Our racing expert Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day one of Glorious Goodwood with Speak In Colours fancied to land the Lennox Stakes.
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The Frankie Dettori Group One roadshow rolls into day one of Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday with Stradivarius aiming to give his jockey his 10th top-level success since May 31 in the Qatar Goodwood Cup.
He’s odds-on to do so as he goes for an eighth successive victory and a third consecutive Goodwood Cup, two years on from when he made his Group One breakthrough in this very race when graduating from the Queen’s Vase as a three-year-old.
Given he loves it round here and holds Dee Ex Bee and Cross Counter on their Ascot Gold Cup form, it’s the three-year-olds that offer a new threat and this year’s Queen’s Vase winner, DASHING WILLOUGHBY (28/1 Paddy Power/Betfair 1/5 1,2,3), could well be a danger back up in trip.
He ran a career best in defeat behind Communique last time and shouldn’t be underestimated receiving 15lb from the older horses, as he improved on his Royal Ascot-winning form at Newmarket and could well find more again running over two miles for the first time, while any race-day rain would be in his favour as well.
It’s great that Andrew Balding is having a go with a good three-year-old, as none did in this race last season and it’s such a generous weight-for-age allowance over the trip at this time of year.
Giving so much weight away asks a new question of Stradivarius, and, while he'll probably be up to the task, I don’t think the selection is a 28/1 chance. He should be closer to Cross Counter and Dee Ex Bee in the betting and is worth getting onside each-way.
Balding might've already had a winner by then as Dashing Willoughby’s stablemate JOHNNY DRAMA (14/1 General) has a good chance of making a winning debut for his new yard in the opening Unibet Handicap.
The lightly-raced four-year-old made such a big impression when winning by seven lengths on his handicap debut at Roscommon in May that the King Power chequebook was swiftly whipped out and he’s easily forgiven his Royal Ascot run last time.
That was over 1m4f in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap and he helped set a pace that just collapsed in the straight, as did stablemate Pivoine who bounced back in style to win the John Smith’s Cup at York on his next start.
Back over 10 furlongs from a great stall in one, the front-running Johnny Drama could be well-positioned to strike under Silvestre De Sousa as his natural running style is well suited to this track.
However, I do want another well-drawn prominent racer on side as PLUTONIAN looks a big price at 20/1 (General) on the form of his excellent second in this race last year.
Drawn in 13 that day, PJ McDonald did brilliantly to get across and dominate, only William Haggas' Alfarris getting to him by half-a-length at the line.
That horse is winning good handicaps in Australia now, while the race also had subsequent Royal Hunt Cup winner Afaak in fourth and this year’s John Smith’s Cup winner Pivoine in sixth.
It’s good form and Plutonian is 1lb lower this time around and drawn much better in stall four, too, while PJ McDonald is back on board for the first time since this race 12 months ago.
Obviously, there' s a reason he's 20/1 and it's his recent form. He hasn't beaten a rival on his last two starts at York and Chelmsford, but there have been excuses as he looked off colour when outpaced over a speedy mile at York, while he lost a shoe last time out at Chelmsford.
Some punters won't forgive him those runs, but I'm happy to now he's back at a track he likes off a good handicap mark and with the odds in our favour as well.
Finally, SPEAK IN COLOURS’ speed could help him win the Qatar Lennox Stakes (3.00) for Joseph O’Brien at 10/1 (BoyleSports, 888Sport).
There's no standout star in this race and Speak In Colours is officially rated just 2lb off the best of these, while there is good reason to think he can be even better over seven furlongs.
Unraced over the distance, he's shaped like a seventh furlong would suit him on various occasions, including when he was a running-on fourth in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.
His dam won over seven furlongs and his sire, Excelebration, was brilliant over the trip, winning by wide margins over seven on two occasions, his only defeat at the distance coming at the hands of the mighty Frankel.
There are a few horses in here that look vulnerable to a speed horse, namely Zaaki and Hey Gaman, who have both dropped back in trip from a mile and further.
Speak In Colours could well be that horse and he's taken his consistency to a new level this season, his latest win under a penalty just a week after his Royal Ascot exploits a good example of his new-found toughness.
Given a month off since then, he'll be primed and ready for this first go at seven furlongs, from a good draw in stall three, and he's worth backing at double-figure prices.
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 and Ireland. Running total: +371.19pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
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Posted at 1700 BST on 29/07/19.