IT’S MICHELANGELO AS GOSDEN GOES FOR THE CEILING: John Gosden’s reach-for-the-sky Group-race policy will further erode the Ballydoyle trainers’ table lead through Michelangelo on the first day of Glorious Goodwood, says Daqman.

GOLDEN-GOOSE FRANKEL IN ‘NO RACE’ SCANDAL: But he rates the poor turnout for tomorrow’s Sussex Stakes as ‘a scandal’ for racing and for the horse himself. He claims we are not collecting the eggs from the golden goose.

Where are the promoters of British racing? Showmen and entrepreneurs the world over would love to get their hands on Frankel. But what do we at home do about him? Nothing but a bit of flag-waving.

It’s the good old British bronze-medal syndrome: he’s a nice boy; didn’t he do well. But where are the fortunes for British racing: Frankel is the Murray without the mint!

Now that Ballydoyle has backed out, Frankel’s opponents tomorrow are down to three. Apart from getting a few more people through the gate, it isn’t a race; the spectacle has been lost.

What would have been the value to our sport had we tempted a top-class field and world-wide TV fever. Millions of pounds? A billion long term?

There are more brains in racing’s hierarchy than I have – I once managed to organize a friendly football match (we lost) – but surely promotion of tomorrow’s Sussex Stakes would have been a worthwhile investment to ‘buy’ the millions it could have created.

I would have gone for a ‘race in a million’ with a ‘win-when-you-lose’ offer? I would have awarded the owner of any Group-winning horse the Sussex Stakes win prizemoney (£179, 487) just for taking part.

If I’d spent a million, I could have had added at least half a dozen Group winners to the Frankel contest tomorrow, and scored sensational headlines all over the planet.

If I’d been even smarter and, from all the eager entries, drawn lots in public – on TV – for the six that would get the money, I would have had a racing X-Factor of major proportions in viewing figures on the day and perpetuated afterwards on the racecourse and on racing TV.

As it is, racing’s ‘promoters’ wouldn’t get a pound from the Dragons’ Den. I can just hear Duncan Bannatyne saying: You’ve got a good product and you’re wasting it.

Frankel is a sensational animal but future equine historians will knock him, as ‘always met the same horses’ and ‘frightened off any worthwhile opposition.’ That’s a scandal for racing and for Frankel himself.

It is the task of racing’s authorities to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s part of what is laughingly called ‘race planning’ (Get the calendar out lads; now let’s see, the Derby comes after the Grand National; that’s two races done already. Nearly time for a gin and tonic).

Meanwhile, the collapse of Ballydoyle – who am I kidding! – lets in John Gosden within a few thousand of topping the trainers’ table. If all of Gosden’s six-hit Group-1 wins had been at home, he’d be the new leader. A Group-3 with Michelangelo today would help.

2.00 Goodwood: Last year’s renewal was dominated by those that raced handily but, the season before off a slower pace, it was possible to win from a ‘sit’ on the wide outside. What the two heats had in common was the class of the winner.

Cai Shen, King Torus and Retrieve are the only horses in the field that have raced in the Pattern and are now dropped to handicap company, while Danadana is improving, and Don’t Call Me, Las Verglas Star and Right Step ran well at Royal Ascot; Kirthill hasn’t had his ground.

Four-year-olds are 6-3 up on five-year-olds in the last nine years, with quality usually winning the day: three of the last six winners have carried 9st 10lb, and only one since 2002 has weighed out sub 8st 11lb.

Not a single winning favourite in sight on the stats, and Mark Johnston, the race’s leading trainer, saddles three outsiders: I fancy Oceanway is best of them poised to reverse Chester form with Licence To Till – particularly with rain – but Landaman, who steps up three grades, ‘could be anything’.

I won’t put you off Danadana (7.8 on BETDAQ as I write), Cai Shen (9.2), Retrieve (10.0), Landaman (12.0), King Torus (22.0); if rain, Oceanway (2.10) and Pivotman (33.0).

Tough one, isn’t it. But, over this trip, on this course, and with their style of running, Cai Shen and Retrieve get my vote on class.

2.35 Goodwood (Gordon Stakes): And now for something completely different: in a race of five winning favourites out of the last six, I can’t see beyond Michelangelo, who should step up now after only two real races.

If he shows half the improvement as others in the Gosden summer blooming of talent, he will reverse Spring form with Noble Mission and that should be enough. The others in the field are nearly horses.

3.10 Goodwood (Lennox Stakes): Richard Hannon has won this twice in the last four years from just the two runners, but Libranno looks vulnerable.

Libranno likes Goodwood and, once Richard Hughes sets sail for home, he will be hard to catch as five times a Group winner, dual scorer on this course.

But he was only fourth in this race last year, and beat only Listed class Edinburgh Knight and Majestic Myles last time. He’s never looked the Group-2 horse of his two-year-old days over 6f.

I think Chachamaidee and Foxtrot Romeo, who have both done well at a mile, can outstay him up the final hill.

The few pounds the three-year-olds get has seen them win four of the last five Lennox Stakes and Foxtrot Romeo, runner-up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, is a nice offer at 6.6.

Chachamaidee was ‘unlucky’ in a Group-2 at Royal Ascot after a slow start, but such tardiness would be ‘unlucky’ on this course all right! Saver.

The real winners are BETDAQ punters this morning. Both the Gordon Stakes and this Lennox had lists of offers in the orange that were the equivalent to 103% at fixed odds, had you been betting with bookmakers.

Except that you can expect those bookies to pay out at SP up to 117% (this race 2010) and 115% (Gordon Stakes last year).

3.45 Goodwood (Molecomb Stakes): Richard Hannon’s last three runners in this have finished 114, and he could Dominate again, though 11.0 suggests he’s got work to do. So has 10.5 stablemate Lyric Ace.

The one they want is Morawij, the Norfolk fourth who won a Listed at Sandown (beat the Queen Mary sixth), but needs it to stay dry.

The Norfolk winner has since taken the Robert Papin, so we are talking the highest class here, and six of the 12 acceptors look exposed, with five or more runs already; that sort of CV has provided the winner of this only twice in the last decade.

Jadanna, fifth in the Queen Mary and third in the Cherry Hinton, looks an ideal ride, dropped back to 5f, for the dashing Dettori and the 6.8 (in a 105% overround) is value, alongside Morawij’s 3.0.

WIN-30 JACKPOT: BET 3.6pts win CAI SHEN and 3.3pts win RETRIEVE (2.00 Goodwood)
BET 12.5pts win (nap) MICHELANGELO (2.35 Goodwood)
BET 3.5pts win FOXTROT ROMEO and 2pts win (saver) CHACHAMAIDEE (3.10 Goodwood)
BET 3.4pts win JADANNA and 1.7pts win (saver) MORAWIJ (3.45 Goodwood)

* Daqman’s selections are backed to win 20 points (unless otherwise stated) so, if you divide 20 by his stake, you know the Betdaq offer taken at the time of writing.

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