Gordon Stakes betting tips: Cross Counter the choice for Glorious Goodwood win

Horsebetting.com experts give their 2018 Gordon Stakes betting tips for the Group 3 1m 4f three-year-olds only contest at Glorious Goodwood on day five of the meeting; Saturday, 4 August. Cross Counter is taken from a very small field to land the spoils for Godolphin, while Epsom Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee is the main danger. Sir Michael Stoute’s filly Sun Maiden is an each-way alternative if those two colts fail to fire. Read our 2018 Gordon Stakes betting tips preview to find out why.

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Odds
11/4
Selection
Cross Counter
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Odds
6/4
Danger
Dee Ex Bee
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Odds
5/2
E/W
Sun Maiden
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Cross Counter can grab Gordon glory for Godolphin at Goodwood

What a season leading owners Godolphin and retained trainer Charlie Appleby are having, and these powerful connections send their world famous all blue silks out in search of the 1m 4f Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday (15:00) with Cross Counter.

This three-year-olds only contest has been dominated by other owners for 20 years, but in the 108 rated Cross Counter they have a leggy and athletic colt who followed-up on a fine effort at Royal Ascot by winning last time out over this trip.

The son of Teofilo was a 2 1/2 lengths fourth in the King George V Stakes at the Berkshire venue before returning there to land another class 2 handicap and justify favouritism when scoring by a couple of lengths.

Adam Kirby waited with Cross Counter in last and pushed him along three out to make good progress in the next furlong. He was then driven by his rider and hit the front before the last, staying on strongly to be well on top at the finish.

This was an eye-catching performance and one which suggests making a step up into group company here won’t be a problem. Cross Counter has never failed to make the frame in all five previous career outings and, with a win rate of 60 per cent, is still open to stacks of progress.

A couple of his rivals here haven’t justified their lofty reputations in their displays of late; so, with trainer Appleby in such scintillating form and Godolphin’s retained rider William Buick back in the saddle, Cross Counter looks the value bet in this.

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Dee Ex Bee the danger but must bounce back

Mark Johnston’s course winner Dee Ex Bee was a gallant runner-up in the Epsom Derby to our main selection’s stablemate Masar, but hasn’t lived up to that display since or a lofty revised rating of 116. This assignment is easier than his last three starts, however, and connections have eased him in grade as they seek a return to winning ways.

Normally speaking Classic form commands the utmost respect the length and breadth of Europe. This season, however, it has been turned on its head more than once and that leaves how reliable it is as hugely open to question.

Dee Ex Bee was more than 25 lengths in front of Kew Gardens at Epsom, for example, yet when they met in France last time out for the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris that Aidan O’Brien trained rival turned the tables.

Three other Ballydoyle inmates – Saxon Warrior, Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon – were also behind him in The Derby, yet subsequently finished ahead of Dee Ex Bee in the Irish equivalent at The Curragh. Just how good are these lauded three-year-olds?

With doubts hanging over the Classic form, it’s a leap of faith backing Dee Ex Bee as Johnston works backwards from the St Leger, which was identified as a target following his run in The Derby. This son of Farrh has only actually won two races – his aforementioned debut in a 7f juvenile maiden at Goodwood and an extended mile conditions stakes at Epsom.

At the odds on offer, Dee Ex Bee is worth taking on based on when he has got his head in front. Given the season connections are having with other horses though, it would be no surprise to see him bounce back now significantly eased in grade, so you have to respect him as he’s 8lb and upwards clear of his three rivals here.

Sun Maiden an alternative

Sir Michael Stoute has saddled a record 10 previous winners of the Gordon Stakes, so his Prince Khalid Abdullah owned filly Sun Maiden is another with claims – particularly if her two main market rivals disappoint.

Her handler’s strong showings in this race, which include three of the last four victors, suggest Stoute is second to none when it comes to placing horses here. Sun Maiden is a daughter of Frankel who has had just three career starts and she won the second of those in impressive fashion when bolting up by 12 lengths on reappearance at Salisbury.

Pat Dobbs produced her to lead over two out and pushed her clear for a most facile success. While you can question what Sun Maiden beat, she was then pitched into Group 2 company for the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and was a keeping on 5 1/2 lengths third to Magic Wand.

She also finished behind Epsom Oaks runner-up Wild Illusion, so all things considered it was a credible group debut. Sun Maiden is another eased in grade for this and looks sure to make her presence felt off a mark of 106 – with that ratings gap narrowed by a handy 3lb sex allowance.

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