Golden Mile Handicap preview: Escobar value at GoodwoodPublished on: July 31, 2019Author: David Metcalf
The big betting race at Goodwood on Friday is the ultra-competitive Golden Mile Handicap (15:00).
Escobar is right at the top of his game at present, so at 9/1 with 888sport looks decent value to land the spoils.
This David O’Meara trained five-year-old endured a horror passage in this race 12 months ago when constantly denied a clear run and finishing a four-length eighth of 17 to Seniority off a mark of 102.
The son of Famous Name is now able to race off 1lb lower having posted two cracking efforts following a break.
In the first of those at Sandown, Escobar was slowly away before finishing with a rattle to be beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Mojito in the 13-runner Coral Challenge.
It was huge run given how the race panned out, and he has since gone on to score in fine style at Haydock when cleverly beating Rise Hall by three-quarters of a length.
Escobar was given an ice cool ride by Jamie Spencer and, after challenging on the bit two out, only had to be shaken up to assert close home and score with tons in hand off a mark of 100.
He is due to race of 104 in the future as a result but – as this is an early closing race – Escobar is able to run off 101.
It means that he is 3lb well-in at the weights and makes him one of the best handicapped horses in the 22-runner line up.
So, with Spencer once again in the saddle, there is nothing not to like about the profile of Escobar and he simply had to be the main selection in this Golden Mile Handicap preview.
Mojito a major player in Golden Mile Handicap
The aforementioned Mojito heads the betting at 9/2 with BetVictor and looks sure to go well under red-hot jockey Frankie Dettori.
This Hugo Palmer trained five-year-old progressed into a really useful sort in 2017 when winning three times.
He then got injured on his final start of the campaign when a 36-length last of 18 to Accidental Agent and subsequently spent 637 days on the sidelines.
However, connections persevered with Mojito and that patience paid off when he landed the Coral Challenge at Sandown last month.
The son of Requinto made virtually all in the hands of Dettori and asserted inside the final furlong to score decisively from Escobar.
Mojito tanked along for most of the 1m contest and the way in which he got the job done suggested he could be a pattern performer in the making.
He now meets the Escobar on exactly the same terms, and like that rival is also 3lb well-in at the weights. The big question, however, is whether he will be able to back up that performance.
Mojito clearly had major problems, so there is every chance that he could bounce as this race comes just 27 days after his Sandown exterions. For that reason alone he looks opposable at the odds on offer.
Seniority weighted to go well in repeat bid
Seniority won this 12 months ago and looks weighted to make a bold bid to retain his crown.
The Sir Michael Stoute trained five-year-old, who carries the colours of the Queen, was held up that day by Ryan Moore and had to weave his way through the pack.
He found himself behind a wall of horses as the furlong marker, but when eventually seeing daylight showed a smart turn of foot to get up close home and score going away by half-a-length from Poet’s Society off a mark of 98.
Seniority is able to race in this year’s renewal off just 3lb higher and comes into the contest on the back of an eye-catching, staying on and never nearer fourth of 12 to Military Law at Newcastle.
That was the second start back from a break for the son of Dubawi and he should now be fully tuned to do himself justice.
This has clearly been the long term target for Seniority, who has a 37 per cent strike rate over the 1m trip and underfoot conditions to suit.
Moore, who is once again in the saddle, also gets a good tune out of Seniority having won twice and been placed once on him in four starts.
So, at 16/1 with William Hill, who are paying five places, Seniority has more going for him than his odds would suggest and makes plenty of each-way appeal.
Beat Le Bon an improving sort
In a race where a case can be made for plenty, the progressive Beat Le Bon is another well worth considering each-way at the 14/1 on offer with Unibet, who are also paying five places.
This Richard Hannon trained three-year-old has won three of his five starts this season and comes into the contest in seek of a hat-trick.
After running on strongly to readily account for Jack’s Point in a 14-runner handicap over 7f at this venue, Beat Le Bon defied a 7lb rise in the weights to get up in the final stride and beat Kimifive by a nose at Haydock.
The son of Wootton Bassett travelled well for much of the latter and there was lots to like about the way he responded to pressure to reel in the eventual runner-up.
Judged on the manner of both those successes he looks well worth another crack at the mile trip of this.
The assessor has also only put Beat Le Bon up a further 3lb – that could be lenient, given that he is clearly on an upward curve.
Beat Le Bon is also unbeaten in two starts under Pat Dobbs and has bagged a good draw in stall three, so everything looks in place for a big run.
He thus features as another potential each-way punt in a fiendishly fierce renewal of the Golden Mile Handicap.