The Goodwood Cup (Thursday 3.10) started life as a 3-mile flat race, but was eventually reduced to its current distance of 2-miles in 1990, and was elevated to group-2 status in 1995.
Four-year-olds and 5-year-olds have each provided 3 of the last 10 winners, though winners in the last decade have also been aged 6, 7 and 8. No 3-year-old has been successful since 1990, despite them getting a massive weight allowance from the older horses.
15 Runners are set to go to post for the 2016 Qatar Goodwood Cup.
Denied a clear run on first attempt at 2-miles, when he stayed on into fifth on soft ground he wouldn’t have loved. Has a few pound to find, but ran excellent race when a close-up third off top-weight in a handicap at last year’s meeting, and has won a Group-3 since then.
Won this by a neck last year from Quest For More, but was arguably even more impressive this year in winning the same Newmarket prep race. No reason he won’t run to his best for inform stable, and will be tough to beat.
Won Queen Alexandra Stakes over 19-furlongs on first start for trainer Gordon Elliott, but this will be a tougher test. Not impossible he’ll find more improvement though.
Looked to be crying out for 2-miles when ½ a length behind Clever Cookie, but will want to start more quickly than he did that day in this big field.
Well beaten behind Curbyourenthusiasm earlier in the season, and tough to see him featuring here.
Won 2 handicaps on last two starts, including one over 14-furlongs here, but may well prefer more cut in the ground, and needs to improve.
Finished a place behind Astronereus at Sandown, and only 7th in last year’s race.
Finished 3-lengths behind Big Orange in last year’s renewal, and no obvious reason why he’ll find the necessary improvement.
Quest For More
Finished 1st and 2nd on 2 course starts, the second of which was when just touched off by Big Orange last year. Two solid runs over 14-furlongs so far this year, and this looks sure to have been his major target. Big each-way chance.
Loves soft ground, and took advantage of that surface when beating several of these at Sandown. Chance would improve with lots of rain.
Surprising third in the Ascot Gold Cup, and was slowly away when beaten only 4-lengths in last year’s race. Could put up a bold show if adopting a good early position.
Had plenty of chances in group races, and no reason why he’ll find the required improvement.
Course winner on soft, but was sent off at 100/1 for the Ascot Gold Cup, and ran like his odds implied.
Ran Dartmouth to a head over 13-furlongs at Chester, but not convinced that this decent 2-mile hurdler wants 2-miles on the flat.
Bids to become the first 3-year-old to win in 26 years, and gets loads of weight from his elders having won the Group-2 Curragh Cup last time, beating older horses in the process. The conundrum of the race.
Qatar Goodwood Cup Summary
Sword Fighter bids to become the first 3-year-old winner in 26 years, but is hard to rule out after he beat older horses last time. However, if he can’t defy the statistics, this may well be fought out by last year’s first and second Big Orange and Quest For More, who both like to race prominently. Preference is for Big Orange though, who looks to have improved since last year, judging off his win at Newmarket last time.