Sunday 18 March 2018

Snow to reign at goodwood

MAY God be with the days when the box in the corner of the sitting room only had two channels.

I was flicking through hundreds of TV shows the other night and there was hardly a programme on that wasn't a repeat. Eventually, I settled on an old episode of 'Only Fools and Horses' which always raises a smile and while Del Boy's schemes usually go astray in the end, you have to admire his enthusiasm as he tries to make a quick and easy buck.

"He who dares wins," was one of his favourite quotes and I thought I'd take a leaf out of Del's book by taking a chance, and throwing a pony (€25) on each and every Dermot Weld runner at the Galway Festival.

As I mentioned in the Irish Independent Galway magazine last Friday, he's famous for his tremendous (and profitable) record at Galway and has once again proved lucrative to follow with the likes of Stunning View (7/1), Rainforest Magic (5/1) and Maunsells Duke (11/2) all boosting the coffers for the August Bank Holiday weekend.


In that same magazine, I put down Fosters Cross as my Galway dark horse, so was delighted to see him take the Amateur Handicap at 10/1 on Monday, but was gutted later in the week to see him beaten into second in Thursday's Galway Hurdle at 12/1.

Watching that race, I felt sure he had it and he even traded as low as 1/3 in-running but, alas, it wasn't to be. A win there would have turned a good week into a fantastic one -- but I'm not complaining and any man or woman who makes it through five days of punting at Galway with a profit should send a thank-you card to Lady Luck.

There's two days left, but the quality of racing at Ballybrit tails off somewhat at the weekend so attention turns to Goodwood, where the fillies and mares get to strut their stuff in the Group One Nassau Stakes (3.10).

This is a quality field and the six runners have amassed 27 wins between them -- many of them Group One races, though it's disappointing to see Misty For Me miss out due to unsuitable ground.

That horse beat today's likely favourite Midday by six lengths in a poor renewal of the Irish Pretty Polly, and while the form of that slowly run race may be suspect, Midday was still soundly defeated which has to be a worry for connections going into today.

Crystal Capella ran away with the Group Two Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket this month but she's struggled at this level in the past and may find the drop in trip from a mile and a half unsuitable.

sNOW FAIRY, then, gets the vote in the absence of the O'Brien horse. The 2010 English and Irish Oaks winner was disappointing in the Coral-Eclipse but back among her own sex, she'll be no pushover. She's got a great turn of foot and with ground conditions looking favourable, the 7/4 about the four-year-old is worth taking.

Finally, just a note to say that I'm off on my holidays for a few weeks so you will be sad or glad to hear that there will be no articles from me over the next few weeks. Best of luck with your betting!


I'm surprised to see the early market makers put Ancient Cross up at 20/1 and higher for the Blue Square Stewards' Cup Handicap at Goodwood (3.45). I reckon he's still off a good mark even though he's up 6lbs on his last race and he seems to get better all the time, despite the fact that he's seven. He took a fiercely competitive handicap at Newcastle last month and it would be no surprise to see him in the thick of the action when they reach the final half-furlong.


1.55 Thirsk: Tahnee Mara

3.10 Goodwood: Snow Fairy

3.45 Goodwood: Ancient Cross (e/w)

8.40 Hamilton: Vizean

Irish Independent

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