CHANNEL 4 Racing’s Tanya Stevenson reckons the bookies can get their own back on punters at Glorious Goodwood next week after taking a hammering at Royal Ascot.
The betting expert will be reporting live on Channel 4 from the betting ring at each day of the festival, which begins next Tuesday.
She said Glorious was set to continue what was proving to be a memorable year for racing, but it could be a difficult week for race-goers to find decent winnings.
“I’m looking forward to Goodwood,” said Stevenson.
“I always think Glorious Goodwood comes at a time in the season when you can relax.
“Royal Ascot has come and gone and the narrative for the year is set out, and you can flesh out the stories.
“For the bookmakers, Royal Ascot amounted to bloodshed. It was an intense battle between punters and bookmakers and the punters won four days to the bookies’ one.
“But Goodwood is always harder for the punters – it’s such a difficult track to read, it’s unpredictable. So the bookmakers will be confident of getting their own back.”
Stevenson will be part of the Channel 4 team that also includes presenter Nick Luck, reporters Emma Spencer and Gina Bryce analysts Mick Fitzgerald, Jim McGrath and Graham Cunningham, commentator Simon Holt – plus fashion guru Gok Wan.
Today Stevenson gives Observer readers a head start by looking ahead to some of the week’s biggest races and giving her thoughts and hunches – ahead of final declarations, of course.
The highlight on Tuesday, the opening day, is the Group 2 bet365 Lennox Stakes and Stevenson thinks it’s hard to look beyond Richard Hannon’s Toormore, who has run in Group 1 company.
She said: “Since he won the Craven, he hasn’t been the headline horse in any of his races, and yet some of his defeats have been entirely excusable. For example, finishing six lengths behind Kingman in the St James’ Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot isn’t too bad, is it?”
Wednesday brings the biggest race of the week, the £300,000 QIPCO Sussex Stakes, and Stevenson is confident Kingman will run – and will beat defending champion Toronado.
“He’s something special and I think they’ve deliberately kept him away from all the hype,” she said.
Stevenson thinks Estimate – owned by The Queen – has every chance of winning Thursday’s Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup, even if Brown Panther turns up to defend his title. Estimate is still due to run despite a recent positive test for morphine which came about because of contaminated feed.
“Estimate’s run at Royal Ascot after a long lay-off was superb. They’ve been taking her time with her and she has already beaten Brown Panther this year.”
Her two to keep an eye on in Friday’s Betfred Mile are Pastoral Player and Heaven’s Guest, while Saturday’s Group 1 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes, Stevenson said, could go to O’Brien-trained Tapestry – if entered – or last year’s runner-up Thistle Bird. In the 32Red Cup (Stewards’ Cup), she believes Roger Varian’s Steps and Clive Cox’s Seeking Magic have good chances.
And her other one to watch for the week? Kodi Bear, trained by Clive Cox, set to go in the Vintage Stakes.
Channel 4 will broadcast the first four races of each day live – five on Thursday including the Magnolia Cup ladies’ charity race.
The Morning Line will come live from the racecourse on Saturday morning.
Get Tanya’s Glorious Goodwood tips - and those of our other resident tipsters - on this website on each morning of the festival