Can you bash the bookies in the big Goodwood contests?

Legatissimo has everything in her favour in the Qatar Nassau Stakes / Picture by Mark Westley
Legatissimo has everything in her favour in the Qatar Nassau Stakes / Picture by Mark Westley

We’re all set for an excellent week of action on the Sussex Downs as Glorious Goodwood gets under way on Tuesday, writes Joe Rooney, Chief Bookie Basher at

There are five days of world class racing to look forward to at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and on Tuesday, many eyes will be on the Qatar Lennox Stakes, which is the feature race of the afternoon. It’s held over a distance of seven furlongs and will see ten runners go to post.

It looks to be a competitive heat, but Richard Hannon’s Toormore is towards the front of the market and will be wearing the famous Godolphin silks for the first time.

James Doyle is on board this four-year-old, who was a decent fourth in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out and could be ideally suited by the seven furlongs here. He hasn’t won in a while though and the current price might be a little bit short.

Dutch Connection is another big contender for trainer Charles Hills and jockey Jim Crowley.

He was second in a very good race over in France last time out and has to have a big chance back over seven furlongs. The trainer will want some drying ground here, but Dutch Connection is a three-year-old who is constantly improving and could prove to be the best bet here.

On day two, the Qatar Sussex Stakes takes place and this Group 1 sees a mammoth £560,000 go to the winner.

The winner of the race should be Solow. Gleneagles looked like the biggest rival to this French horse, but Aidan O’Brien has withdrawn his classic-winning colt because of the ground, and that could make this a bit of a penalty kick for Solow.

He’s the class act in the race and has the form in the book. If there’s one horse to challenge Solow, it might well be the in-from Arod.

Moving on to day three, we see the stayers take centre stage, as the Qatar Goodwood Cup is the feature race. This is held over two miles and has been won by some of Europe’s best long-distance horses in the past.

The Ascot Gold Cup-winning horse, Trip To Paris, will be looking to continue his excellent form for Ed Dunlop, but is a short price and has to give plenty of weight away in this one after his Group 1 success.

For that reason, it could be worth siding with a bigger-priced horse, and Michael Bell’s Big Orange comes here after an excellent win in Group 2 company over a mile and a half last time out.

The four-year-old has run well over this distance before and should actually enjoy the step up in trip. He looks a big price with Jamie Spencer on board. Scotland, Oriental Fox, Simenon and Pallasator are all very much feared, too.

The top-quality action keeps on coming throughout the week as on Friday, we’ll all be looking to find the winner of the Qatar King George Stakes. This is a Group 2 held over the flying five furlongs. It’s a case of blink and you’ll miss it.

There could prove to be quite a big field for this one and although there’s no betting out at the moment, the one we’re interested in is Tiggy Wiggy for Richard Hannon and the soon to be retired Richard Hughes.

She was faster than just about anything as a two-year-old, but was campaigned with the 1,000 Guineas in mind earlier in the season.

She hasn’t managed to transfer her form from two to three so far, but going back over five furlongs has to be a positive and we’d expect a big run here.

Muthmir and Move In Time could prove to be decent value too. Also, Cotai Glory will come on for his first run of the season last time out and has to be a contender.

On the fifth and final day, we’ve got another Group 1 in store with the Nassau Stakes, which is open to fillies and held over a distance of one mile and two furlongs.

Possibly one of our strongest bets of the week comes in this race as we think Legatissimo has everything in her favour.

She won the 1,000 Guineas and has been second in two very good races since then. Each time, she might have been a little bit unlucky and could be the one to be on here.

Legatissimo is a classy filly and can finish off five days of excellent racing with a good winner for us.

Bring on Glorious Goodwood.

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