Glorious Goodwood Betting Preview: Churchill and Big Orange can shine at the Goodwood Festival

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Churchill to win the Sussex Stakes at 2/1 (3.00) with Sun Bets (Top Bet)

Big Orange to win the Goodwood Cup at Evens (2.00) with William Hill

On Tuesday the 1st of August, Michael Bell’s star stayer Big Orange will bid to complete a famous treble by landing three Goodwood Cups in a row, having won the 2015 and 2016  renewals of this historic contest over the two mile trip on the Sussex Downs.

Several great stayers have managed to win the race twice, the likes of Le Moss, Further Flight, Persian Punch and Yeats coming to mind.

Double Trigger is the only horse to win it three times in 1995, and 1997-8, but Grey Shot won the race in 1996. Big Orange is a little different to those before him for several reasons, the most glaring being he comes into this year’s Goodwood Cup as a very warm favourite on the back of a career best victory when landing the Ascot Gold Cup at Royal Ascot back in June.

A fairytale ending is in sight for this big and imposing six-year-old gelding, a horse that has warmed the hearts of racing fans up and down the country with his highly attractive blend of class, stamina and resilience.

Looking at the Goodwood Cup betting market for the 2017, Big Orange is in a league of his own and surely already has a hoof or two already on the Cup, particularly if he can maintain his outstanding form so far this flat season.

On day two of the Glorious Goodwood Festival, yet another “Duel on the Downs” is taking shape, as crack miler Ribchester bids to follow up his fairly flawless victory in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, by getting the better of the brilliant dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill.

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Ribchester is a quite brilliant horse with a cast iron constitution and Richard Fahey’s stable star has done nothing but sharpen his tools and get better in recent seasons.

In winning the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury early in the season, he left behind a below par run at Meydan first time out to set up a tilt at Royal Ascot, where the four-year-old proved too hot for Mutakayyef, who has won since albeit in lesser company.

Ribchester is a top miler, but in Churchill – despite him needing to bounce back from a poor run at Ascot – he faces arguably his toughest test to date if that horse is indeed back to his best.

Since the turn of the century 16-years ago, three-year-olds have won no less than 11 renewals of this race. The likes of Rock Of Gibraltar, Frankel, Canford Cliffs and Kingman are on the roll of honour.

In receipt of 8lb from his older rival, Churchill is taken to roar back to form for Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore and the Coolmore operation who think so much of this regally bred son of Galileo.

He was a brilliant juvenile and developed sufficiently over the winter to justify favouritism in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and follow up at the Curragh a few weeks later in the Irish version.

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In the St’ James’s Palace stakes at Royal Ascot he was expected to beat Barney Roy once again, but simply posted a flat effort; one his trainer was keen to draw a line under.

Churchill is usually so well balanced and reliable, it seems more likely than not that the team at Ballydoyle will be able to get him back to his best and if they can, then he has what it takes to put his youth and weight for age allowance to good use by beating Europe’s premier older horses in the mile division.

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