The Goodwood Tips - history against Vega Magic as $34 chance looms

  • Five of the past 10 The Goodwood winners have been at big prices.
  • History against the favourite

At Morphettville on Saturday, reigning Darley Goodwood champion Vega Magic will aim to become the first horse in more than a century to win the $1 million feature in consecutive years. 


Musket Belle (1911-12) was the last dual winner of the race when it was run under handicap conditions, and prior to that, only one other has achieved the feat – Mostyn 1894-95.

To add to the ‘against’ argument based on history alone, only six favourites have saluted in the past 35 years, making it a race to try and find value, and Takeover Target is the only winner in that period to have carried more than 57kg and won. 

For the record, Takeover Target carried 58.5kg to win and the only other three horses in that time frame to carry 57kg to victory are: Black Heart Bart (2016), Black Caviar (2012) and Super Elegant (2004).

That’s some esteemed company, and one thing is for certain, if Vega Magic can win, he will have rightfully earned his place in history. 

However, I’ll be taking him on and have found one at big odds that can cause an upset. 

Vega Magic won last year’s The Goodwood in a time of 1:09.34, and that’s a fairly standard benchmark for this race.

Shoals won last fortnight’s Robert Sangster in 1:09.19, and it was the 3rd placegetter, Mica Lil, that really caught the eye and is open to improvement. 

Mica Lil and Secret Agenda (2nd) ran the equal quickest final 200m split of the race (11.47), but Mica Lil now drops to 52.5kg while Secret Agenda carries the same weight (56.5kg).

That 4kg weight swing in favour of Mica Lil must be relevant. 

Her first and second-up runs for new trainer Mark Minervini produced a win at the track and trip in a time of 1:10.10, followed by a runner-up effort behind Whispering Brook in 1:10.08.

Both of those efforts were on a Good 4, so to come out last start and finish 2.6 lengths from Shoals on a Soft 5, she rated at least five lengths above her previous performances. 

She should be at her absolute peak now and drops 4kg from last start, so, without any physical improvement at all, Mica Lil can at least reach Shoals’ benchmark on the weight drop alone. 

Taking track conditions into account, that rating would be good enough to be right in the finish in every Goodwood since 1998.

Mica Lil was also held up momentarily behind Super Cash as the approached the turn, and as they straightened, she had to switch around three sets of heels to try and find clear running before really only getting clear in the final 200m.

She’ll get back in the run as usual, but with a bit of luck slicing through the field, she’s a great chance at big odd. 

Although this mare is at $34 and most won’t give her a chance, you only have to look back through The Goodwood history books to see how many times the bookies and punters got it wrong.

Previous big-priced The Goodwood winners:
20/1 Flamberge (2015) 
40/1 Smokin’ Joey (2014)
30/1 Lone Rock (2011) 
30/1 Shadoways (2008)
30/1 Let Go Thommo (2007) 

So, within a space of 10 years, half The Goodwood winners have been at an average price of 30/1.

Local mare Viddora represents good value at around the $9 mark, while Darren Weir’s Handsome Thief is probably over the odds at $26.

A wide-open contest, but at $34, Mica Lil will do me. 

*State exclusions apply to some offers. NSW Residents are excluded from welcome bonuses. Please read the T&Cs of each offer with each bookmaker.


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The Goodwood Tips - history against Vega Magic as $34 chance looms

At Morphettville on Saturday, reigning Darley Goodwood champion Vega Magic will aim to become the first horse in more than a century to win the $1 million feature in consecutive years.

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