Simon Holt best bets for day one of 2019 Qatar Goodwood Festival

Simon Holt is backing Soto Sizzler
Simon Holt is backing Soto Sizzler

Simon Holt feels Soto Sizzler can add to his excellent record at Goodwood - he has two day one selections for the Glorious meeting.

Recommended bets: Tuesday July 30

1pt e.w. Soto Sizzler in 1.50 Goodwood at 11/1

2pts win Zaaki in 3.00 Goodwood at 3/1


Frankie Dettori has been unstoppable in Group Ones this season, and it will be a major surprise if the champion stayer Stradivarius, his regular mount, fails to emulate Double Trigger and win his third Qatar Goodwood Cup on Tuesday.

Unbeaten all last season, and successful this term in both the Yorkshire Cup and the Gold Cup (Dee Ex Bee second, Cross Counter fourth), the popular five-year-old is hard to oppose albeit at likely prohibitive odds.

Looking elsewhere for better returns, SOTO SIZZLER is fancied to go close in the opening Unibet Handicap dropping back in trip to a mile and a quarter.

William Knight's improving gelding won twice at Epsom earlier in the season confirming his liking for undulating tracks having won at this meeting last season over a mile and a half in a race which has worked out well with Corgi (second), Making Miracles (third) and Proschema (fourth) all running some decent races this season.

This shorter trip asks a question of Soto Sizzler but he seems to have plenty of tactical speed and, stabled just down the road, will have been trained for a big run again here. I suggest a bit of each-way as he looks likely to at least run on into a place.

Recent John Smith's Cup runner-up Setting Sail is probably the big danger as this scopy sort is switching off better now than earlier in the season and is on the upgrade, albeit off a 9lb higher mark for beating Rise Hall (a winner last week) at Newmarket in late June.

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The Lennox Stakes is a race in which a bit of luck is needed and Sir Dancealot did amazingly well to win for us last year after being stopped several times.

David Elsworth's admirable five-year-old, one of the best-looking horses in training, is best suited by seven furlongs whereas he has raced twice at a mile so far this season.

The problem is that his trainer has been a bit quiet and, reluctantly, I will oppose him this time with ZAAKI, another horse dropping in distance.

Last season, Sir Michael Stoute's gelding raced mainly at a mile and a quarter but he won his first two races this season at Ascot and Epsom over a mile and travelled well into the lead over a furlong out at Ascot last time only to be narrowly out-stayed by the ill-fated Beat The Bank who went wrong in the last stride.

Zaaki can be a bit slow from the stalls but seems to have a good turn of foot and Ryan Moore, despite the shorter trip, should be able to bide his time before pouncing late.


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