Lay down the Law
Ben Linfoot provides his Value Bet preview ahead of day one at Glorious Goodwood and makes Spirit Of The Law his headline tip.
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After weeks of hot sunshine and fast ground day one of Glorious Goodwood looks like being, ironically, a wet one.
Looking at the forecast for Tuesday there could be plenty of heavy showers before and during racing, which throws a spanner in the works for punters eyeing up the markets the day before.
The opening race of the meeting is an 18-runner handicap over 10 furlongs and if the rain does come I hope there are no more than two non-runners as I'll be backing SPIRIT OF THE LAW each-way at 20/1.
This horse, trained by Richard Fahey, goes very well when there is cut in the ground and he's been in good form in the main this season, winning at Yarmouth and finishing second at Newcastle last time.
The ground was good to soft that day and he led until well inside the final furlong where Whispering Warrior, a rival who re-opposes on Tuesday, got on top late on.
A 6lb pull at the weights in favour of Spirit Of The Law could well be enough to reverse that form and he's over twice the price of David Simcock's runner which seems generous.
If the rain does get into the ground in time for the opener there aren't too many in the field that have proven form on softer ground, but course specialist Blue Surf relishes such conditions and is a major player.
I was toying with the idea of backing him but was hoping for a bit bigger than 8/1 and I'll pass at that price seeing as the handicapper may have him where he wants him.
Mark Johnston's red-hot form coincides with his favourite meeting this year and punters will be looking up his runners with interest throughout the five days.
However, plenty could be over-bet too and Oriental Fox looks very short at around 9/2 in the bet365 Summer Handicap at 15.40.
He was a good second in the Northumberland Plate but has gone up 4lb in the weights for that defeat which is enough to put me off the infrequent winner.
Instead, the 9/1 on offer about Roger Charlton's CLOWANCE ESTATE might just be a good bit of business.
This lightly-raced son of Teofilo has won two of three starts and was unlucky when third at Windsor last time, banging himself when leaving the gates which was enough for James Doyle to give him a chance to find his legs in the early stages.
Considering that he ran a blinder to finish a close third, staying on very well and as if the extra distance would suit him too.
Whether he will go on softer ground should the rain fall requires guesswork, but on the plus side Charlton's string remains in fine form. He's operated at over 28 per cent for his win strike-rate in July.
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet Aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +261.56pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current). The column is +129.25pts to recommended stakes in 2013.