The Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival peaks on Saturday for The Goodwood and we are set for an intriguing edition of the Group 1 event.
Vega Magic won the race 12 months ago and he will start this contest as a clear favourite, but he has eased in The Goodwood betting after he drew barrier 14.
We have analysed all 20 horses in the field and our complete 2018 The Goodwood tips can be found below.
There is no doubt that Vega Magic is the class horse in this field and if he brings anything like his best form to this race he will prove very tough to beat. His fresh form is always outstanding and he stamped himself as one of the most talented gallopers in the country with his dominant win in the Memsie Stakes before he finished a luckless second in The Everest. The wide barrier draw is some concern, but he is a horse that still does have early speed and he has shown in the past that he is capable of sitting on a hot tempo before sprinting strongly late. He is more than capable of winning The Goodwood for the second year in a row.
Santa Ana Lane
Santa Ana Lane started his campaign with a flat effort in the Ladbrokes Bel Espirt Stakes and he improved when he won the DC McKay Stakes. He may be a Group 1 winner, but I still have him at a clear level below the likes of Vega Magic, Secret Agenda and Viddora.
Thronum was scratched from the Doomben 10,000 last weekend after playing up in the tie-up stalls, but an emergency flight to Adelaide means that he can contest The Goodwood. The Snitzel entire has performed well without winning this preparation and he wasn’t beaten far by Hellbent in the William Reid Stakes at The Valley last start. He generally performs at his best when he is able to control a race right on the speed and he may not get the opportunity to do that with Vega Magic coming across from the wide barrier draw.
Secret Agenda produced another strong effort to finish second in the Robert Sangster Stakes and she finished a gallant fourth in this race 12 months ago. The wide barrier draw does hurt her chances and it is likely that Dwayne Dunn will look to ride her conservatively in the early stages of the race. There is every chance that she will have to go a long way back and that is why $13 is available for a mare of her quality.
Viddora missed the Robert Sangster Stakes due to injury, but trainer Lloyd Kennewell is confident that she heads into The Goodwood at peak fitness. She lost no admirers with her tough second place finish behind Dainty Tess in the R N Irwin Stakes and she produced a couple of high-rating performances to win both the Winterbottom Stakes and the Magic Millions Snippets over the Summer. There is no doubt that the injury setback is some concern, but she is as tough as they come and does look like the main danger to Vega Magic.
Voodoo Lad has not been seen at the races since the Moir Stakes at The Valley 12 months ago and he has been set for a first-up tilt at this race by trainer Darren Weir. He is a horse that has a simply outstanding first-up record and he finished second in the Newmarket Handicap first-up in 2017. The I Am Invincible gelding is capable of a high-rating performance on his day and if he gets luck in running at the right time from barrier one he will prove tough to beat.
Ferrando wasn’t beaten far in the D C McKay Stakes, but I don’t think that will prove to be a particularly strong form reference and I don’t think that he is up to this level.
Super Cash never really got a shot at them in the straight in the Robert Sangster Stakes and that did look like her chance to win a Group 1. Her second-up record is poor and she would need to produce a career best effort to win this race.
Stellar Collision is as honest as they come and he was only narrowly denied in the Wangoom Handicap at Warrnambool. This is obviously a step-up in class and he will need some luck from the wide barrier draw, but he will run a better race than his current odds of $26 suggests.
Viridine looked set for a big campaign when he finished third behind In Her Time and English in The Galaxy, but he has since produced flat efforts in the Arrowfield Sprint and Euclase Stakes. He was beaten by a 100/1 shot in the Euclase Stakes and you couldn’t back him off that effort.
Steel Frost returned to winning form in the City Of Adelaide Handicap and he is a proven winner, but I would be surprised if he proved to be up to this level.
Lope De Capio
Lope De Capio has been badly beaten in the Manihi Classic, Irwin Stakes and the McKay Stakes. He is the extreme outsider of this field for a reason.
The veteran Flamberge is set for his 18th tilt at Group 1 level after he recorded his maiden Group 1 win in this race in 2015. He wasn’t disgraced in the Irwin Stakes and you can never rule him out at this level. Looks like another horse that should run better than his odds of $26 suggest.
Handsome Thief has proven to be a slightly frustrating horse for punters this campaign, but he made it two wins from his past three starts with a fast-finishing effort in the Wangoom Handicap. This is obviously a big step-up in class and I would be surprised if he truly measured up at this level.
Overshare won the Zeditave Stakes on the back of an excellent ride from Dwayne Dunn and he has since been flat in both the March Stakes and the Bendigo Guineas. He should be double his current price.
Exalted Adam will make his debut at Group 1 level after finishing second behind Camdus in a Benchmark 90 event at Morphettville last week. He is making up the numbers.
I’ll Have A Bit
I’ll Have A Bit produced a stunning upset win to take out the Euclase Stakes at 100/1 last start in a clear career best performance. That could prove to be her day in the sun and she would still need to improve on that effort to even go close in this race.
Missrock is back for another crack at this race after she finished second behind Vega Magic 12 months ago. She wasn’t far away in the Black Caviar Lightning or the Newmarket and she knocked-up late in the Robert Sangster Stakes. She is capable of popping up and running a big race at this level, but I would rather back her at the start of her campaign.
Mica Lil produced a clear career best effort to finish third behind Shoals and Secret Agenda in the Robert Sangster Stakes. That does look like a clear spike performance and I would be surprised if she is able to run up to that level again this weekend.
Nipperkin was beaten in a benchmark 82 event at Morphettville three weeks ago. She isn’t up to this level.