Ellens Lad to exploit his handy low draw

Glorious Goodwood: A late-developing sprinter can complete a hat-trick in the Group Three King George Stakes in opening day's big race

Form fiends and purists sometimes have unkind words to say about Goodwood racecourse, which is one of those unlikely tracks which some horses adore and others take against completely. If you are drawn low in a big field over seven furlongs, you probably have no chance, and there is no other top-flight course which produces so many genuine hard-luck stories.

Form fiends and purists sometimes have unkind words to say about Goodwood racecourse, which is one of those unlikely tracks which some horses adore and others take against completely. If you are drawn low in a big field over seven furlongs, you probably have no chance, and there is no other top-flight course which produces so many genuine hard-luck stories.

For anyone whose spirit retains an ounce of sensitivity, however, there is nowhere in the racing world to match it, and over the next five days, tens of thousands of punters with just such an appreciation of the finer things in life will make their annual pilgrimage to the top of the Sussex downs.

Even backing losers at Goodwood is a relatively pleasant way to spend a summer's afternoon, but setting off back down the hill with more money than you started with is better still, and on the first day of this year's Glorious meeting, punters will feel they have an even-money chance at least.

The feature handicap has been cut to a manageable 11 runners, while the two Group races offer a relatively short list of possible winners, including Rudi's Pet, who attempts to take the King George Stakes for the second year in a row.

That form - previous course successes being particularly encouraging at unusual tracks like Goodwood - allied to the fact that he is trained by David Nicholls, the undisputed master of sprinters, will be enough to convince plenty of punters, and Rudi's Pet certainly has a fair chance of following up today.

The obvious worry, though, is his performance at Royal Ascot last time out, when he started favourite for the King's Stand Stakes but finished close to last, have been all but pulled up in the final furlong.

Nicholls would not be running today if he was in any doubt about the fitness of Rudi's Pet, but equally, you would really want proof of his wellbeing before stepping in to back him. Instead, the race may fall to another horse who has made his way up from handicaps, and is now in the form of his life, ELLENS LAD (nap 2.45). Six years of age is a rather odd time for a racehorse to suddenly improve into a Pattern-class sprinter, but success in his last two races, most notably under 10 stone at Ascot two weeks ago, indicates that Ellens Lad has made enough progress to deserve his place in today's field. A five-furlong specialist, he also has a handy draw in stall two, and a hat-trick beckons.

The Gordon Stakes, the second Group Three on the card, is often written off as a consolation event for nearly-horses, the sort who finish 10th in the Derby and can then find nowhere else to go.

That is hardly the case this year, though, for while St Expedit did indeed finish mid-division at Epsom, Going Global was among the backmarkers and Hataab was talked of as a Derby hopeful earlier in the season but never quite made it, today's field also includes the winners of two of the season's richest handicaps.

Sobriety, who took the John Smith's Cup at York last time, and Give The Slip (3.50), who won the King George V Handicap at the Royal meeting, are the colts in question, and it is the latter who should prevail. Sobriety showed great courage to stay on the final furlong over 10 furlongs at York, but he may not stay another quarter mile, and could still be feeling a hard race. Give The Slip, by contrast, has had a month off since Ascot, and gave the impression there that he is ideally suited to a well-run 12 furlongs.

Another certain stayer who will attract money is Give Notice (2.15), who is making swift strides up the ratings after three consecutive victories, and had gone up another 11lb since his last success. That may not be enough to hold him back, however, and the most taxing question after he has run this afternoon may be how on earth John Dunlop ever managed to get him into his first handicap with a mark of 62.

In the 10-furlong handicap, meanwhile, Sir Effendi (3.20) could be the one now that Marcus Tregoning's stable is beginning to find its form.

* Tissifer heads the British challenge on the second day of the Galway Festival today. Mark Johnston's charge is one of 17 horses declared for a IR£42,500 handicap. The four-year-old, who will be ridden by Kevin Manning in the Listed contest, finished fourth behind Claxon at Newbury last time. Top-weight One Won One will be ridden by top jump jockey Paul Carberry. The only other British raider on the card is the Lucinda Russell-trained Mr Cavallo in the Albatross Steeplechase.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Games Developer - HTML5

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Product Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to on-going expansion, this leading provid...

Recruitment Genius: Shift Leaders - Front of House Staff - Full Time and Part Time

£6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a family ...

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open