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Lucky 15: Course form key for Ninjago as Richard Hughes bids farewell

| 31.07.2015

Horses for courses is a phrase that gets bandied about all too often, and for today’s Lucky 15 we are using that to its full extent.

We’ve picked two horses that simply love an outing on the Sussex Downs, in an each-way multiple that could make this weekend one to remember.

Not only does Saturday bring about the end of Glorious Goodwood. It’s the end of the career of three-time champion jockey Richard Hughes.

And as Hughesie bows out, we’re backing him to rack up at least one more win before retirement…

Slip Sliding Away – Stewards’ Sprint Stakes (Goodwood 14:00)

This eight-year-old simply loves Goodwood’s 6f course, with a record of 11291414 over track and trip, not too shabby considering he’s bumped into some big fields.

He ran a belter in this race last year, finishing a 2l fourth behind Barnet Fair. He’s 4lbs higher in the weights this year, but with 7lb claimer Callum Shepherd on his back has negotiated that.

A win at Windsor a fortnight ago will have him in prime condition for a crack at the prize again. He may be in the twilight of his career, but with the last seven winners aged five-plus it’s worth taking a chance.

Banzari – Chalice Stakes (Newmarket 14:15)

Michael Bell’s filly may have something to find on official ratings with those at the top of the market, but she looks far from exposed at this sort of trip.

On her sole outing over further than 8½f, she finished a credible fourth behind Diamondsandrubies in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester.

With the winner going on to win the Irish Oaks and the runner up Entertainment running credibly in the Ribblesdale Stakes, that form looks solid.

A 10lb weight allowance from seven four-year-olds in the field could see her step up and go close.

Star of Seville – Nassau Stakes (Goodwood 15:10)

This looks a high class renewal of the Nassau Stakes, but with the joint-highest rated in the field around four times the price of favourite Legatissimo, an each-way bet looks in order.

John Gosden’s Musidora Stakes winner was a surprise winner in the Prix De Diane  in Chantilly, claiming a first Group 1 success.

A well-beaten ninth in the Oaks can be forgiven, as she was nearly taken out turning in, and was never able to threaten.

The daughter of Duke of Marmalade is three from three over this sort of trip, and can certainly challenge the places.

Ninjago – Stewards Cup (Goodwood 15:45)

Richard Hannon’s horse has twice gone close in the Stewards Cup without winning it, finishing fifth in 2013, before finding only Intrinsic too strong 12 months ago.

He is 2lbs lower in the weights than on both of those occasions, and having gone close in a course and distance event in May under Richard Hughes looks to enjoy the unique course.

A very average run in the Wokingham Stakes at Ascot needs to be forgiven, but on his day the talent is certainly there.

With two horses very short in the betting, it looks worthwhile taking an each-way price on a horse that has put in massive efforts in this race before, and give Richard Hughes a fitting farewell.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.