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Thursday, 25 August 2016

3.20 Goodwood Revival Stakes, August 27th

The Goodwood Revival Stakes (3.20) on Saturday has produced four winning favourites, including one joint favourite, in the last 10 years, and no winner at odds longer than 7/1 in the same period. As such, it wouldn’t typically be a race for us, but any 20-runner handicap is always likely to throw up an unconsidered winner and, as usual, it’s our job to find it. Withernsea remains 7lb higher in the weights than when winning at Doncaster last November, but has been running creditably in defeat this season and doesn’t look impossibly handicapped. The Dark Angel gelding was never beyond mid-division in the Stewards’ Cup, over an inadequate 6 furlongs, at Goodwood four weeks ago, but his previous form over 7 furlongs was solid enough. His three wins have come on good to soft, soft and heavy going, but he’s equally effective on the prevailing good going. In fact, he was beaten just a length in a similar race at Haydock at April, on good going, off 1lb lower mark, so must have a decent chance if putting his best foot forward. Musley Bank trainer Richard Fahey also saddles Farlow, who is 1lb lower in the weights than when winning at Doncaster last August and consequently 12lb better off for 1¼ lengths he finished behind Withernsea in the aforementioned race on Town Moor last November. The Exceed And Excel has yet to trouble the judge in six starts this season, but was only beaten 1¾ lengths in a similar race at Newmarket in July, off a mark of 100, so looks well handicapped off a mark of 96. He needs everything to go right for him, but is clearly not without a chance if it does. That Is The Spirit was quite highly tried after making all to beat subsequent winner Dusky Queen by 1¾ lengths in a Listed race at Haydock last May and, while his handicap form this season is nothing to write home about, he has tumbled down the weights as a result. In fact, a 10lb drop since the start of the season means that David O’Meara’s 5-year-old is just 3lb higher in the weights than when winning a competitive handicap at York as a 3-year-old, so he has a definite squeak if retaining his old ability. He requires a leap of faith, but that should be factored into his price and he could go well at silly odds. Selections: 3.20 Goodwood Withernsea, Farlow, That Is The Spirit

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