Your Guide to Betting on the 2018 Glorious Goodwood Festival

31 July – 4 August

Although it is called the Qatar Goodwood Festival these days, racing fans tend to refer to this five-day extravaganza as Glorious Goodwood. With over a dozen Group races, spectators are spoiled for choice as it is a case of witnessing one world-class field after another in this classic UK racing event.


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From quick-fire shootouts such as the 5f Molecomb Stakes to stamina tests like the 1m 6f Lillie Langtry Stakes, Goodwood has it all. In today’s preview, I will look at three Group 1 races from the 2018 Glorious Goodwood Festival and provide trends and analysis as per usual.

2018 Goodwood Cup Preview

Tuesday, 31 July

This Group 1 event is a real test of stamina as it is run over two miles. It is open to all 3yo+ horses although 4yos carry 9-9 while 3yos only carry 8-8. Also, fillies and mares receive a 3-pound allowance. The first Goodwood Cup was run in 1808 and was won by Bucephalus, the first of the horse’s three victories. The champion was clearly named after Alexander the Great’s faithful steed!

After Bucephalus won for the third time, the silver cup was replaced by a gold version, and the first race for this new prize took place in 1812. The Goodwood Cup was initially a Group 2 race in 1971 and was demoted to Group 3 in 1985. It regained its original standing in 1995 and was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2005. It was originally run over three miles, but the distance was gradually cut. The most notable winner was Kincsem in 1878; the Hungarian filly won all of her 54 races!

Previous Winners

YearWinnerOdds (SP)
2013Brown Panther13/2
2014Cavalryman5/1
2015Big Orange6/1
2016Big Orange11/4
2017Stradivarius6/1

Betting Trends and Information

There are a total of seven runners at the time of writing with defending champion Stradivarius installed as the odds-on 4/7 favourite. Torcedor is the second favourite at 9/2, and the rest of the field is 10/1+.

  • 18/21 winners finished in the top three in their previous race.
  • 1/21 winners had an OR of 106 or less.
  • 20/21 winners last ran 21-42 days before the race. 13/21 winners last ran exactly 42 days before the Goodwood Cup.
  • 15/21 winners had never won over the distance before.
  • 18/21 winners had at least two wins over a shorter distance.

It is rare to see such a clear favourite in a Group 1 race, but on the surface, it is hard to see beyond Stradivarius. Only four of the seven runners finished in the top three in their last race, and while Dal Harraild finished second in a Group 3, it is hard to see him making any impact at 33/1.

Likewise, Call to Mind finished almost four lengths behind the favourite at York this season. Torcedor, on the other hand, is a value bet at 9/2. He finished one length behind Stradivarius at Ascot in June and is a pound better off in the weights. The recent rain is also good news for Torcedor, and as the favourite was beaten three times last season, he is far from being invincible.

Ante Post Betting Odds

 Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Stradivarius4/74/78/15
Torcedor7/210/34/1
Idaho9/19/110/1
Call To Mind10/112/114/1
Desert Skyline16/120/120/1
St Michel25/133/140/1
Dal Harraild25/128/133/1
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Sussex Stakes Preview

Wednesday, 1 August

This is the first of the three Group 1 races at Glorious Goodwood. It is for all horses aged 3yo+ and is run over one mile. 3yos carry 9-1 while 4yos+ carry 9-8. Fillies and mares receive a 3-pound allowance. Although the race was inaugurated for 2yos over six furlongs in 1841, it was littered with walkovers and only became a prominent fixture when 3yos were allowed enter in 1878, and the distance was increased to a mile.

4yos were allowed enter in 1960 and horses aged 5yo+ were permitted entry in 1975. The most famous winner of the race is Frankel who was an incredible 1/20 shot when he cruised to victory in 2012.

Previous Winners

YearWinnerOdds (SP)
2013Toronado11/4
2014Kingman2/5
2015Solow2/5
2016The Gurkha11/8
2017Here Comes When20/1

 Betting Trends and Information

There are eight runners at the time of writing and Without Parole is the 7/4 favourite, followed closely by Expert Eye at 9/4. The rest of the field is 13/2+.

  • 20/21 winners finished in the top two in their previous race.
  • 10/21 winners did so at odds of 6/4 or less.
  • 19/21 winners were in the top four of the betting market including 11 favourites.
  • 21/21 winners last ran 19-53 days before the race. 12/21 winners last ran exactly 43 days before the Sussex Stakes!

Without Parole is unbeaten in four races but only defeated 13/2 shot Gustav Klimt by half a length at Ascot in June. The favourite has yet to race on softer ground so it will be interesting to see how he fares if the rain persists. Expert Eye won a 21-runner race at Ascot and is a genuine threat.

We can eliminate the three outsiders which leave us with five contenders including C&D winners Lightning Spear and Beat the Bank. Both triumphed over 1 mile at Goodwood last season in Class 1 events, but both have fallen short against Group 1 company.

Ante Post Betting Odds

 Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Without Parole6/47/47/4
Expert Eye9/45/25/2
Gustav Klimt6/113/26/1
Beat The Bank7/113/26/1
Lightning Spear9/117/28/1
Lord Glitters14/114/114/1
Orbaan25/125/125/1
So Beloved66/166/166/1
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Nassau Stakes Preview

Thursday, 2 August

This Group 1 race is for 3yo+ fillies and mares only and is run over a distance of 1m 1f and 197 yards. 3yos carry 8-13 while all other ages carry 9-7. The first Nassau Stakes was run in 1840 and was a Group 2 race until 1999 when it was upgraded. Midday is the only horse to win three in a row (2009 – 2011).

Previous Winners

YearWinnerOdds (SP)
2013Winsili20/1
2014Sultanina11/2
2015Legatissimo2/1
2016Minding1/5
2017Winter10/11

 Betting Trends and Information

There were ten runners at the time of writing with Urban Fox installed as the 11/4 favourite. Veracious is next at 3/1 followed by Rhododendron at 4/1 with the rest of the field at 5/1+.

  • 15/21 winners finished in the top two in their previous race.
  • 19/21 winners were in the top three in the betting market including 12 favourites.
  • 19/21 winners last ran 20-57 days before the race.

This is very much a race for market leaders and horses in excellent form. While only four of the runners finished in the top two last time out, it would be remiss of us to discount Rhododendron who will prefer this trip and Billesdon Brook who won the 1,000 Guineas.

Urban Fox stormed to victory in Ireland on July 1 despite carrying far more weight than her rivals. She is a threat, and history favours the top three in the betting. If you fancy a value bet, Billesdon Brook could be the answer at 10/1. She finished fourth at Ascot, but her jockey miscalculated his run through the field so there is probably a lot left in this filly’s tank if she can handle the extra two furlongs.

Ante Post Betting Odds

 Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Urban Fox11/411/45/2
Veracious3/13/13/1
Rhododendron7/24/14/1
Wild Illusion5/15/15/1
Magical6/113/26/1
Billesdon Brook9/19/110/1
Hydrangea14/116/110/1
Promising Run25/128/133/1
Nyaleti25/125/133/1
Wilamina40/133/133/1
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