Value Bet: Van Percy to strike
Ben Linfoot has three Value Bet selections for the opening day at Glorious Goodwood, including Van Percy.
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Mark Johnston and Richard Hannon have dominated Glorious Goodwood in recent years, and though it's a different Richard Hannon with his name on the licence these days it looks set to be the same old story this week.
Both trainers are well represented in the opening bet365.com Handicap with three runners apiece, making up a third of the race and it's Johnston's SALUTATION that looks the best bet of the lot at 9/1.
After going through his form the common denominator when he runs well seems to be fast ground and, despite a few showers in the vicinity of the track, he should get such conditions on Tuesday.
- 1pt win Salutation in 1.55 Goodwood at 9/1 (General) - conditions should suit and yard always worth watching here
- 1pt win Viewpoint in 1.55 Goodwood at 20/1 (Boylesports, Ladbrokes) - last year's winner has been underestimated in the market
- 1pt win Van Percy in 3.40 Goodwood at 10/1 (General) - still progressing at this trip and ground should be ideal
He did last time at Royal Ascot where he ran a cracker behind Arab Spring over a mile and a half, his forcing tactics just proving fallible over that trip against a top-class rival.
Though he is probably better over 12 furlongs (there are no handicap options for him over that trip this week), a mile and a quarter is fine for him and he has good form at the track after a second at this meeting last year.
That day he shaped as though a slightly sharper trip would be ideal and you can expect Michael Murphy to try and make all despite a wide draw in 16.
Johnston is in fine form and though Salutation's chance is obvious and he has already been backed, the general 9/1 remains fair.
Dangers are everywhere but the overpriced one is last year's winner VIEWPOINT who might be another example of an underestimated stable 'second-string'.
Hannon has Sea Shanty as his main hope with Richard Hughes on board, but the useful Cam Hardie takes 5lb off Viewpoint who looked like he was approaching something like his best form last time.
The handicapper has relented and dropped him 6lb in his last two runs, so he's actually just 2lb higher than when he won this race last year.
Factor in Hardie's claim, who is one from one on him, and he's a well-handicapped horse back at a track he excels on for connections who farm winners at this meeting.
The 20/1 on offer looks worth taking.
Later on, in the bet365 Summer Handicap, VAN PERCY is worth backing at double-figure prices for Andrew Balding.
This horse has plenty more to offer at this sort of trip following his victory at Newmarket earlier in the campaign and you can put a line through his run in the Northumberland Plate from a difficult draw last time.
The Sir Percy gelding has really grown up this year and has settled much better in his races, allowing him to come home in good style over a mile and six.
He won off 89 at Newmarket but was highly impressive and he can resume winning ways from just a 6lb higher mark.
He excels on fast ground, has run well on his only visit to the track (finished just behind the aforementioned Salutation last season) and the race should be run to suit this hold-up merchant who can land the spoils with a withering late thrust.
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: +273.31pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).