Tony Calvin is back for day two at Glorious Goodwood and our man is excited to watch his three selection run from his armchair... if he ever escapes his bathroom that is...
"The rain since Sunday has enhanced his claims, for all there probably won't be any ease in the ground by Wednesday afternoon, and the 4yo is entitled to come forward again on just his 11th start."
It is just as well that I don't go racing much these days, because if I had travelled down to Goodwood last night, I would probably have come back to a house minus a kitchen ceiling.
I normally wake up at around 5am, pick up and answer any overnight emails and messages, and throw out the odd abusive tweet to all and sundry, before venturing out of bed around an hour later.
I wish I would have got up straight away this morning though, as when I ambled downstairs from my third-floor boudoir, I found the bathroom taps blasting full-on and the floor already flooded.
The damage was bad enough, with the water seeping down the walls and through into the kitchen below, so god knows what I would have come back to had I not been there, or had been a late riser.
The drunken son responsible didn't look to be stirring any time soon - well, not until I started roaring at him anyway.
Rock solid Lion has to be on the premises
Which leads me neatly - if somewhat in a contrived manner - to Coeur De Lion in the opener at 13:50 at Goodwood.
Now, this horse gets into more trouble than my aforementioned offspring is going to cop when I see him later, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is a winner waiting to happen in a big staying handicap.
So I am more than happy to back him at 5/1 each way, four places, in this 14-runner handicap.
You can obviously see why Lil Rockerfeller shades him in the betting - he is rated just 82 on the Flat, as opposed to his hurdles mark of 153 (has been 164) - and that Kloud Gate is towards the top of the market, too.
But Coeur De Lion just looks incredibly solid, as well as frustrating.
He has hit the bar at Newbury and Chester over 2m2f this season, and then got going too late in the Ascot Stakes - some feat that over 2m4f - and he then again met trouble in running before staying on up the far rail to finish third to Stratum and Kloud Gate over 2m at Newbury last time.
There is little doubt that he is made for marathon tests like this, and it is surprising, and welcome, that he has only gone up 4lb for those four, good recent efforts.
Put it this way, if he is out of the first four, then I will have done a lot of money here. He looks as solid as you like, and the expected good ground after Tuesday's rain - he handles fast and dig, anyway - is fine and hopefully things will fall his way for once.
Step back in trip can yield Gold for Lynwood
When I first looked at the 14:25 I didn't think I would get involved, but I was going to play two at a price at one stage.
First up was going to be Bartholomeu Dias at 16/1+ until I thought better of it.
The Charlie Hills stable looks like it may just be coming out of a barren spell in recent days, and his charge will hopefully have benefitted from a gelding operation since we last saw him finishing second here in June.
That isn't a great surprise as he looked a right boyo there, becoming of the few horses to have tried to take a chunk out of a rival during a race, so hopefully losing his cojones would have straightened him out.
He certainly has the talent to be competitive off this mark - he was mixing it with the likes of Masar and September last season - but the question now is does he have the attitude?
I was going to pay to find out but I bottled it at the last minute and decided to go just with an old favourite of mine, Lynwood Gold at 22/1 each-way with the Betfair Sportsbook, or similar prices win and place on the exchange.
I say old favourite but he has actually cost me money on his last two starts when running below expectations.
But you should never let a poor run or two from a horse from this yard put you off (they have won this handicap four times in recent years, and run three here, of which the selection is the biggest price) and at least he has come down 3lb in the weights for those runs over 1m6f on fast ground.
I also think the combination of stepping down to 1m4f on an easier surface (he ran better on soft ground at Doncaster, and good could be his optimum surface) than he has been racing on of late is a good move for him, and hopefully he can sit handy behind his two forward-going stablemates and outstay them late on.
Bank could take some beating in the day's feature
I don't have a betting opinion in the Molecomb at 15:00 - maybe Rumble Inthejungle could oblige, but he is no great punting shakes at around 4/1 - but I was coming around to thinking that Beat The Bank is an each-way punt at 7/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook in the Sussex at 15:35.
However, having this kind of bet in an dead-eight race on the fixed-odds front entails 24 hours of sheer agony, waiting to see if they all stand their ground - and, of course, one of them, So Beloved, ran in the Lennox on Tuesday (he may already be a non-runner by the time you read this).
So I have to recommend that you back him 8.07/1 win ,and 2.35/4 or bigger in the place market, as the original place terms stand on the exchange, with a reduction factor applied, in the case of a non-runner.
I did also toy with throwing in Lighting Spear as a saver, even if the old boy is about 0 from 167 in Group 1s, but Beat The Bank is the one who can lower the colours of the 3yos, or least give them plenty to think about.
I don't get all the love for Without Parole, as his ½ length defeat of Gustav Klimt at Royal Ascot was hardly the stuff of a top-class 3yo miler - even if they did pull clear of the third, who got a very troubled passage anyway - and he would want the ground to be as quick-as-you-like here, and not to have seen the recent rain.
I suspect the supplemented Expert Eye has the most raw talent in this field (it is still raw, too) judged on his win here last season and in the Jersey last time, but those performances were over 7f and is he a full-blown miler? He probably is, but his price is none too flashy, all things considered.
In fact, the front two in the market are rated 119, and that is the same mark as Lightning Spear and just 1lb superior to Gustav Klimt and Beat The Bank, so the betting looks skewed to me.
Beat The Bank has a lot going for him, too.
Ryan Moore thought he was a Group 1 horse in waiting - he didn't say in waiting, but you get the drift - when winning a Group 3 race on him at this meeting last year and he proved he can handle quicker conditions when beating Lord Glitters at Ascot last time, after meeting all sorts of trouble in running in the Queen Anne before that.
The rain since Sunday has enhanced his claims, for all there probably won't be any ease in the ground by Wednesday afternoon, and the 4yo is entitled to come forward again on just his 11th start.
I think it's a substandard renewal, and Beat The Bank could well be the main beneficiary.
I will stick to just the ITV races on Wednesday, as nothing stands out for me in the two handicaps that round off the card.
Good luck; and keep an eye and ear out for running taps in the early hours.
Back Coeur De Lion at 5/1 each-way, four places, with the Betfair Sportsbook at 13:50
Back Lynwood Gold 22/1 each-way with Betfair Sportsbook in 14:25
Back Beat The Bank 8.415/2 win and 2.35/4 place in 15:35