The Qatar Goodwood Festival gets underway on Tuesday at Goodwood and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his best bets on the first four races on the card.
Soto Sizzler @ 10/1
Mysterious Night @ 7/2
Laneqash @ 10/1
The Chesterfield Cup Handicap (1.50) is the curtain raiser and Soto Sizzler is fancied to make it back-to-back wins in the race for David Menuisier and William Buick, who teamed up with the well-backed Migration 12 months ago and are 7-35 when joining forces in recent season.
Soto Sizzler is well suited by undulating tracks like Goodwood and has already won at the course over 1m4f. But he has looked more at home over this 1m2f trip on his recent starts.
The seven-year-old has been in the form of his life this season and recorded back-to-back equal career-best Racing Post Ratings when following his victory in the City And Suburban at Epsom in April with a good second in a hot handicap at that course on Oaks day next time.
A reproduction of that form would give him strong claims off just a 1lb higher mark and Soto Sizzler can be forgiven a below-par effort at Sandown last time. That was in a small-field Listed event at a course that wouldn't have been ideal and he isn't suited by that sort of test.
The return to a big-field handicap at an undulating track will suit and he can bounce back.
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No jockey has a better record at the Goodwood Festival than Buick over the last 10 years and let's hope he can follow victory on Soto Sizzler in the opener with a win on Mysterious Night in the Japan Racing Association Vintage Stakes (2.25) for the red-hot Charlie Appleby team.
Mysterious Night was beaten only a nose by the reopposing Dark Thirty on his debut over 6f at Newbury and, after going one better over an extra-furlong there next time, he appeared to be undone by a return to 6f when a staying-on third in Newmarket's July Stakes.
Nothing finished faster than the son of Dark Angel, who is a brother to US 1m1f winner Althiqa, and the step up to 7f could unlock the improvement needed for him to land this race.
The Lennox Stakes (3.00) is one of the best 7f races run all season in Britain and that trip is perfect for Laneqash, who did remarkably well to win a Listed event at Chester earlier this month.
Laneqash was fitted with first-time cheekpieces for that drop in class but was stone last in the early stages and not many horses are good enough to win around Chester from that position.
However, once they hit the home straight Laneqash went into overdrive and, despite going four or five horse widths wide off the final bend, he came through strongly to win comfortably.
He was unlucky not to beat the reopposing Pogo when a fast-finishing second in the John Of Gaunt at Haydock in May, losing out by the minimum margin of a nose, and is capable of reversing that form with the headgear which he wore for the first time at Chester retained.
By Graeme Rodway.