Velox Aiming For That Extra Mile At Goodwood
Friday’s big handicap over a mile (3.05) has very much proven a ‘draw’ race down the years, with those housed on the inside from low stalls favoured.
That bias has been reflected in the betting, though, which is why eight of the last 10 winners of this competitive race returned at 8/1 or shorter.
The draw around this tight, right-handed bend cannot be underestimated, and any runner emerging from stalls 1-8 will be worth a second look prior to race time, as should the 3-6yo’s who accounted for each of the last 10 winners.
Of the last 10 Goodwood Mile winners…
10 were 3-6yo’s – 3yo’s were the best
10 in stall 15 or lower – stalls 1-8 best
10 made the top 3 last in three runs
10 had 5 wins or less
9 had 25 runs or less
8 were 8/1 or shorter
4 ran at the Newmarket July Course last time
Mark Johnston won it three times
A glance through the runners throws up some interesting candidates with an ideal profile, including Luca Cumani’s Velox (7/1) who has already bagged one valuable mile handicap at Sandown a month ago…
…(1m, good to firm). A 9lb rise in the weights looks fair considering he demolished the field by 3l, and his draw in stall isn’t too bad.
Having already found the scoreboard here this week, along with winning this race three times since 2004, Mark Johnston’s 4yo Heavy Metal (10/1), has to be feared from stall 11. He carries a 3lb penalty for landing last weekend’s International Stakes at Ascot (7f), and was a mile winner back in May. He has now won three of his last four outings and rates good each-way value.
Ascot also provided a stage for the Royal Hunt Cup (1m, good to firm), where Steeler (25/1) was third, with Belgian Bill (9/1) an unlucky seventh. The latter has the better draw this time around in stall 1, but will need to break more smartly than on Saturday when very slowly away.
It’s interesting that money has arrived for Roger Charlton’s Captain Cat (9/1), who was last seen winning a valuable stakes race on Lingfield’s Polytrack in April (1m), and did win on fast ground as a 3yo. Allocated a nice draw in stall 6, he has the pace to gain a handy position out of trouble.
Others amongst the main contenders in the market are Horsted Keynes (8/1), Russian Realm (14/1), Two For Two (16/1) and Bronze Angel (12/1), but have not fared too well with the draw in stalls 14, 21, 13 and 22, respectively.
As for those with kinder draws, then George Guru (20/1) has to be considered from stall 4, having been sixth in a decent mile handicap at Sandown last time, while Magic City (20/1) in stall 8 won three times over 7f here in 2013 and was beaten only 1l over a mile last time.
Although stall 10 isn’t great, it could be worse for Velox, who has enough early speed to get a good position, just as he did when impressive at Sandown last time. He looks ahead of the handicapper and can strike a blow for fancied runners who have such a good record in this race.