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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Go low: stats suggest favourite Society Power has luck of the draw

William Haggas: "Society Power is a good horse - very useful - so should be competitive."
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2.30 Goodwood
Netbet Sport Handicap | 7f, 3yo | ITV4/RUK

The draw is, as always, a talking point in big-field handicaps around the Goodwood bend, especially in three-year-old races, and the stats confirm a double-figure berth is a drawback, with the last five winners drawn 36323 – although stall ten has placed four times.

As such, favourite Society Power has a good draw in two and his closest market rivals in the £100,000 contest are all drawn around him with the exception of the John Gosden-trained Emaraaty, who is in stall 11.

Outside draw worries Johnston

Mark Johnston has won two of the last three runnings of this race, including last year with Sutter County.

However, his runners, Aquarium and Vale Of Kent, are outsiders with draws in 14 and 15 in the 16-runner field, although Vale Of Kent has a good pull at the weights with favourite Society Power for a neck beating on the all-weather this year.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: "It's going to be hard from their draws.

"They like to go forward and will try to get across from their draws and will need a bit of luck.

"Most of their runs have been on synthetic surfaces so we're not sure if soft ground will suit them."

Dismiss Hannon at your peril

Richard Hannon won this race with Oh This Is Us two years ago and his runners are always on the premises, with three seconds and a third in the last five years.

Al Shaqab, the marquee sponsors at Goodwood, own this year's contender Ateem, as they did last year's runner-up Medahim. 

Richard Hannon: three runners in Italy and one in France on Sunday

Hannon said: "He's drawn very badly in stall 16 and this will make it hard for him. He's in good form at home and won well last time on a track that didn’t suit him. I'd hope he can settle in midfield and hit the line strong."

Latest betting on the race

Hannon is also represented in the two Listed races on the card, with Billesdon Bess in the Festival Stakes (1.55) and Euginio in the Tapster Stakes (3.45) on a day when Goodwood officials will be hoping there is no repeat of the 50-man brawl that marred their last Saturday meeting three weeks ago. Security has been stepped up considerably since.

What they say

John Gosden, trainer of Emaraaty
He's been a bit keen in his work, which is why he's wearing a hood. Going around a bend should suit, and hopefully he can finish off his race well.

George Scott, trainer of Another Batt
His draw has slightly taken the wind out of my sails but he's a very fast horse away from the gates and hopefully can get a prominent position. He's improving and I expect him to run another big race.

William Haggas, trainer of Society Power
He's very well and I'm very happy with him. He's a good horse – very useful – so should be competitive.

Clive Cox, trainer of Grand Koonta
We have a lot of confidence in him over six and seven furlongs and hopefully conditions will not be too easy as he appreciates a drier surface.

Richard Fahey, trainer of Zap and Maybride
Zap will be spot on for this after a good return. We thought he might have needed it at York and he had a bad draw and we had to drop him in but he flew home. Maybride is progressive but disappointingly drawn out in 13. The rain's a boost and any more would be welcome.

Eve Johnson Houghton, trainer of Statuario
He'll appreciate the rain they've had but the seven furlongs might be a little sharp for him

Ralph Beckett, trainer of Richenza
It's a big ask for her rider, Emma Wilkinson, having only her tenth ride, but she can do the weight and, working for me, knows the filly well. Richenza is a straightforward ride; the draw is a problem but she'll enjoy the ground.

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They like to go forward and will try to get across from their draws and will need a bit of luck
E.W. Terms
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