Big Orange Can Land Goodwood’s Group One Feature
Today is the opening day of the Glorious Goodwood festival and all eyes will be on superstar stayer Big Orange. The Michael Bell trained five year old heads to Goodwood looking to pick up his third Goodwood Cup and arrives on the back of a thrilling Ascot Gold Cup victory at the Royal Meeting.
Should he land his third victory in the race, he would equal the record set by Double Trigger, as well as setting up a potentially historic date in the racing calendar next year when he returns for a fourth. He looks in good order and looks set to go close in what is going to be a thrilling renewal of this race.
The most likely challenger to Big Orange looks set to be Stradivarius, who is the new pretender in the staying division as he is just a three year old. He won the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot over 1M6F and has been spoken about as a St Leger type later in the season. He is a thorough stayer and it is going to be fascinating to see him taking on the older stayers at such a young age. He receives nearly a stone in weight for age allowance, something that put him in with a great chance of winning the race.
Elsewhere on the card, the Group Two 7f Lennox Stakes is the chief supporting race before the Goodwood Cup and we will see Limato look to bounce back in this one. He has placed twice this season in two Group One sprints at Royal Ascot and Newmarket, and stepping back up 7f may be just what he needs today. He demolished the field in the 7f Group One Prix De La Foret last season and a return to that form would see him with this race.
The other Group Two on the card today is the Vintage Stakes, also a 7f Group Two but this time it is restricted to two year olds only. The top three in the betting are all exciting, unbeaten horses who will put their reputations on the line against each other here. In a tough race, Expert Eye looks one to keep an eye on after a very pleasing debut at Newbury in June. He came away nicely that day, and both the third and fourth have since won, giving substance to the race. Sir Michael Stoute’s horses generally improve a lot for their first run, so he can surely go close here.
In the final race of the day we see a once raced Godolphin runner, Pretty Asset look to maintain her unbeaten run. She was very impressive on debut at Newmarket, running away with a maiden last month and looks an exciting prospect to follow for the remainder of this season. She really could be anything at this stage, and it would be great to see her make it two from two with a win in the final race on the card.
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