Horse racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 5 best bets for Goodwood, Galway & Leopardstown today

Time to get the job done.



Goodwood 13.45 – Under The Stars 

One Master sets a very high standard, but fast ground wouldn’t be ideal for her and being drawn in stall one isn’t ideal for her hold-up style. She might prove too good anyway, but there is a chance that she doesn’t get the clearest of runs. Under The Stars was a very decent two-year-old last season, winning a Group 3 on just her second start and wasn’t beaten far in the Lowther. Moyglare & Rockfel  Stakes before winning the big sales race to finish her season.

She started this season in the 1,000 Guineas and shaped really well there before her stamina ran out. The drop in grade to listed level and drop in trip to 7f did the trick on her next start at Haydock, where she showed a decent turn of foot to get up late enough. The soft ground over a mile in the Falmouth Stakes last time would have been all against her, but she still wasn’t beaten very far despite that.

Proper fast ground over 7f will really suit her today and she can run a big race. 

Goodwood 15.45 – Desert Encounter 

There are a few question marks about most of this field and the race might just be run to suit Desert Encounter who won this last year. Communique, Pablo Escobarr and Spirit Of Appin all like to be prominent, so Desert Encounter should get the strong pace that suits him and the better ground will definitely play to his strengths.

He shaped well last time in a Group 2 at Newmarket on ground that would have been softer than ideal, but suggested that a win wasn’t far away. 


Leopardstown 14.35 – Galileo Chrome 

This five-runner race is quite interesting but it is quite difficult to get away from Galileo Chrome after seeing how well his maiden win at the Curragh has worked out. The fourth Dawn Rising hacked up in a Limerick maiden on his next start and was then second in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.

The fifth Serpentine hacked up in a Curragh maiden on his next start, before blowing his rivals away in the Derby at Epsom! Even the ninth has won a maiden since, so the form couldn’t be much stronger.

He was strong in the market that day, which suggests he had improved plenty over the winter. He could be plying his trade in Group company in the very near future. 

Galway 17.15 – Born By The Sea

A competitive handicap hurdle but with Paddy paying 5 places it might be worth taking a chance on Born By The Sea at a double-figure price. He is very consistent and has run well at Galway on several occasions. On Monday, he was beaten only two lengths in a 1m 4f maiden behind Mt Leinster and last year, he was third in a maiden hurdle behind Mr Everest and Estelle Ma Belle with subsequent hurdle winners like Jon Ess, Scardua and Flooring Porter behind.

He has only had two starts in handicap hurdles and has genuine excuses for those runs. Firstly at Limerick the testing ground probably wouldn’t have been ideal for him and then at Kilbeggan earlier this month, the 3m trip would probably have stretched his stamina. Dropped back to 2m now off a workable mark of 119, I expect him to bounce out in front and make this a proper test and could have plenty of them in trouble on the final climb. 

Galway 19.45 – Portmore Lough

Portmore Lough hasn’t been seen since unseating at Leopardstown at the Dublin Racing Festival and despite being a nine year old, he is very unexposed after just nine career starts in total.

He is also a bit of a Galway specialist, finishing third in a beginners chase in late 2018 before winning two handicaps here last autumn off marks of 114 & 121. He won the latter of those handicaps with plenty in hand and ran a cracker in the Troytown at Navan off a mark of 131 on his next start when third behind Chris’s Dream (who won the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase on his next start) and Fitzhenry (who was a close second in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on his next start).

That form obviously has a solid look to it. Portmore Lough won fresh at the beginning of last season, so hopefully he will be ready to go and I’d be hopeful that he remains well treated off a mark of 131 in a race where Paddy is paying 5 places also. 


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