Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections on day one of Glorious Goodwood and he fancies horses in the opening handicap and the Lennox Stakes.
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The Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes (3.35) takes centre stage on day one of Glorious Goodwood and reigning champion Stradivarius appears to have a tight grip on the trophy.
This time last year he took advantage of the 15lb weight-for-age allowance to storm to victory under Andrea Atzeni and the same jockey gets the chance to repeat the feat in the absence of the suspended Frankie Dettori.
No three-year-olds take on Stradivarius this time around, which is a shame, and it means that he has a golden chance of taking another step towards the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million bonus as we know he’s got the beating of the older horses.
He showed that in the Ascot Gold Cup last time and the drop back to two miles is of no concern as he’s a stayer with plenty of pace.
He’s expected to take the feature and is priced up accordingly at around 4/7, but the Group Two Qatar Lennox Stakes (3.00) is a much more difficult puzzle.
Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win heads the market here and he deserves to do so on his effort at Newmarket, but he was below that form in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and, on balance, he’s worth taking on at 4/1.
Sir Dancealot is a good horse that has been in fine form on the July Course but he hasn’t yet achieved the level of form that SUEDOIS has and at 13/2 (General) he’s well worth backing.
He probably deserves to be at least disputing favouritism as he boasts top-class form at his best and judging by his latest effort at Ascot he’s about to peak again over a trip that could well be his optimum.
A July Cup runner-up over six furlongs and a Grade One winner in America over a mile, an easy mile or seven furlongs looks to be his ideal distance these days and that’s certainly how he shaped in the Group Two Summer Mile at Ascot last time.
Held up towards the rear in the early stages by Danny Tudhope, he made an eye-catching move from the rear to first in the home straight before just being reeled in by two stronger stayers inside the last 50 yards.
Those two, Beat The Bank and Suedois’ stablemate Lord Glitters, look likely to have a big say in the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday and the selection can frank that form over seven a day before the mile contest.
Last season he needed three or four runs before reaching his peak and that looks to have been the case again. With three runs under his belt and that excellent run at Ascot last time in the bag he looks all set to post a season’s-best performance.
In this race last year he was an unlucky half-length third after finding trouble in the run, but that was when he was stepping up from six and they can ride him much more positively now they are confident about the trip.
Still, it’s good that he’s acted well on this course before and that can help him get a deserved win on the board for the in-form David O’Meara stable.
Stablemate So Beloved has a chance as well as he loves Goodwood and could reverse Newmarket form with Sir Dancealot. He’s harder to win with, though, doesn’t quite have the class of Suedois and is also entered for Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes.
Earlier on, MEDRANO looks a big each-way price at 20/1 (bet365 1/4 1,2,3, 18/1 general) in the opening Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap (1.50) over 10 furlongs.
The Archipenko gelding was third in a Cocked Hat Stakes and fourth in a Gordon Stakes (behind Highland Reel) at this track as a three-year-old and was rated 109 in his pomp.
He wasn’t seen for 549 days until returning for his new trainer Daniel Kubler at Ripon in April and a really poor run there followed by another at Salisbury, both on testing ground, saw his rating drop from 95 to 85.
However, he’s been rediscovering his mojo on the all-weather since then and put in a really good effort at Wolverhampton last time, coming from off the pace and finding a little trouble in the run as he tried to reel in the prominent-racing Super Kid.
He couldn’t quite manage it, but it was a terrific effort in second and he was only nudged up 2lb on the back of it.
At Kempton in June he also finished ahead of Mark Johnston’s Rainbow Rebel, a horse disputing favouritism here after rattling in a hat-trick since.
That horse has clearly improved massively, but Medrano does get a 14lb pull at the weights after beating him six lengths and he does look to be improving himself judging by that Wolverhampton effort.
He’s got a nice draw in six and the icing on the cake is the in-form Silvestre de Sousa being booked to ride. He has four wins to his name from 10 rides for Kubler.
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: +349.34pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 30/07/18.