Top Races to Watch at This Year’s Goodwood Festival
Glorious Goodwood is one of the highlights of the summer sporting calendar and has produced some of the great horse racing performances over the years. If you have never watched the festival before, here are some of the must-see races at this year’s edition.
The festival gets underway on Tuesday with six races on the schedule. With the 2021 Goodwood odds already live, the betting activity is well underway and there is one standout runner amongst the entries. Stradivarus is aiming for a fifth-straight Goodwood Cup win but victory is not a foregone conclusion. Mark Johnston’s Sir Ron Priestley is one of a handful of contenders out to frustrate the favourite and arrives on the back of an impressive win in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket. Also in the running will be Spanish Mission who beat Sir Ron Priestley in the Yorkshire Cup and landed third ahead of Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot won by Subjectivist. Everything is set up for an epic showdown on day one.
Poetic Flare is odds-on to win the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday following the withdrawal of Palace Pier due to a blood problem. Fans were looking forward to a clash between the two but it is hard to see any of the other 11 horses preventing Jim Bolger’s colt from adding a third Group 1 win to his list of achievements. The 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes winner’s odds have shortened to 4/6 with his nearest rivals, including Order of Australia and Alcohol Free, priced around 7/1.
Thursday’s Nassau Stakes is the third and final of the three Group 1 races of the week. The 1m 1f 197y (1,991 m) race is open to fillies & mares aged three years and older and was won by Fancy Blue last year. This year’s leading contender is James Fanshawe’s Audarya who triumphed at the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in November and then finished a close second to Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. Love is unlikely to feature due to a scheduled appearance at Ascot but Falmouth Stakes-winner Snow Lantern and the William Jarvis-trained Lady Bowthorpe, who was hampered on the way to fourth in the same race, should both be in the mix.
King George Stakes
This Group 2 race will be worth watching as Battaash aims to make history by winning the race for a fifth successive year. The specialist sprinter is one of the fastest horses in the world right now and is priced at 6/5 to reach the milestone. The likes of Dragon Symbol (9/2) and Winter Power (6/1) will be looking to spoil the party but they will have their work cut out to beat one of the Goodwood crowd’s favourites.
These are just a few of the many good reasons to head to this year’s Goodwood Festival. If you can’t go in person, you can catch all the key action live on TV.