KEEP it quiet but SILENT ECHO has a massive chance in the Saturday highlight of Glorious Goodwood, the Stewards’ Cup (3.40).
The four-year-old had decent form for Roger Charlton last year and has progressed again for new trainer Peter Hedger.
He won twice at Windsor before running a great race when fifth in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, behind Group performers Bacchus and Dreamfield.
That effort deserves marking up as he raced in the smaller stands’ side group and the race unfolded towards the far side.
That’s where fourth-home, Tis Marvellous, raced and, with a 4lb pull, Silent Echo can reverse the form.
Foxtrot Lady looks set to go off favourite, with a 6lb penalty for winning the big three-year-old sprint handicap at Newmarket’s July meeting.
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That path has been successfully trodden by Magical Memory and her half-sister Dancing Star in 2015 and 2016. She is a major player.
Spring Loaded and George Bowen also carry penalties for recent wins but the former may find this six furlongs stretching him and the latter rarely seems to run two races alike.
Last season’s one-two, Lancelot Du Lac and Aeolus are both back for another crack and both are fairly treated but they were well suited by the soft ground 12 months ago and will find this a very different challenge.
Growl is well weighted at his best and has been fourth in the last two runnings but he finds winning difficult.
For those who like an each-way flutter at massive odds Quench Dolly is over-priced at around 66-1.
She won at this meeting last year, acts on any ground, has a good 5lb-claimer on board and was back to form when winning cosily at Windsor 12 days ago.
In the 2.25, PLATITUDE looks to have been aimed at this race by local trainer Amanda Perrett.
He was with Sir Michael Stoute last season when only fifth in this race but that was the only time he has tasted defeat in three attempts over this tricky course and distance.
The Betting Spy’s top tips for Saturday
2.05 Newmarket – Crimson Rosette: ‘Second to God Given is top form’ (bet here)
2.25 Goodwood – Platitude: ‘He looks fairly handicapped’ (bet here)
3.00 Goodwood – Cross Counter: ‘Run crackers in two big handicaps and improving’ (bet here)
3.40 Goodwood – Silent Echo: ‘Progressing well and his Wokingham effort is top form’ (bet here)
4.50 Goodwood – Vale Of Kent: ‘Just pipped here on Wednesday and will be hard to beat’ (bet here)
His latest second in a Sandown Listed event is solid form and he is fairly handicapped. Last season’s winner Soldier In Action is brilliantly handicapped, running off a mark 9lb lower than 12 months ago.
But that is because he has been bitterly disappointing this summer and, even with the champ on board and trainer Mark Johnston’s great record at the track, he has too many questions to answer.
Melting Dew is chasing a hat-trick and, having been raised just 4lb for beating Tuesday’s winner Alfaaris at Sandown last time, he has been given every chance.
The worry is the trip as it is half a mile further than he has ever won at. Sir Chauvelin, on the other hand, probably needs a stiffer test but Walton Street, a winner at the meeting last year, stayed on well over 1m4f at Ascot last time and is the big danger.
There are only four runners in the Gordon Stakes (3.00) but there is a value bet nonetheless in CROSS COUNTER.
He impressed me when trying to concede a stone to the very useful Elwazir, who has since won a decent handicap easily off a mark of 96, in a Sandown novice in early June.
Since then Cross Counter has himself run two crackers in hot handicaps and is improving fast. In contrast Dee Ex Bee seems to have gone backwards in two runs since his excellent second in the Derby.
The suspicion is he may need softer ground or further – or both. Sun Maiden will have her supporters as she was hugely impressive when winning a Salisbury maiden before finishing a fair third in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot.
Catching the eye…
At Ascot last Saturday GEORGE OF HEARTS is the one to take out of the mile handicap won by Crack On Crack On.
He travelled best of all through the race but faded in the final furlong to finish seventh.
He ran a very similar race on his previous start in Royal Ascot’s Britannia Stakes and trainer Richard Hughes will surely drop him back to seven furlongs next time.
On his earlier second to high-class Society Power on his last try at that trip he is still very well handicapped.
At Newmarket Ralph Beckett’s FOX FEARLESS made an encouraging debut in the 7f novice event for two-year-olds. He was very green early on but finished to great effect to take third behind more experienced rivals.
He will surely win races and will be very interesting when stepped up to a mile.
But she faces a stiffer task up against high-class colts. Bombyx does not look good enough so count on Counter.
Mark Johnston’s success-rate at this Festival is well-documented and he often wins with horses running for the second time in the week and VALE OF KENT (4.50) can successfully follow that path.
He was just pipped by the four-year-old Medahim here on Wednesday in the open-age 7f handicap and will be hard to beat, running off the same mark, against his own age group.
Restive Spirit, with Ryan Moore, booked will be popular but on handicap debut, he may not be street-wise enough for this test.
On The Warpath and Vale Of Kent’s stablemate, Lake Volta, are bigger dangers.
At Newmarket CRIMSON ROSETTE can take the Listed Chalice Stakes.
Her Haydock second to God Given two runs back is the best form on offer and she was not disgraced when third last time over course and distance behind consistent Second Step and Dylan Mouth, since a winner in good company at York.
Back against her own sex Crimson Rosette will be hard to beat. Highgarden is likely to be near the head of the market and she ran fairly well here last time but is becoming a tad disappointing after the high hopes held for her at the start of the season.
At much bigger odds Galmarley could reward each-way support. It was only a fairly routine Newbury handicap she won last time but she did it in style and it may be significant that connections are risking blowing what still looks a workable handicap rating.