The 2017 The Goodwood Form Guide is essential reading for punters and racing fans ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 sprint at Morphettville Racecourse.
Some of the season’s best sprinters have been confirmed to take their positions in The Goodwood field, but we have analysed every runner and emergency in order to help you find the winner.
Reigning champion Black Heart Bart has been confirmed to defend his crown in The Goodwood field, but the multiple Group 1 winner is set to face a talent-stacked field, as well as the history books.
Black Heart Bart
Defending champion Black Heart Bart is undoubtedly the class horse in The Goodwood field and should prove extremely tough to beat in the feature race. Having posted his maiden win at the highest level in this race in 2016, the floodgates have since been left open for the Blackfriars gelding and he has added wins in each of the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), Group 1 Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) most notably. While charged with overcoming topweight (59kgs), Black Heart Bart is drawn ideally and is primed to become the first horse since Musket Belle in 1912 to successfully defend The Goodwood.
Multiple Group 1 winner Malaguerra has been unable to figure in his two most-recent races, but was freshened up after the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 1st and should perform well in The Goodwood. Posting his first Group 1 triumph in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) in Brisbane last winter, the Magnus gelding returned to racing in terrific condition in spring and added the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) to his mantle. Having defeated the likes of Black Heart Bart in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) first-up in January, Malaguerra is more than capable on his day and will be partnered by Ben Melham.
Faatinah has been reasonably inconsistent this season, but his a proven performer at the course and distance and is not without a hope in The Goodwood at long odds. Winner of the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) before finishing fifth in The Goodwood last year, Faatinah continued to impress through spring, including a strong win in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis (1200m). Having placed second behind stable mate Sheidel in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in February, the Nicconi gelding was last seen finishing fourth in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago.
Hey Doc failed to fire when ninth in the TJ Smith Stakes last time out, but is far better on top of the ground and is a live chance in The Goodwood on Saturday. A strong and consistent performer for Tony McEvoy throughout his entire racing career, the Duporth gelding resumed this time for third in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) before posting consecutive wins in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m). Hey Doc is going to require plenty of luck in transit after draw barrier 21 for his run in The Goodwood.
A second runner for Peter Gelagotis in The Goodwood field along with Malaguerra, Illustrious Lad failed to live up to the hype during the recent Autumn Carnival and faces a big task from an extremely wide draw on Saturday. Finding career-best form through the spring of 2016, including wins in the Listed Wylie Handicap (1100m) and Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) most notably, Illustrious Lad was simply outclassed in his first three starts this time, but did work to the line well for second in the RN Irwin Stakes on April 22nd.
Secret Agenda flew home to win the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes over course and distance a fortnight ago and is primed for another big performance in The Goodwood. The Not A Single Doubt mare has been a standout for Mick Price throughout her entire racing career, but has undoubtedly found her best form to date. Having taken plenty of benefit from a first-up fifth in the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m), Secret Agenda was an easy winner of the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on April 8th, in what was her only other start prior to the Sangster. Drawn and weighted well, champion hoop Damien Oliver will again take the ride in The Goodwood.
Former Perth galloper Vega Magic has been transferred to the Lindsay Park team in Victoria and will have his first start in The Goodwood 2017. The Lope De Vega gelding is yet to have a run in 2017, but was a strong and consistent performer through the recent Perth Summer Carnival; posting wins in each of the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) and Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) most notably.
Rageese is sure to carry plenty of benefit into The Goodwood and cannot be written out of the race at a double-figure quote. Rageese beat a talented field to the line in the Group 3 L’Oreal Paris Stakes (1400m) most notably in spring and his form at Morphettville previously has been simply outstanding. In-form hoop Damien Lane in the saddle is another positive for the four-year-old.
Veteran local Karacatis is always there or there abouts in the Adelaide featured sprints and he has returned to racing in outstanding condition this time and will be partnered by positive hoop Noel Callow in The Goodwood. Returning to winning form in a Morphettville minor over 1100m on March 24th, the Hussonet gelding placed third in the Listed Manihi Classic (1100m) before returning to winning form in the DC McKay Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago.
Santa Ana Lane
Plenty of hype has followed Santa Ana Lane’s racing career and while he is yet to fully live up to the billing, has shown plenty of ability and will carry winning form into The Goodwood. Posting a career total of four wins and as many minors through seventeen starts, the son of Lope De Vega carried 61kgs to a dominant win in the Wagga Town Plate (1200m) on May 4th and will relish a 5kgs step back in weight on Saturday.
