Horse Racing Tips: Goodwood Cup Ante-post Preview and Betting Tip
Promoted to Group 1 status in 2017, the Goodwood Cup has been solely the preserve of Stradivarius ever since.
With his Gold Cup conqueror Subjectivist sidelined through injury, Stradivarius is odds-on to extend his winning sequence to five, but it’s questionable if, at the age of seven, he’s quite the force of old.
Stradivarius is tough, but not invincible
Much hoo-ha followed Stradivarius’ defeat in the Gold Cup at Ascot, but he was already nearly 10 lengths off the lead, and looking an unlikely winner, when hampered on the home turn. In the end, he finished fourth, 1¾ lengths behind Spanish Mission, but was always held. He can reasonably be expected to reverse the form with Spanish Mission, although that’s no foregone conclusion, and he has bounced back from defeat, more than once, in the past.
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Spanish Mission makes no little appeal
Spanish Mission was only sixth of seven, beaten 6¾ lengths, behind Stradivarius in this race last year, when trained by David Simcock. However, he appears to have improved since joining Andrew Balding last August, winning the Doncaster Cup last September and the Yorkshire Cup in March. His Gold Cup effort was arguably his best yet and, while he has 4lb to find with Stradivarius on official ratings, a reproduction of that form would give him every chance. He clearly has stamina in abundance, but also a decent turn of foot, which is a desirable characteristic in these races.
Trueshan needs rain
Trueshan was an impressive, 7½-length winner of the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October, but has shown his best form on rain-softened ground, which seems unlikely in West Sussex in late July. That said, while Alan King’s 9-year-old has yet to tackle Group 1 company, he has won a couple of times on good going – albeit at a much lower level – so can’t be dismissed completely out of hand. However, if the ground isn’t suitable he probably won’t run, so single-figure odds make little appeal.
Santiago needs a revival
Santiago was second, beaten 2¼ lengths, behind Stradivarius in this race last year, but was receiving a weight-for-age allowance on that occasion and is, consequently, 15lb worse off this time around. He also finished 13 lengths behind Stradivarius when only seventh of twelve in the Gold Cup at Ascot and is, frankly, difficult to enthuse about at the moment.
Will Stradivarius win?
As ever, a difference of opinion is what makes horse racing (and missionaries). If Stradivarius produces anything close to his best form, he’ll probably win. If he doesn’t, he probably won’t. Under the circumstances, preference is for Spanish Mission, who loves fast ground and has been at the top of his game in recent months. He appeared to stay two-and-a-half miles well enough at Ascot, but dropping back in distance should do his chances no harm.
2021 Goodwood Cup Tip
Selection: Spanish Mission (11/2 with Bet365)
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