The rain came down and washed out Stradivarius’s attempt at history, but provided some amazing performances to kick off the five day festival. Day two is headlined by Glorious Goodwood’s feature event, the Sussex Stakes. Will the 2000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare continue his dominance at a mile when contesting the older division? Will the connections of Snow Lantern be right in choosing to shorten up in trip in the Sussex over tomorrow’s GI Nassau Stakes? Order of Australia finally backed up his Breeders’ Cup Mile win last time out and leads the older division for this major group one. The ground is wet, but the racing goes on!
Race 2 – GIII Oak Tree Stakes – 7 Furlongs, 3 & Up Fillies & Mares
8 – Onassis – Her efforts so far in 2021 have not been awe inspiring. The reason that she’s a live chance in this one will be the ground. Throughout her career the best performances came over ground listed as soft or heavy. Has performed in stakes company and at Goodwood specifically, winning the October Fillies’ Stakes last October. The most bogged down day of the season last year was British Champions Day, a day that yesterday’s Goodwood Cup winner, Trueshan had his biggest triumph. Onassis ran that day and produced a very good 6th in group one company over that ground. I have no doubt she will relish the going and be a very live chance.
4 – Highfield Princess – Winner of her last two including a front running score in the Queen Charlotte Fillies’ Stakes. Has raced mostly over 7 furlongs, majority of which in handicap company prior to this year. This will be her first jump into stakes class and although the ground has been firm lately, she put in a massive performance at Haydock over soft going. Jason Hart rode this horse for most of her young career and has gotten the mount back for two consecutive victories. With a slight step up in class, she could make it a third.
17 – Vadream – Jockey Jamie Spencer has never ridden Vadream to victory, but has put together several big time efforts in group stakes company. The amount of moisture in the ground at Goodwood as well as a game effort from Creative Force yesterday makes Vadream’s performance in the Jersey Stakes look that much better. Sire Brazen Beau raced most of his career on firmer ground, but Vadream seems to handle either surface.
Race 3 – GIII Molecomb Stakes – 5 Furlongs, 2 Year Olds
1 – Arboy Will – Hit the heavy ground for the first time at Lingfield, jumped out to the lead and never saw another rival. It was his 2nd start of the season and first of those on ground that will be similar to Goodwood. It’s a big step up from a class 4 handicap to this group three contest, but the son of the young sire Ardad showed maturity last time out and should be primed for a big effort at a big price.
6 – Fearby – A deserving favorite in this field and even more so given the ground. On ground closer to good, he would be co-favorite with Chipotle, who won during the Royal Ascot meeting. However, Chipotle had only one effort over wet ground and it was disappointing. Fearby has handled the surface well including a visually impressive win at Sandown last time out in listed company. Will be short on price but is the horse to beat.
9 – Mojomaker – Jockey Pat Cosgrave has had a good relationship with this horse throughout the prep but was no match for Fearby in the Dragon Stakes. Prior to that, Mojomaker proved his ability at Sandown with a convincing win and made a pretty big jump out of class 4 company to contest that stakes race. He put in a good effort in his 2nd career start on this track and has improved since that day. Everything sets up for another step forward for this young Mehmas colt.
Race 4 – GI Sussex Stakes – 1 Mile, 3 & Up
10 – Alcohol Free – Found success over the heavy ground at Ascot, taking the GI Coronation Stakes. She has started to get back to her 2 year old form and set the pace in a strong performance in the GI Falmouth. Form was turned around after defeating Snow Lantern at Ascot and the two meet again today. At 8/1 on the morning line and ground that based on the forecast will be right where she wants it, stepping into open company won’t be an issue.
9 – Poetic Flare – His dominant win in the GI St. James’s Palace was just another check of the box in a season where he has been extremely tough. A winner of the English 2000 Guineas and a narrow margin 2nd in the Irish 2000 Guineas, the mile has been the sweet spot in his career, albeit his breeding suggesting he could get a bit further. Poetic Flare may be the heavy favorite and is super talented as a miler, but should not be this low in the market. I am willing to take the value of Alcohol Free over him in this spot.
6 – Tilsit – Was thrilled with his effort getting back to the mile at Ascot and staying at the mile will be just what Tilsit needs. Was extremely game in the GI Prix d’Ispahan, just missing to Skalleti, a star over in France who just shipped out of town and won one of Germany’s historic group ones, the Bayerisches Zuchtrennen. Second time up for jockey Kieran Shoemark and in my opinion based on the ground he will be the best of the older horses in this field. The three year olds will be tough to beat, but he has shown the ability to do it.