Goodwood’s 2024 flat racing season opens on Friday – preview and selections

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Goodwood Racecourse hosts its 2024 season opener on Friday – a surefire sign that summer is on the horizon.

Racing gets under way at the Sussex track at 1.30pm with a class two conditions stakes for three-year-olds before rounding off at 5pm with a class five handicap.

The opener (1.30) sees a very small field of just three runners kick off the new season at the track and Devil’s Point is the one to beat for his two rivals.

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The David Menusier-trained three-year-old finished second in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity at Doncaster at the back end of last season. This season, Devil’s Point was below par when seventh at Deauville in a group three but will have come on for that run so will take all the beating here.

They race at Goodwood on Friday and Saturday to get the new season under way | Picture: Clive BennettThey race at Goodwood on Friday and Saturday to get the new season under way | Picture: Clive Bennett
They race at Goodwood on Friday and Saturday to get the new season under way | Picture: Clive Bennett

Race two (2.05) looks a very hot 1m 6f handicap in class four where the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Manxman is bidding for a superb five-timer, last seen when winning at Pontefract in September last year and makes his seasonal bow with a 10lb hike on ratings for that success - which he can defy to score a fifth straight win. The Gary Moore-trained Crescent Lake, who has won this race previously, is also of interest having won three times last season.

Ellomate looks to be the play on the third race on the card (2.40), who finished behind Lady Lightning at Wolverhampton on April 8 and the duo re-oppose here. Ellomate looked the type who is open to progress and can turn the tables at Goodwood, with the duo likely to complete the top two at the finish.

Race four (3.15) is a nine-runner handicap in class three over the 6f trip. The Patrick Chamings-trained Spanish Star won this race last year and looks well-primed to repeat that success following an encouraging start to this season when fourth of 16 at Newbury a fortnight ago.

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The main threat can come from Many A Star, a course and distance winner last season who has won twice on the all-weather in the past three weeks, narrowly denied a hat trick at Leicester a fortnight ago and is thriving for nis new trainer, Jamie Osborne.

The fifth race of the meeting (3.50) is the feature race on the card worth a little more than £20,000 to the winner and a chance is taken on Dream Composer, who wasn’t at his best at Newmarket when last seen but is back to defend his title here of a 5lb higher mark and can repeat his success of last year.

Ten runners will tackle the 1m1f handicap at 4.25 where Portsmouth and Show Biz Kid will once again line up against each other as they did at Epsom just over a week ago and the latter is the selection for Goodwood to get the better of his rival with a 6lb pull in the weights and stepping up ion distance, which Show Biz Kid looked like he needed at Epsom.

Finally, the card comes to a close with the 1m class five handicap at 5.00 and preference in the finale is for Phoenix Passion, a Yarmouth winner last year who also scored at Windsor earlier this campaign.

Goodwood selections - Friday (via Grosvenor Sport)

1.30 - Devil’s Point

2.05 - Crescent Lake

2.40 - Ellomate

3.15 - Spanish Star

3.50 - Dream Composer

4.25 - Show Biz Kid

5.00 - Phoenix Passion

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