The Goodwood is the final Group 1 event of the 2017 Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival and we are set for a stellar race at Morphettville this weekend.
Black Heart Bart is back to defend his The Goodwood title, but he faces stiff competition in a race that is absolutely packed full of depth.
Can Black Heart Bart go back-to-back or will there be an upset? We have analysed the entire field and our complete 2017 The Goodwood Preview can be found below.
Black Heart Bart
Black Heart Bart is the class horse in The Goodwood field and there is no reason that he can’t win another Group 1 event. Black Heart Bart is an ultra-consistent horse that always rates at a very similar level and that level is superior to that of any other horse in this field. He had issues in the Autumn, but he was still able to win both the C.F. Orr Stakes and the Futurity Stakes and he has been freshened up for this race. There is no doubt that Darren Weir will have him ready to run well fresh and he is definitely the horse to beat.
Malaguerra could be the main danger to Black Heart Bart. He is nowhere near as consistent as Black Heart Bart and he was a touch plain in the TJ Smith Stakes, but he is capable of producing a spike record on his day. He beat Black Heart Bart to win the Australia Stakes at the start of his Autumn campaign and he does generally produce his best form fresh. I definitely don’t want to lose on the race if he gets the job done.
Faatinah comes through the DC McKay Stakes and I really don’t like that form line heading into The Goodwood. His second place finish in the Oakleigh Plate was excellent, but that was the only time he was able to perform at that level this campaign.
Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc has been freshened up after he finished ninth in the Doncaster Mile. I am happy to put a line through his Doncaster Mile run and before that he was excellent in both the CS Hayes Stakes and the Australian Guineas. While they were both quality wins, I do think that he will need to improve on those efforts to win The Goodwood and I am not sure that he will be able to do that at this stage of his campaign. The wide barrier draw is not ideal and he looks to have found about his right price.
Illustrious Lad finished second in the R N Irwin Stakes, but this is a step-up in quality again. He has had three attempts at Group 1 level now and he does look to be just below the level that you need to be to win a race of this quality. He maps to get a long way back from the wide barrier draw and I don’t think he has the turn-of-foot to make-up that much ground late.
Secret Agenda could hardly have been more impressive when she won the Robert Sangster Stakes and a repeat of that performance would have her right in this race. Damien Oliver went forward in the Robert Sangster Stakes and it would surprise if he did not do the same this weekend. This is a tougher race than what she contested last start, but in her current form you can’t rule her out.
Vega Magic heads into The Goodwood first-up after winning the AJ Scahill Stakes during the Perth Summer Racing Carnival. There is no doubt that he is a horse with plenty of talent, but this is the toughest test that he has faced during his racing career to date and I can’t get him as short as his current price. He generally takes a run to get going each preparation and I would rather be on him second-up going into this race.
You never know what you are going to get with Rageese and he did not do a great deal first-up in the Bel Esprit Stakes. He can run well on his day, but consistency is a massive issue and I am happy to let him go around against me.
Karacatis isn’t one of the leading chances in The Goodwood, but I still don’t think he should be going around at $61. He is a horse that never runs a bad race and he showed plenty of toughness to win the D C McKay Stakes. I doubt that he has the class to win The Goodwood, but he is a much better chance than his current price suggests and he does add a bit of value to exotics.
Santa Ana Lane
Santa Ana Lane is another horse that struggles for consistency, but he did show an impressive turn-of-foot to win at Wagga last start. This is obviously a massive step-up in class and he would need to produce a new career best performance to win.
First Among Equals
First Among Equals is another visitor from Perth and heads into this race off the back of a narrow victory in the Northam Stakes. He has been competitive at Group 1 level in the past – he was fourth in the Winterbottom Stakes – and he does have a nice turn-of-foot, but he has probably found his right price.
Veteran gelding Riziz is another horse that does run a bad race and he has won the Oakbank Stakes and the City Of Adelaide Handicap this preparation. He is in a similar boat to Karacatis – it is tough to see him winning, but he is probably a better chance than the current price suggests.
Bassett won three races on the trot before heading to Adelaide and he was a good thing beaten in the D C McKay Stakes. There is no doubt that he is racing in career best form, but he would still need to find another level to win this race and the fact that Damien Oliver has sided with Secret Agenda is a lead.
Casino Wizard has never really shown anything to suggest that he is capable of winning a race of this quality.
Kaepernick has promised plenty throughout his racing career, but he has never really lived up to the hype. He was good late in the D C McKay Stakes, but he has his chance to get there and couldn’t get the job done.
Zebulon returned from a lengthy lay-off with a fair effort in the Thoroughbred Club Stakes. There is no doubt that he will improve with that run under his belt, but it is tough to back him in a race of this quality with so little racing under his belt.
Karlovasi is unlikely to be disgraced, but he isn’t up to this level.
Viddora has been in excellent form this preparation and she chased home Secret Agenda to finish second in the Robert Sangster Stakes. She is likely to be thereabouts once again, but she has to find a couple of lengths improvement to turn-the-tables on Secret Agenda as well as beat the likes of Black Heart Bart.
Sweet Sherry just clung on to record a much-deserved win in the Euclase Stakes. 1200 metres is right at the end of her distance range and in a race with a bit more pressure she may struggle, while the time was not particularly impressive in the Euclase Stakes.
Missrock was not disgraced in the Robert Sangster Stakes and she is racing well this campaign, but like Viddora needs to find a couple of lengths to turn-the-tables on Secret Agenda, who has beaten her in her past two starts.
Lucky Liberty finished a credible third first-up at Caulfield and he should improve on that effort, but this is a much stronger race.
Lope De Capio
Lope De Capio is the second emergency in The Goodwood and looks unlikely to earn a start.
Counter Pulse is the third emergency in The Goodwood and requires three scratchings to get a run in The Goodwood.