lennox Stakes (3.10), the feature event on Tuesday.
I’m not sure he has quite been at his best this season but he has still run two fine races in defeat at Sandown and Ascot, and he might have run into a really good horse in the Summer Mile last time. I think the drop back to a strongly-run seven furlongs should suit, although I'm not totally sure how the pace will pan out given Hugo Palmer will be aware that his two runners, Home Of The Brave and Gifted Master, could compromise each other's chances by taking one another on. They are both onward bound sorts so you would think at least one of them will go on and make the running, which should suit my selection well, as should the quick underfoot conditions.
In the Vintage Stakes (2.35), there are far more positive things to say about most of this field than negative but I’m going to take a chance on this being the first leg of a James McDonald double on board Thunder Snow who is a biggish price but is better than he showed when sixth in the Coventry Stakes last time. He was second in the group on his side of the track behind runaway winner Carravaggio, with whom he had no chance with, and he was slightly marooned with nothing to race against late. Faster ground should suit and I think he represents a bit of value against the front end of the market. Clearly, Boynton and War Decree come here off the back of excellent efforts in the Superlative Stakes but that wasn’t that long ago and both had quite hard races.
The opening handicap (2.00) might well go the way of Stars Over The Sea who can get Mark Johnston off to the perfect start. Admittedly, he got a good ride from George Baker last time, but he was still very impressive and remains well treated on his very useful old form. Fast ground is no problem for him and I think he is the pick of the Johnston runners. The selection could have most to fear from Mutamakkin who raced on the wrong part of the track at Sandown last time and for whom fast ground will be much more suitable. Prior to Sandown he beat a subsequently impressive winner in Franklin D, form which makes him look well-in here.
The 1m6f handicap at 3.45 might be a chance for top weight Elidor to spring a bit of a surprise. Mick Channon’s six-year-old hasn’t really shone on his last couple of starts but he has run some of his best races at Goodwood, particularly at this meeting, and although he could hardly be described as well-handicapped, the same can be said of most of these and he is dropping in class. He couldn't be a confident pick but I certainly expect a good deal better from him.