The Goodwood is Race 7 at Morphettville on Saturday run over a distance of 1200m. It is a famous old Sprint race of the Australian Turf conceived in 1881.
It was made a set weights and penalties race in 2007 (previously a handicap) which attracted the high calibre likes of Takeover Target and Black Caviar, who duly won at very short odds. But apart from those two results, taking Handicap status away from the race hasn’t stopped the upset results coming.
So to say it has been a bit of a nightmare race for punters would be somewhat of an understatement. Below are the last 11 winners (including age, gender and weight carried) since the race became a set weights and penalties race in 2007.
2018 SANTA ANA LANE 5g 58.5kg
2017 VEGA MAGIC 4g 56.5kg
2016 BLACK HEART BART 5g 57kg
2015 FLAMBERGE 5g 58.5kg
2014 SMOKIN’ JOEY 6g 56kg
2013 PLATELET 4m 56.5kg
2012 BLACK CAVIAR 5m 57kg
2011 LONE ROCK 3f 52kg
2010 VELOCITEA 4m 54kg
2009 TAKEOVER TARGET 9g 58.5kg
2008 SHADOWAYS 5g 54kg
2007 LET GO THOMMO 6g 55.5kg
Recent History tells us:
– Six of the last eleven winners started $20 or better, and four of those have been $31 or better.
– 15 of the last 18 winners have been trained in Victoria.
– 13 of the last 16 had started at 1100m or 1200m last start.
– Wider barriers appear to be no real disadvantage with 7 of the last 16 winners drawing in the second half of the field. Four of those drew a double-digit barrier.
– A filly or mare has won four of the past eight editions, and five of the past 14. In the past 28 years, eight have won, representing a strike rate of over 30 per cent.
– Four year olds have the most prolific record winning 11 of the past 28 editions, but oddly
Only one four-year-old male horse has won since the year 2000 (Vega Magic last year), and only four have won since 1990. Eight of the last ten winners have been aged 5 or over, with five of them aged 5.
-Only 2 of last 12 winners have carried more weight than at their prior start- Black Caviar (+0.5kg) and Shaodoways (+2kg), the latter still only having to carry 54kg to victory.
-The last 7 winners have carried 56kg or more, and 9 of the last 12 winners have carried 55.5kg or more.
-7 of last 12 winners came out of a Group 1 race last start.
-Before Santa Ana Lane won last year the last horse to come out of the DC Mackay Stakes to win this was Super Elegant in 2004. The last horse to win that race before these two this was Boardwalk Angel in 1989.
-14 of last 19 winners won or placed at their prior start to winning this. 8 of 12 since the weight scale has changed.
– Only one horse has managed to win this first up in the new millennium (Vega Magic). -All the fillies and mares that have won this race since the new millennium have won or placed at their previous start. Flamberge came close to winning first up in 2015 coming off a 55 day break. He is/was a notable first up performer.
This does look one of the weakest editions of this race for some time (as was the TAB Classic for the Fillies and Mares two weeks ago), and handicapper ratings tend to suggest we should be looking at three horses only- BOOKER, SPRIGHT and COOL PASSION. They are all mares and the latter two come out of the TAB Classic which was run in considerably quicker time than the 3yo race called the Euclase won by VALOUR ROAD at the same distance that day. The former race was run much quicker earlier though (34.85 for first 600m compared to 36.22). Out of those two races the horse that probably beat the speed bias was COOL PASSION who led in the TAB Classic and was pressured by the three year old filly Thrillster who notably dropped right out of the race. Historically I think it’s hard to go past the favourite Spright but you could also make a reasonable case for Booker also.
This race looks to have a more similar look to the TAB Classic tempo wise with the likes of Cool Passion, Inn Keeper, Valour Road and Jamaican Rain, and possibly Casino Wizard likely to make sure it is truly run. Hard Empire and Gytrash might not be too far off them either. I won’t review the whole field but will just attempt to assess what look to be the better chances.
- BOOKER- The wide draw is probably no assistance to her but then again she has performed well from the outer barriers in big races before. First up isn’t a great historical precedent but that is how she races best. She is one of only two G1 winners in the race and a solid pace up front won’t harm her chances. 1200m is probably as far as she wants at this level and likely tempo, but if Spright doesn’t perform to her best she will be ready to take advantage. She has the “Winter Bride” formline which Spright also has, and I also mentioned that in regard to The Bostonian last week before the Doomben 10000. Add to that the “I Am Excited” formline (Beat Redzel at WFA recently) and you can see she represents class.
