Antepost Angle: Free betting tips and preview ahead of Glorious Goodwood

Key Victory looks on the way back to form
Key Victory looks on the way back to form

Matt Brocklebank takes a look at some of the biggest betting races at the Qatar Goodwood Festival with 20/1 and 25/1 suggestions.

Recommended bets: Qatar Goodwood Festival

1pt e.w. Gulliver in Unibet Stewards' Cup (Heritage Handicap) at 20/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)

1pt e.w. Key Victory in Unibet Golden Mile Handicap at 25/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


GULLIVER looked on great terms with himself when winning at York at the end of last month and appears a little overlooked at 20/1 (General) for the Unibet Stewards' Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

He's been with David O'Meara less than a year and was hitting the bulls-eye for the first time since switching from Hugo Palmer's, for whom he ran in the 2017 Craven won by Eminent.

He didn't make the grade at that kind of level but did make a bit of a name for himself with three handicaps wins on the all-weather later the same season, and it's no surprise that O'Meara targeted a winter campaign on the artificial surfaces this time around.

He ran several good races - placing behind the likes of Island Of Life, Kachy and Alsvinder - and had crept down the weights before taking full advantage with a striking success on the Knavesmire.

He had some excellent sprinting yardsticks behind that day, Growl, Golden Apollo and O'Meara stable companion Intisaab filling the places, and he won pulling the proverbial cart - click here for the free video replay.

The fast ground at York seemed to really suit him, compared to easy-ground efforts at Ripon and Winsdor earlier in June, where he was far from disgraced in fairness, going down a head and three-quarters-of-a-length respectively. So with a bit of luck the sun shines for Glorious Goodwood, where a race like the Stewards' Cup looks tailor-made for the horse.

A revised mark of 100 ensures he'll make the cut and another big-field handicap scenario looks absolutely perfect for the horse, who has still only had the four runs on turf for his current trainer and could yet be capable of rating a little higher still (peak mark for Palmer was 107).

It wasn't a one-horse shortlist and there are a couple of tempting alternatives, not least Louie De Palma.

He's another one with more than a touch of back-class and while he's now approaching the veteran stage as a seven-year-old, he's obviously a horse with very few miles on the clock for a model of his vintage.

Clive Cox has always thought the world of him - he was second to Ivawood in the Group Two Richmond Stakes at this meeting in 2014 - and he's presumably been kept in training to try and land on another major pay-day.

It was good to see him back to winning ways at Ascot this May and he's held his form really well but could probably have done with winning at Windsor last time to get him into the Stewards' Cup. An entry back at Ascot this Friday could yet see him book his place, but without that evidence to hand he's narrowly passed over.

Interestingly, he would have made the cut last year with a mark of 96, but 2018 looked an anomaly in that regard with something more like 98 a safer guide from previous editions in the last decade.

One live contender with no such worries of making the handicap is Charlie Hills' 107-rated Vanbrugh, who caught the eye in the Wokingham. The French import demonstrated a remarkable turn of foot but delivered his effort way too early only to fade out of contention at the Royal meeting.

The problem with him is that he's also in the Lennox Stakes and although the handicap option looks far more likely at this stage, the temptation could be there for Hills and the team if the Lennox begins to cut up close to declaration time.

Vanbrugh has some smart Listed form from his time with Andre Fabre and looks versatile trip-wise. He remains one to watch for the time being.

The Unibet Golden Mile Handicap is the other major betting heat at Goodwood and Mojito's comeback win at Sandown over the weekend clearly didn't go unnoticed.

The run of KEY VICTORY when fourth in the same race might just have done, though, and he's worth chancing each-way at 25/1 (General).

The whole race essentially revolves around the draw - a low stall has proved hugely beneficial down the years - so it's a dangerous one to dip into antepost, especially at shorter prices.

But the 25s on offer for Charlie Appleby's one-time Classic hope are sufficiently great to merit an interest and he only has two lengths to find on Mojito, who will have to shoulder a 3lb penalty at Goodwood.

One could obviously argue he's going to go up more than that and has the makings of a Group horse still, but he did look absolutely stoked for that comeback (keen early in the race) and backing up so quickly asks another question altogether of William Haggas' representative.

Key Victory, however, has been in the doldrums for a while, losing his way out in Dubai after being sent off favourite for the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot last summer on his final appearance as a three-year-old.

Soft ground was seemingly at least partly to blame for his limp effort in the Hunt Cup, but the latest run smacked of a horse falling back in love with the game and Appleby can be expected to find the key to him before the end of the season.

Goodwood can be a tricky course even with the best of draws, but the son of Teofilo was 2-2 on the Rowley Mile in his youth so handles an undulating track well and, for a horse who was beaten under four lengths in the Prix du Jockey Club, Key Victory is realistically well handicapped now from a mark of 103.

The Coral Challenge at Sandown was just his second run having been gelded following the unsuccessful stint out in the Emirates and it'll be fascinating to see if he can continue to build back towards where he once was.

Posted at 1600 BST on 08/07/19.


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