Purrfect Progression For Captain Cat

Goodwood stages one of its summer highlights in the Group 2 Celebration Mile on Saturday (3.30), where recent history…

…suggests punters shouldn’t look too far in the betting for the winner.

Indeed, since 2004, nine of the 10 Celebration Mile winners returned at 8/1 or shorter, and one who could fit that price category is Captain Cat (rated 115).

Fancied Runners
Roger Charlton’s progressive 5yo has returned an improved performer this year, winning two of his three starts. The latest win was a Group 3 success at Salisbury (good to firm), when beating Producer a decisive 2l. He deserves his chance at this level and a repeat of his last win could be good enough.

Another 5yo seeking a first Group 2 success is Hughie Morrison’s Chill The Kite, who from an official rating of 112, fits the bill of recent Celebration Mile winners rated higher than 111. He handles the conditions, and may have needed the run when fifth (of 6) in the Hungerford last week following a two-month break.

Richard Hannon has Emell (98) and Producer (112) entered, where the latter will be looking to make up for finishing last in the Hungerford last weekend (24l). The softish ground clearly never suited in the Hungerford, and while he was held when beaten by Captain Cat, he should be in the frame over these conditions.

Classic Generation
There hasn’t much between the age-groups in this race, and one 3yo who will enjoy Saturday’s conditions is James Fanshawe’s, Hors De Combat (108), who was a close third in the Britannia Stakes handicap at Royal Ascot, before stepping up to be beaten just 1/4l in a Group 3 over C&D three weeks ago.

Another 3yo in decent form is Mark Johnston’s, Bow Creek (108), who has progressed nicely this season, and was just in front of Hors de Combat At Ascot. This colt was then beaten under 4l in a Group 3 over C&D last time, though may have got closer with a clearer run. Johnston does well at this venue and Bow Creek is respected.

What About Carlo (101) moves up from handicaps having won over 1m2f at Epsom two outings ago, but this sharp 1m may prove too sharp. The same might be said of Rod Millman’s, Master Carpenter (107), who has already won at Listed/Group 3 level over a stiff 1m (soft) and 1m1f. Belgian Bill (103), however, went down by only 1l in a valuable 1m handicap here several weeks ago and almost won a Group 3 in France last season.

Trends Summary
Of the last 10 Celebration Mile winners…

10 ran in a Group race last time – others were 0-18
9 returned 8/1 or shorter (9-35, 26%) – others were 1-30 (3%)
8 were officially rated 111 or higher
Those unraced at Goodwood were 5-15 (33%)
Females were 3-9 (33%)

Recommended Bets
Captain Cat has not been done any favours with the draw in stall 8 (of 9), but has a jockey in James Doyle who is riding well, and can get him positioned well enough to go for glory up the straight.