Channel 4’s Stevenson runs rules over big Goodwood races

Tanya Stevenson at Goodwood in 2012, with John McCririck / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Tanya Stevenson at Goodwood in 2012, with John McCririck / Picture by Malcolm Wells
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CHANNEL 4 racing betting guru Tanya Stevenson is predicting a successful French raid on Goodwood’s biggest-ever single-race prize next week.

She is forecasting a Qatar Sussex Stakes victory for Solow, saying the Freddy Head-trained star miler will be too good for the top three-year-old over the distance, Glenegales.

It’s one of a number of tips Stevenson is sharing with readers as she prepares for a week on the South Downs with the full C4 Racing team, who will be showing no fewer than 21 live races between Tuesday’s start of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and Saturday’s final day.

With the Qatar deal seeing prize money rise by £2m to £4.5m for the week, there is huge interest in all the big races, but none more so than Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes, now worth a staggering £1m – up from £300,000 last year.

There are 21 runners still in the frame for the contest ahead of the five-day cut-off stage but Stevenson believes there are only two with serious victory hopes.

“I’m in the French camp,” she said. “I gave Night of Thunder a chance at Royal Ascot but he didn’t get near Solow. Now we are set to see Solow take on Gleneagles and it should be a fabulous race.

I respect and appreciate the form Gleneagles is in but the way he runs races, he is not a showboater. Solow will sit in behind ready to pounce.

Tanya Stevenson

“Gleneagles has been formidable but it’s wonderful to see a French challenger and although there is plenty of depth in the potential field, these two are each peerless in their own age range.

“I respect and appreciate the form Gleneagles is in but the way he runs races, he is not a showboater. Solow will sit in behind ready to pounce.”

While Stevenson is forecasting Sussex Stakes heartbreak for Gleneagles’ trainer Aidan O’Brien, she thinks he may be celebrating after the big race of day one, the Qatar Lennox Stakes, instead of the fancied Limato’s handler Henry Candy and connections.

“Sir Isaac Newtown was unlucky in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and I think he’ll make amends for it,” she said.

Stevenson can see Ed Dunlop’s Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris completing a stayers’ double by adding the Qatar Goodwood Cup to his trophy cabinet next Thursday. He’s be the first horse since Yeats to do so if he succeeded.

In Friday’s King George Stakes, she sees a threat to William Haggas’s Muthmir coming in the form of David O’Meara’s Out Do.

“He’s been winning races at York for fun and looks like he couls step up from winning top-grade handicaps to winning at Group level – like Moviesta did in this race in 2013, Out Do has outdone his ratings and we may see how.”

Big-race success for Sussex-born trainer John Gosden is never too far away at Goodwood and in a year when he is enjoying another purple patch, Stevenson can see him winning an amazing fourth straight Nassau Stakes with Star of Seville, who has already notched impressive wins at York and Chantilly this year.

The Nassau is the second Group 1 race of Glorious week and is worth £600,000.

Stevenson is eyeing up a Roger Charlton in the two big Goodwood handicaps, saying Temptress in the Betfred Mile and Huntsmans Close in the Qatar Stewards Cup were worth a look, with last year’s winner Intrinsic looking out of form this season.

She also believes Richard Hughes will want to go out in style – the champion jockey retires at the end of the festival.

“Plenty of people back Hughesie regularly at Goodwood anyway, but some will want to back him because of the emotion of the occasion, as they did when AP McCoy retired. Punters will have an eye on Ivawood and Tiggy Wiggy among Hughes’ many rides.”

You can catch Tanya Stevenson’s daily Goodwood tips on each morning of racing at www.chichester.co.uk/sport – she, Coral’s Dave Stevens, Goodwood racecourse MD Adam Waterworth, top tipster Tony Castley and Observer sports editor Steve Bone will be bidding to land the most winners and win £100 for the equine charity of their choice, donated by Coral.

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