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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Princess to maintain Beckett's good form

It’s a poor show when - on a Wednesday, just 17 days before the Derby – we only have a solitary turf meeting on the flat at Goodwood and a mix of turf and dirt at Lingfield with very poor quality racing. At Goodwood, only one race catches my eye. I try and avoid 2yo and 3yo races until Royal Ascot as the form is usually unpredictable until then outside of the Group races. So the race I’m looking at is the Sussex Stayers over 2-mile, it’s a class 4 handicap at 4:55pm.

The majority of this field like to amble along at the rear before making a move in the final half-mile, but coming from behind isn’t the best tactic at Goodwood where the undulations can narrow the field and finding room to manoeuvre in a 3-runner race can be tricky.

As such, I’m going for PENANG PRINCESS who is almost certain to make the pace and - with proven stamina at this 2-mile trip - won’t be stopping. Ralph Beckett has his stable in form with a couple of winners in the past few days and this is his only runner at Goodwood today. He’s not had much luck with his older horses here, but I fancy that could change in this race. There’s not much between Devil To Pay and Curacao but neither of those has the scope for an improved performance today and they appear to have reached their ceiling. As for the rest of the field, if Missoula could recover the form of 2008 it would be hard to beat, but its recent form is poor reflecting the recent form of the others in the race. PENANG PRINCESS opened at 11/4 this morning and is now 5/2 across the board. Its likely that there will be some money for Devil To Pay as trainer Alan King has bang-in-form jockey Richard Hughes in the plate, so we may see 11/4 again – but I expect the SP of PENANG PRICESS to be 2/1, maybe ever 15/8, so I’d take the current odds of 5/2.

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