A nationwide American television audience will be treated to another premier English racing fixture this week when NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), which has given prominent coverage to Royal Ascot
in recent years, broadcasts two hours of action from Day 2 of the Goodwood Festival (a.k.a. "Glorious Goodwood") on Wednesday morning (9-11 a.m. EDT).
The broadcast will include coverage of the five-day meet's signature event, the Sussex (G1), which carries a purse of more than $1.35 million and traditionally serves as the season's first clash between the best classic generation milers and their older counterparts. Those that tuned in to Day 1 coverage of the Royal Ascot meet in June should be familiar with the major contenders in Wednesday's showdown, which is a Breeders' Cup
"Win & You're In" Challenge race for the Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in November.
You can watch and wager on the Goodwood Festival from Tuesday through Saturday at TwinSpires.com. FREE Brisnet past performances are available here.
Here are things to watch for during the two-hour televised window on Wednesday:
I have somewhat of a personal interest in this 1 1/2-mile handicap for three-year-olds as the likely favorite in both the U.S. and overseas markets is #10 KOSCIUSZKO
, whose maiden-breaking effort last September 14 at Sandown I happened to witness first hand.
Thinking him a colt with a future after that gate-to-wire victory over a mile, I'd been patiently waiting for him to return to action for nearly 10 months after that score. Unbeknownst to me, the John Gosden-trained son of Australia slipped in a start on July 11 at Newbury while I was vacationing and my attention elsewhere. It turned out okay (for me) as the China Horse Club-owned colt finished fifth (to a next-out Newmarket winner) in that 1 1/4-mile race.
Kosciuszko steps up to 1 1/2 miles on Wednesday and will be ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori. That will obviously depress his odds everywhere, but early betting forecasts suggest he could still be trading as a 5-1 favorite in the field of 14. It will be interesting to see if he has the look of a potential stakes horse after this race.
Race 3 -- Molecomb (G3)
All eyes in this five-furlong dash for two-year-olds will be on #1 Maven
, the Wesley Ward trainee who provided Triple Crown winner American Pharoah with his first winner back in April. Sent to Royal Ascot, Maven was a late withdrawal there due to the state of the ground, but was re-routed to Chantilly a week later and won the Prix du Bois (G3) over five furlongs. The straight five-furlong course at Goodwood, which undulates slightly down to the finish, should benefit a quick horse like Maven.
With Dettori up, though, Maven will not be a great betting proposition from a price perspective. A potentially appealing alternative is #12 HAND ON MY HEART
, a filly that beat winners on debut at Windsor late last month. She's bred to be a good one as she's by Iffraaj (who won the Lennox [G2] at Glorious Goodwood) and is a half-sister to Heartache, winner of the Queen Mary (G2) and Flying Childers (G2) over five panels in her freshman season.
Race 4 -- Sussex (G1)
The classic generation will be favored to beat their elders here. The former group is led by #8 TOO DARN HOT
, last year's juvenile champion who trainer John Gosden finally got back on the winning track with a three-length score in the Prix Jean Prat (G1) at Deauville last time. Two starts back, Too Darn Hot was third to #5 Circus Maximus
in the St. James's Palace (G1) on Day 1 of Royal Ascot. Farther down in that field was #7 Phoenix of Spain
, who had upset Too Darn Hot in the Irish 2000 Guineas (G1).
The best of the elders is arguably #2 Lord Glitters
, who won the Queen Anne (G1) in the Royal Ascot meet opener and was two lengths third in the 2018 Sussex. #1 Accidental Agent
hasn't won since posting an upset of the 2018 Queen Anne, while Prix d'Ispahan (G1) winner #3 Zabeel Prince
shortens up to a better distance after being outclassed in the Prince of Wales's (G1) and Eclipse (G1) over 10 furlongs.
As a long-standing Too Darn Hot fan (I witnessed him win the Champagne [G2] at Doncaster the day after Kosciuszko's victory), I indeed hope he runs well.
With Circus Maximus a bit of a tough read, I'll be linking Too Darn Hot in Exactas with Lord Glitters and Phoenix of Spain.
2018 Sussex Stakes photo courtesy of @Goodwood_Races