2. SPRIGHT- She only has to repeat her last start effort to win this in all probability and she has the same weight so is going to finish just as hard as she did last time off likely similar tempo .This is her best distance and she just might be a better horse on the counter clockwise tracks in Melbourne and Adelaide. She too has drawn very wide which in reality is probably giving us a better price. I can’t really see how that is going to impact her because she will drop out to last anyway. The only negative for me is can she perform to the same level again, after doing quite a bit of racing in recent times. And there is probably a slight negative there in regard to the break between runs. She is only 1-5/10 with this sort of respite. That’s probably being a little picky though as she nearly won a WFA race two starts ago off a 13 day break. She is the one they all have to beat ann anything over $3.50 is probably good value.
3. DESPATCH- Could entertain on his strike rate but yet to extend to 1200m and he has enough weight given the class of races he has won.
7. VALOUR ROAD- He is flying this preparation and is a live chance in the race but ideally you’e like to have seen him draw a bit better (does he get posted wide?), and with less weight. He is still a 3yo and it’s difficult for that age group to give weight to older horses at this level and beat them. The positives are this isn’t a vintage Goodwood and there might be a change of tactics from last start. If her were mine I’d try to ride him midfield or worse and hope that the tempo is strong enough to allow him to slot in with some cover.
8. COOL PASSION- She must be a big hope here receiving 2kg from Spright from the TAB Classic run. She was so game there after having led the field up and she has drawn an inside barrier again. She has never really been a first up horse so second up here off a two week break is definitely a better scenario for her I feel. Just how much pressure up front she has to endure is probably going to be the difference between a win and a loss for her. She almost looks a lock to run a place that’s for sure.
9. MALIBU STYLE- I’m actually giving this horse a solid hope even though the distance and barrier don’t look great for him statistically after analysing his form. The thing is th he is the kind of horse that defies statistics and his finishing burst at 1200m last start, and his win from barrier 10 five starts back are evidence of that. He has been lumbering big weights in decent form races for quite some time now, and hasn’t carried less than 56.5kg in his past eleven starts. I have no doubt he is going as well as he ever has, and he does meet I Am Someone 4kg better for what I consider an unlucky defeat in the Wangoom at Warnambool last start. The question is can he win at G1 level? You’d say no 9 times out of 10 but this isn’t the strongest G1 ever and he does look weighted to run a career best.
10. ICONOCLASM- It’s very hard to knock a horse with 8 wins from 16 career starts and it was a mighty win first up at Caulfield for his new stable recently. He was there to be run down for sure but was the performance flattered a little by the fact he beat two mares that really don’t see out 1200m? The time that day was also slower than what the 3yo’s posted at the same distance. Just not sure 1200m is his best distance either but on the other hand his strength at 1400m might enable him to endure the wide run he is likely to get from an awkward draw here. That’s all well and good but you also have to be able to accelerate quickly against this quality of opposition. A light weight is in his favour so I think if he is ridden aggressively it would give him his best chance of a win. I think he has to gain a few lengths break on the likes of Spright before turning for home. Not too many have won this at the age of 4 in recent times but he does have a similar strike rate to the horse that did it (Vega Magic), most recently.
11. I AM SOMEONE- His trainer is a bit of a miracle worker and he comes into this off a win. He just seems poorly weighted to me though and needs to go to a new level here. His best form is probably on wetter tracks than this but at least he will get a similar tempo to what he had last start. The barrier is okay for him.
12. INN KEEPER- He is a very decent horse but like I Am Someone he just looks to be poorly weighted in this race. And he won’t get a soft lead which he would probably need to be a winning hope.
14. JAMICAN RAIN- She is a good first up mare but her wet track form is an even better statistic and it probably won’t be wet enough here. Add the wide barrier and the likely tempo up front and there isn’t enough to like.
15. GYTRASH- He is a very decent 3yo who could turn the tables on Valour Road from last start with a 2.5kg weight pull. He should get a more suitable pace here but only if he runs out a strong 1200m which still hasn’t been proved yet, and this might not be the level of race to find out. With his racing pattern a wide barrier in this race is going to make things tough for him. Interesting that his sire Lope De Vega has sired the last two winners of this race. At least his half sister Kiss Chasey has won to 1300m, and his Mother had relatives who won beyond that trip.
16. BEHEMOTH- Another handy 3yo who just had no hope the way the Euclase Stakes was run when he was wide and just too far back. I just would have liked to see him do a little bit more over the last 200m and his credentials to win at this level right now are definitely in question. He has drawn the inside barrier this time though and has won his only start from barrier 1. The distance is no problem for him.
The mares might have this in their grasp but just which one is the question? I think you have to believe your eyes and go with Spright off her win last start, with history suggesting she is the one. Booker looks the better value of the two though and she might just run the Quinella. Hard to ignore Cool Passion though who is going to look the winner in the straight. My best roughie is Malibu Style and I’m keen to back him at the odds avaiable especially after that win by The Bostonian last week. That proves just about anything can happen in these big races. Interested to see whether Gytrash can make it three straight Goodwood’s for his sire Lope De Vega too.
- Cool Passion
- Malibu Style