Monday, August 8, 2022

Jon Freeman’s tips for each race at Goodwood on Tuesday

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Four-time winner Stradivarius would be a popular winner in the Goodwood Cup but will face competition from Trueshan, Kyprios and the much-improved Coltrane

Of course, Stradivarius, Trueshan and Kyprios are entitled to be favorites for Glorious Goodwood’s opening-day thriller, but it would be hasty to rule out the others at this notoriously tricky track, particularly the much-improved Coltrane.

Those still trying to make sense of King George’s upside-down form at Ascot last Saturday will be reluctant to assume that Tuesday’s Goodwood Cup will be entirely dominated by the so-called Big Three.

Stradivarius has won a record four Goodwood Cups and it might have been five if he hadn’t resigned late 12 months ago when things were getting weaker.

That let Trueshan in and no one begrudged the chance to race in his favorite testing conditions while he failed on so many other occasions from inappropriately fast ground.

Then there’s newcomer Kyprios, the Gold Cup match-winner at Royal Ascot last month when Stradivarius endured a nightmare run to finish third.

There’s no question that Stradivarius would still be the most popular winner even without the support of Frankie Dettori, now replaced by former partner Andrea Atzeni.

And winning five Goodwood Cups would be a fantastic swan song if this is to be his last race before retiring to stud, which befits a horse that has been dusting the remaining division with stardust for half a decade.

Owner/breeder Björn Nielsen is waiting to see. He feels Stradivarius now has a target on his back, with tactics occasionally employed to pocket the old champion, a strategy that has more chance of success on the short straights at Ascot and Goodwood than on the long home straight from York.

“Stradivarius hasn’t lost any of his skill or enthusiasm and if things had gone well at Ascot last month he could undoubtedly have won another Gold Cup,” said Nielsen.

“This could of course be his last run. It depends on his performance. He seems to be in really good shape and has an entry into the Lonsdale Cup in York [in August]. We keep our options open.

“But if he gets hit properly, we’d probably break up.”

If there were to be a changing of the guard, it has likely already happened as Ryan Moore insisted that although Ballydoyle’s Kyprios appeared to have racked his stomach to get home at Ascot, he was by far the best of the day and the Earned champion status.

And if there’s to be an upset when all the Big Three are flipped then Andrew Balding’s Coltrane, who was so impressive when he walked away with a listed prize at Sandown earlier this month, is probably best placed.

Holloway Boy won for the first time at Royal Ascot – a rare and mean feat – and will be popular in the Vintage Stakes, a Group Two that has been won by some front runners lately.

But Mark Johnston has a good stock of young stock and Dornoch Castle is perhaps the best of them.

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