According to Spotlight, course and distance winner Raasel “sets a formidable standard in his first Group 2 test” in the 3.35 at Goodwood today. Raasel is currently 7/2 with most bookmakers as opportunities to back the Michael Appleby trained 5-year-old at 4/1 begin to disappear across the Sussex Downs.
Make no mistake about it, this is a competitive race and very difficult to pick a winner from. A convincing case can be made for quite a few on the card.
The young pretender, Mitbaahy looks best placed to challenge Spotlight’s selection for the crown. To do so would mean a reversal of the form that saw Raasel pip the colt to the post by a neck at Sandown earlier this month.
Of the remainder, the King’s Stand at Ascot provides clues to Lazuli and Acklam Express’ chances. Whilst Lazuli disappointed at Ascot, Acklam Express finished an unlikely third after being sent off at 200/1. Both have not raced since. Despite being higher rated, Acklam Express carries 3lb less than Lazuli in today’s race. Czech raider, Ponntos was well held in that race and could be interesting here. The mount of Frankie Dettori today, Ponntos has yet to follow up on his Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp in May.
Stablemates Khadeem and Equilateral command respect although both are beginning to drift a little in the market. Of the two, Khadeem appears the most likely. However, his front running tactics, when beating Existent 3 months ago, would be more difficult to pull off today among better rivals.
Existent may just be overlooked in the market. Although he has come up short in similar company, it has not been by much. At 22/1, this may be the each-way value selection for the race.
Verdict: I’m taking on the Spotlight tip today, if I can lay Raasel at <4.0 on the exchange. There’s enough competition in the race to see the selection beaten at that price. I’ll be aiming to back Mitbaahy to win at >6.2 and Existent (each-way) if I can get >34 on the Betfair Exchange.