Horse Racing

Galway/Goodwood Saturday 31st July

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview/selections for the final day of Goodwood's Festival and Saturday's card at Galway on Saturday 31st July

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Staxton 20/1 each-way
Goodwood 13.55
Place Bet
National League 50/1 each-way
Goodwood 13.55
Place Bet
San Aer 25/1 each-way
Galway 14.35
Place Bet
Commanche Falls 14/1 each-way
Goodwood 15.40
Place Bet
Lampang 25/1 each-way
Goodwood 15.40
Place Bet
Crowns Major 8/1 each-way
Galway 16.20
Place Bet
Bynx 12/1 each-way
Galway 16.50
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 31/07/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:57 31/07/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

The Qatar Goodwood Festival goes out with a bang today, with the Unibet Stewards’ Cup at 3.40 providing the highlight of a fiendish-looking punting card. It’s a big price ‘kinda’ day, so strap yourselves in and enjoy.

Up first, it’s the feature, and looking at how all of the races on the straight course at Goodwood have panned out this week, it has been a notable advantage to be near the stands rail.

This is a feature of the track when the ground is on the softer side, and if you were to solely look at how previous renewals of this race (and the consolation race earlier on the card,) then you could be lulled into thinking that a low draw was better. But most of the last 10 editions have been on ‘good’ or ‘good to firm’ ground.

I’m definitely looking to the high draws, but due to the bigger fields than for all the sprint races this week, the prospect of a very low draw is as yet untested.

What I would discount is anything drawn to close to the middle. Hurricane Ivor has a huge chance in the Unibet Stewards Cup at 3.40, and I’d maybe recommend having a saver on him, but he’s drawn just a little too close to the middle in stall 18 to make him an out-and-out bet.

Commanche Falls is the kind of sprinter whose rate of progress has been slow and steady, as opposed to rapid and eye-catching. As a result, he’s not a horse that has garnered the accolades he perhaps should have, but he could easily be the pick of those drawn high here.

Stall 23 of 28 (with a non-runner in stall 10) is perfect for the half-brother of the mud-loving classy Dakota Gold, and as such, he won’t mind whatever the weather does. At 14/1 with William Hill, who offer a lovely 7 places, he is the each-way bet of the race for me.

If low draws did happen to have an equal or better chance, and there is plenty of pace low, then Lampang at 25/1 with Ladrokes or Coral, both for 6 places, is also worth an each-way bet. Lampang ran a cracker on the wrong side in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot, and is in much better form than his price suggests.

Earlier on the card, the Unibet Stewards’ Sprint Handicap at 1.55, (consolation for the Stewards’ Cup,) might provide us with an early tell for the big one later, but I am focussing on two horses way overpriced from high draws.

Bickerstaffe is sure to go well from stall 26, but is skinny enough at 13/2 in places, and could be in saver bet territory. Instead, Staxton at 20/1 with Paddy Power for 6 places each-way is a great bet from stall 23 and with the positively scorching William Buick on board.

In all of Staxton’s last three campaigns, he has won on his fifth start, suggesting that he reaches fever pitch at this point of the season, and with his run at Hamilton last time behind Stewards’ Cup fancy Commanche Falls, suggestive of a similar pattern emerging – he should be way shorter than 20/1.

I’m also going to take flyer at National League from stall 22, and at 50/1 each-way generally for 6 places, Richard Fahey’s generally consistent type could appreciate a well-run 6f on softish ground, and all five of his runs this season have been better than the bare form for various reasons.

Apologies to Galway today, as it is relegated to the last few paragraphs on account of focussing on the big field sprint handicaps at Goodwood, but there are three big priced each-way bets to be had over at Ballybrit.

All three have run earlier in the week, which is a proven profitable betting angle, and ran better than the bare form and current prices suggest.

Starting off with San Aer at a general 25/1 each-way for 4 places in the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap at 2.35, who has three horses (amongst others) to get the better of, who finished ahead of him over 7f on Monday. But a step up in trip, a better draw and drier ground can all produce a better run than 25/1 suggests.

Emmet Mullins’ training abilities and decent Galway record this week have been highlighted on these pages earlier, and he can improve that again with Crowns Major at 8/1 each-way for 6 places with Paddy Power, in the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap at 4.20. Watch your bets here, as this race name is exactly the same as the 2.35!

A wide trip and being keen in the run didn’t help Crowns Major on Tuesday, and with the mightily impressive young apprentice Wesley Joyce taking the ride, he can bounce out and go forward over this suitable shorter trip.

The last bet of the day is Bynx at 12/1 with Betfred for 5 places each-way in the McDonogh Capital Investments Handicap at 4.55, who was an eye-catching fifth in a much better race than this on Monday. Drying ground will also help, and she can outrun that double figure quote.

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