The Duke had been severely wounded by a musket ball at Othez in the Peninsular War, and his race has also damaged many punters for over 150 years. Trying to pick a winner from the 30-strong horde that comes screaming down the Sussex straight towards Trundle Hill has never been simple. And today, for the first time, an even more impossible conundrum is placed before punters.
The Tote is launching the Trifecta, its version of the Tricast, on the first anniversary of Peter Jones taking up his position as chairman. Punters are asked to predict the first three in the correct order and a guaranteed pool of pounds 100,000 is part of the shimmering prize. After today's debut the Trifecta will be available on the "best betting race" (ie the most difficult), every day.
"By concentrating on the big betting race, the Tote Trifecta will generate large pools, and the potential for roll-overs," Rob Hartnett, the Tote's PR director, said yesterday. If today's treasure chest in not unlocked, the pot will move on to Newcastle tomorrow.
The fresh strip of ground that Goodwood opens up on the far side towards the end of its Glorious meeting invariably means that a high draw is advantageous. In recent years, only the Group class of animals such as Danetime and Lochsong has managed to overcome a single-figure box.
On form, the key trial for the race occurred at Newbury last month when six of today's runners appeared. Surveyor, the ante-post favourite, was the best of the bunch that day, but his chance was compromised on Monday, when he managed to find a stone to tread on. In addition he is drawn poorly.
Those Newbury horses who have come out of the ballot well are JAYANNPEE (nap 3.50) and Eastern Purple, who are drawn 30 and 29 respectively. As Superior Premium in 28 also has prospects (he was third in the Wokingham and has won twice since), there is a glimmer that the far three on the track can be the first three home.
For the double, I am speculating that a similar bias will occur in tonight's lottery. Here I go for 44,45,46,47,48 and 49.
The class animals contest the Nassau Stakes, which has gone to some admirable fillies in its history. Last Second collected two years ago for Sir Mark Prescott, and her stable is now represented by Alborada. However, this looks destined for an athlete which has been contesting Classics this year.
Midnight Line, the Oaks third, is one option, especially as Henry Cecil, her trainer, observed yesterday that she did not stay at Epsom and that she has been training well. However, Aidan O'Brien's Kitza (next best 3.20), the runner-up in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Oaks, has better credentials.
The preceding Listed race looks at the mercy of Spindrift (2.45), who overcame the useful Doomna at Salisbury in June.
Newmarket services the hopeful with four televised handicaps, but the best bet on the card is away from the cameras, in a maiden. Geoff Wragg may feel he is never going to train a winner again following an atrocious run, but word from his Newmarket yard is that Chief Rebel (2.40) can lever him out of the doldrums.Reuse content