First Among Equals
Perth sprinter First Among Equals has been one of the west’s best through recent seasons and is more than deserving of his position in The Goodwood field. The son of Exceed And Excel placed fourth behind Takedown and Sheidel in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in November and returned to competition for a smart win in the Listed Northam Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago. Whether or not he is up to this class remains to be seen, however his form suggests that he is capable.
Veteran sprinter Riziz is another horse who always performs to a high standard in South Australian features and the gelding is seeking his third-consecutive race win in The Goodwood. Producing fifteen race wins and a further eighteen minors throughout fifty-six starts, the Zariz gelding returned to winning form in the Listed Oakbank Stakes (1100m) on April 15th and repeated the effort in the Listed City Of Adelaide Handicap (1400m) last time out on April 29th.
Bassett failed to fire at his last start, but he has found his best form this season and is not without a chance in The Goodwood at long odds. The Savabeel gelding posted a near-five length win in the Ladbrokes Cash In BM78 (1200m) first-up on March 1st and repeated the result in each of the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) and Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m). Unable to make up the ground late in the DC McKay Stakes last time out, Bassett will carry only 55.5kgs, will be partnered by in-form hoop Mark Zahra and is a legitimate chance in The Goodwood if he can overcome a wide draw.
Local sprinter Casino Wizard has only returned to racing in fair form this season and would need to improve tenfold if he is any chance in The Goodwood. The Any Given Saturday gelding only managed to beat one runner home in the DC McKay Stakes (1100m) last time out and faces a big step up in class on Saturday.
Kaepernick has produced a number of smart efforts at black type level throughout his racing career and the five-year-old has steadily built in form on his way to The Goodwood. Having finished mid-pack in each of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) in February and March, the Fastnet Rock gelding placed fifth in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) on April 22nd and hit the line well for a close third in the DC McKay Stakes. Team Hawkes know how to prepare a horse for a feature race and Kaepernick should relish a light weight and leading hoop Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
Zebulon has only made three appearances at the races through the last three years and the horse is probably far too outclassed in The Goodwood field. The horse returned to competition for a credible fifth in the Listed Thoroughbred Club 50th Anniversary Stakes (1440m) on April 29th and will improve off the run, but he could easily get lost in transit from a wide draw, or be required to do too much too early.
Local trainer Richard Jolly is set to launch a two-pronged attack in The Goodwood after confirming that Karlovasi will take his place in the field, alongside Karakatis. The four-year-old has found competitive form this time; running second in the Listed Matrice Stakes (1200m) first-up before taking out the Manihi Classic. While failing to run on in the DC McKay Stakes last time out, the Reaan gelding is weighted to perform in The Goodwood.
Viddora – SCRATCHED
Viddora has undoubtedly found career-best form this time in and would not look out of place in the 2017 The Goodwood winner’s stall. Second in the Magic Millions Sprint (1200m) in early January, the I Am Invincible mare returned for second in the Manihi Classic, before taking out the RN Irwin Stakes three weeks later. Having savaged the line for second in the Robert Sangster Stakes a fortnight ago, Viddora is more than up to the class of The Goodwood field and should prove tough to beat, at terrific odds.
Sweet Sherry carries winning form into The Goodwood, but the filly could simply face too great a climb in class to win the race at this point of her career. Posting four wins and a minor through her twelve competitive appearances, the daughter of Bel Esprit kicked clear late to win the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago and has drawn ideally into this field in barrier 3.
The final runner confirmed in The Goodwood field is Missrock, who has also returned to racing in excellent form this season. Winning a talent-stacked Flemington sprint on March 4th, the Fastnet Rock filly failed to handle the heavy going when ninth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), but returned to smart form when second behind Secret Agenda in the Sapphire Stakes. Storming home to finish fourth in the Robert Sangster Stakes a fortnight ago, Missrock will carry only 50kgs on Saturday and is a live chance of winning The Goodwood at odds.
Lucky Liberty has been a strong performer throughout his injury-ravaged career and is not without a chance, should he gain entry into The Goodwood field. Winner of the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) on Boxing Day, the Statue Of Liberty gelding is sure to have taken benefit from his first-up third in the Vobis Newmarket (1200m) on April 22nd.
Lope De Capio
Lope De Capio will be required to jump from a wide draw if he gains a start in The Goodwood and probably justifies his triple-figure odds quote. Lope De Capio has made two starts this time, but is yet to make anything of a competitive impression.
Counter Pulse may have reached the end of his preparation, but he could also run a competitive race if he gains a start. Drawn in barrier 17, the Hard Spun gelding placed fifth in the DC McKay Stakes at his last start.