Handicap Breakers Flat
3.00 Goodwood – Unibet Golden Mile – Friday 2nd August
The Golden Mile is usually quite a rough race but even so it is one of those where the trends hold strong.
The most decisive factor in years gone by was that of the draw. In simple terms, if you were drawn high you couldn’t win as backed up by the fact that 8 of the last 10 winners were drawn in stall 9 or lower. Laa Rayb and Wentworth both overturned that damning stat when winning in 2009 and 2013 respectively but on the whole it has always paid to follow the low numbers.
Another pretty reliable trend is regarding the winners age as 3yos and 4yos have won seven of the last 10 renewals. There was always the odd five and six-year-old thrown in for good measure but as a whole it always paid to concentrate on the age group mentioned. There are two three-year-olds in this year’s line-up whilst the four-year-olds have seven representatives.
Recent form has played a big part in deciding the winner of recent renewals and it is no surprise to learn that 6 of the last 10 winners came into the race having finished in the first five places last time. So there is little point looking for a horse that has been running below-par but dropped to a handy mark as historically this isn’t the race for them. History Writer and Vale Of Kent are just two of the field who arrive on the back of disappointing efforts last time.
There are a couple of other things to consider. 9 of the last 10 winners were officially rated between 95 and 106 implying that those at the very top and bottom of the weights tend to struggle. This year, only two horses miss out on this score, the top weight Afaak who is rated 108 and the bottom horse Lush Life, who is rated 94.
The final factor worthy of consideration is the betting and it is important to note that six of the last ten winners came from the first five in the betting. Laa Rayb, Boom And Bust, Red Avenger and Belgian Bill aside, in recent times this has been a race for those towards the head of the market, so it is not a race in which taking a chance on one at a big price has been fruitful.
BEAT LE BON – 5/5
Mojito – 4/5
Game Player – 4/5
Taking everything into account, there is only one horse who matches all five of our trends and that is BEAT LE BON. Richard Hannon’s three-year-old arrives in search of the hat-trick following victories over 7f at Goodwood and Haydock. He has settled much better of late which gives plenty of encouragement now returning to a mile and under a 3lb penalty he looks primed for a big run.
Just missing out on the top spot is the market leader Mojito who defied a lengthy absence to win a valuable handicap at Sandown at the beginning of July. A 3lb penalty for that victory could be lenient and you would have to expect him to improve for that return to action. The only trend the five-year-old misses is the age one and if Frankie Dettori can get him to the front from stall 9, he could take some passing.
The final member of the shortlist is Game Player who didn’t get the clearest of runs when third at Ayr on her latest start. Roger Varian’s four-year-old seems to have resumed his improvement this season and looks well-weighted to run well here. He just misses out on the top five in the betting at the time of writing but he looks to have an otherwise strong profile.
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