Past Winners » Illustrious Blue


llustrious Blue has a fair bit to find on Age Of Aquarius and Tactic on figures, but he has a better chance of winning the Goodwood Cup than odds of 10/1 suggest, and he is worth backing at that. The son of Dansili has been an admirable performer at middle distances over the last two seasons, but he has stepped up another division since he started trying marathon distances, which is quite surprising given that his pedigree is all sprinting at first glance.

He has run three times over two miles, winning a Group 3 race at Ascot in April, and running well to finish fourth behind Akmal in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown in a race that wasn’t run to suit, before he ran a cracker in a listed race at Sandown on Eclipse day, just failing to overhaul the highly talented King Of Wands inside the final 100 yards.

Given Illustrious Blue’s affinity for Goodwood, it is probable that William Knight has been training him specifically for today’s contest since he realised he was a two-mile horse. Six of the nine wins of his career have been gained at the West Sussex track. He has never run over two miles there, so you have to think that going over what looks like his optimum trip at a track that he loves for the first time will enable him produce a career-best, remarkably, at the age of seven. He probably needs a career-best to beat Age Of Aquarius and Tactic, but there is every chance that he will produce one, and the 10/1 is too big. With almost all the bookmakers going ¼ the odds a place, he is an each-way bet.