2.00 Goodwood – Skeaping
The 8 furlong 2 year old maiden that opens Goodwood’s card on Sunday looks at the mercy of the useful Skeaping. Richard Hannon’s 2 year old colt has run to a decent standard on his first three starts, and with an official rating of 81, he should be difficult to beat.
Relatively unfancied in the betting at +1100 on debut, Skeaping put in nothing better than an average debut, finishing 6th, but beaten nearly 10 lengths. Like many of Richard Hannon’s horses, he stepped up significantly on his second run at Salisbury, and filled the runner up berth at odds of +1400 . That run was over 7 furlongs on fast ground and he led for most of the way but was done for toe late on. On third start at Doncaster, he again led early, but didn’t have the requisite speed to compete at the business end of the contest. Even on that form alone, he would be the one to beat, but there is plenty of cause to think that the son of Excellent Art should improve plenty with the step up in distance and softer ground.
Sire Excellent Art has a fantastic record on soft ground. His progeny normally excel when there is cut underfoot, and the fact that he has run to a solid level under conditions that may not have been preferable, is testament to his ability. Furthermore, the step up in trip really should suit. There is plenty of stamina on the dam’s side, with the mare being out of Galileo (a strong stamina influence).
He might be odds on, but this should be a penalty kick for Skeaping. The next four horses in the market are all newcomers, and with Hannon’s horse likely to improve to a mark close to 90 on his fourth start, he should be incredibly difficult to beat.
4.25 Yarmouth – Venus Marina
Chris Wall’s 4 year old Venus Marina has been well backed on a number of occasions, and she duly justified the market support last time out by overcoming adversity to win at Lingfield. That victory has to be marked up given that the race did not work out to plan, and back at Yarmouth where she has been previously successful, she has a very good chance of following up over 7 furlongs on ground with cut in.
A +250 favourite last time out, Venus Marina had to forfeit ground and give up an advantageous draw at Lingfield to drop in. Managed to get her head in front on a course that favours front runners, and the switch back to this galloping 7 furlongs will be in her favour. Likes to sit off the pace and have the front runners come back to her, and George Baker is a good man to have on board for a horse who needs to be ridden patiently. Will have derived some confidence from success last time out, and this field looks weak. There are 12 runners, so there should be a reasonable pace on, and at odds of +300 , Chris Wall’s filly represents value.
2.00 Goodwood – Skeaping – -149 – Bet365
4.25 Yarmouth – Venus Marina – +300 – Bet365
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