Big Orange is the big favourite in the Goodwood Cup but Mick Fitz fancies an upset
Fitzy on why Swordfighter has weight in his favour in Thursday's big race
The opening handicap at 2.00pm has Stargazer () as favourite but there are a couple of horses who are improving sorts and Dwight D () for trainer William Haggas definitely fits the bill after finishing third in Newmarket earlier this month. The worry with him is he is a keen going sort but if jockey Jamie Spencer can get him relaxed and not too far off the pace then he can be a major player – it is however a big if! The fact Jamie is getting down to 8st 7lbs to ride has to be a major positive. Ode To Evening () won that race in Newmarket three weeks ago and is worthy of an each-way too despite being five pounds worse off with Dwight D.
The Goodwood Cup (3.10pm) is competitive with the biggest field for a few years. Lots of the horses that lined up last year are here again and Big Orange () arrives in arguably better form than when winning 12 months ago. He will be tough to crack but I have been impressed with the three-year-old Swordfighter () this year and the fact he only has 8st 5lbs to carry and will race prominently sways things in his favour. I think receiving the weight allowance the others will struggle to pass him.
The Richmond Stakes (2.35) is a rematch with Mehmas ()owned by the sponsors of this week – Qatar Racing – and Intelligence Cross (). The Aidan O’Brien trained horse is the most likely improver of the two but the boys in blue have a potential star on their hands with Blue Point (). This Goldophin horse dotted up at Doncaster and the visual impression created is hard to blink out of the mind. I take him to edge it.
The Markel Insurance Fillies Stakes at 3.45pm sees Pamona () try to carry on where she left off at York. That was her first run for Ralph Beckett and if she turns up in the same form she will not be beaten. The other option is the much more consistent Mill Springs () with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, but I am going to take a punt on Pamona to top off day three.