Glorious Goodwood takes place this year from Tuesday July 26th to Saturday July 30th. The 5 day Festival will be sponsored by Qatar and is considered one of the highlights of the British Flat racing season.
The first public race meeting took place at the racecourse back in 1802, and over the decades, the meeting has attracted the very best equine athletes including Double Trigger, Ouija Board, Frankel, Midday and Stradivarius with the last named at the time of writing chasing his fourth Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. (Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. Ed)
The Festival is affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’ and is a heady mix of sporting and social occasion with superb racing and hospitality to savour.
Goodwood is an undulating course that suits some runners but not others and therefore previous course form counts for a lot at this track. There is also some draw bias, particularly over 7f and a mile where being drawn wide could end your hopes there and then.
In addition, trainers like Mark Johnston really target this festival with their runners, 20 winners from 179 runners over the 2016-20 Glorious Goodwood Festivals.
The challenge as always though with the Johnston stable is he often has multiple entries in the same race so finding the winner out of them is never an easy task. In addition, last time around only 2 winners from the 36 that went to post emerged as the winner and a hefty level stakes loss ensued. It will be surprising given the nature of the trainer and the new partnership he has formed with his son Charlie if they didn’t fire in a good number of winners this time around.
There are plenty of cracking handicap races across all 5 days of Goodwood and with many of them likely to have large field sizes they present the opportunity to bag a healthy, priced winner or two, so, we have fired up our trusty research tool on the horseracebase site to try and highlight some of the key traits for these races.
Tues 26th July – 1.50pm
The Chesterfield Cup Handicap Stakes – Class 2 – 1m 1f 197y
There have been plenty of large priced previous winners in this race including Fabricate at 20/1 in 2017 and Fayez at 25/1 in 2019.
Fabricate was the second winner of this race for trainer Michael Bell from only 9 runners so any entries from this yard this time around are worth more than a second glance.
Other trainers to note include the aforementioned Mark Johnston (7 winners since 2000) who landed the 2020 renewal with Maydanny, whilst Mick Channon has bagged a couple from only 7 runners.
As mentioned earlier the Mark Johnston yard often has multiple entries and this race falls into that category.
You could do worse than backing them all each way as a good number have also hit the frame at big prices with 18 placers from a total of 42 entries testifies.
The race is dominated by 4yo and 5yo runners who have combined to win all bar one renewal since 1997 although they do make up the majority of runners. The record of those aged 6yo and older is 1-85 so can be avoided in our narrowing of the field.
In recent times around 15 to 18 runners have gone to post, and 21/25 winners came from the front 8 in the betting. That should help is home in on the more likely contenders this year.
We have seen a shift to the higher rated horses in recent times with 7 of the last 8 rated 95+ and all bar 1 of those 7 had been on the racecourse during the previous 25 days. Last year’s winner Migration was backed into 2/1 due to the heavy ground and had last been seen racing 34 days prior so a recent run seems a positive.
All bar three winners since 1997 had won over 1m 2f or further and 21 of the last 25 winners had run at least twice in the current season. 19/25 had won between 2 and 4 races in their career and 22/25 had won at least one handicap race. 20/25 last raced at class 2 or 3 level and 21/25 last ran in a handicap.
Putting the above into a summary we get the following:
- Top 8 in the betting
- Winning form over 1m 2f or further
- Trained by Mark Johnston, Mick Channon, Michael Bell
- Aged 4yo or 5yo
- Rated 95+ (ideally horses at the head of the handicap)
- Raced in the last 34 days
- At least 2 starts in the current season
- 2 to 4 career wins
- 1 or more handicap wins
- Last ran in a class 2 or 3 handicap
To read the rest of this article and the trends for further big races at this year’s Goodwood Festival click here.