The Sussex Stakes is the feature race on the second day of the Goodwood Festival and our resident tipster Tony Calvin is happy to take on the fancied three-year-olds...
"He may not cope with the 3yos but I don’t think more than one will see him off – maybe none will - and he strikes me as the best of the older brigade."
There is no doubt whatsoever that Phoenix Of Spain is underestimated in the market for the Sussex Stakes at 15:35 so why do I feel so underwhelmed by the prospect of backing him at around 6/1?
It's a strange one all right, as that price is clearly huge on the evidence of his 3-length dismissal of Too Darn Hot in the Irish 2000 Guineas, and his high-class 2yo form has stood the test of time, too.
Of course, we have to contend with his below-par sixth in the St James's Palace Stakes last time - a race in which his Wednesday opponents Circus Maximus and Too Darn Hot finished first and third - but surely quotes of 6/1 are an over-reaction, especially as I don't especially fear the winner, who has to go and do it in blinkers for the second time.
But I just can't force myself to pull the betting trigger.
Glitter taken to shine against the young guns
As the market suggests, Too Darn Hot is the one to fear after his impressive Prix Jean Prat win over 7f.
It could well be that he is best at 6f down the line, but Goodwood's speed-mile will be fine for him. He did finish second in a Dante, after all.
But it is a very definite no-thanks from me at 5/4.
It could well be that we are all being seduced by the 3yo form and the weight that they get from the older horses though, and Lord Glitters looks a very solid win and place proposition to me at around 10/1.
He is the premier bet.
This race has fallen to 7yos for the last two years and 6yo Lord Glitters looked as good as ever when winning the Queen Anne last time.
Of course, a whole host of the grey's best performances have come at Ascot but he did finish third in this race last season and his run behind Almond Eye in the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March wasn't too shoddy, either.
He may not cope with the 3yos but I don't think more than one will see him off - maybe none will - and he strikes me as the best of the older brigade.
I was going to back him each way with the Betfair Sportsbook - and pray for no withdrawals in this dead-eight - but I have to have the safety net of the exchange if there is a non-runner (original place terms stands, with a rule 4 deduction), so get with him at 10.09/1 win and 2.56/4 place.
Prince is also with siding with
However, the more I looked the more I have to side with another in Zabeel Prince, too.
If these 3yos aren't much cop - and I suspect, and hope, they are not - then I want him in the betting trenches with me as well, as he clearly hasn't got home in high-profile Group 1s over 1m2f at Ascot and Sandown, though he travelled pretty well to a point in the Eclipse last time before weakening over 1f out.
His Earl Of Sefton 2 ¾-length romp in April reads very, very well - subsequent Huxley Stakes winner Forest Ranger was in second, the third-placed Mustashry won the Locking next time, and recent York winner Elarqam was in fourth - and, for all his Group 1 win in the Prix Ispahan wasn't the strongest at the top level, it still showed he had a potent turn of foot over 1m1f, too, and the French Derby-winning second Study Of Man is no mug.
Yes, he looks a definite player at 19.018/1 win and 3.55/2 place, back to a mile, and I wouldn't put anyone off sticking him in a reverse forecast or exacta with Lord Glitters.
This 3yo milers may not be up to much, you know.
No bet in Molecomb but Mac can provide some Fun in opener
There is nothing doing for me in the Molecomb Stakes at 15:00 where I think Liberty Beach is the one to beat ahead of main market rival Maven.
But I can let her go unbacked at around 2/1. Lingfield winner Raahy was the one at bigger prices that interested me most at 20/1, but it is not a race that I have a strong opinion on.
The card kicks off with the small matter of a 20-runner handicap over 2m4f134yd at 13:50 where Fun Mac could be worth one more chance off a falling handicap mark.
It may be that the fires simply aren't burning anywhere near as bright as they once were, but he is now 11lb lower than when chasing home the runaway winner Magic Circle in last year's Chester Cup and he ran a solid race when fourth to Le Grand Visir in the 2m4f Ascot Stakes last time (a race in which he finished second in 2015). He was eased another 1lb for that.
So we know this trip holds no fears whatsoever for this 2015 Prix de Cadran third and he has run well on a couple of occasions here, despite never racing beyond 1m6f.
He looks worth a small tickle to me at 15.014/1 or bigger, with Mancini my other one to note at a similar price.
There are plenty you can fancy in here, not least last year's 15-length winner Lil Rockerfeller, and Timoshenko could easily carry on from where he left last season, stepping up in trip.
Dr Richard Newlands' Dounyapour is interesting following a wind op after a Bangor disappointment, and his French Flat form certainly demands respect off this mark, and Guns Of Leros has chances too, but it is only Fun Mac for me.
Impressive Epsom winner taken to go in again
The 3yo 1m4f handicap at 14:25 predictably has its fair share of lightly-raced and/or progressive types and you would have to think that Kosciuszko will improve a fair deal for the step up in trip, given his pedigree.
But I was very taken with Le Don De Vie's win at the Derby meeting - not as much as his new owners who bought him for £460,000 at that mad eve-of Royal Ascot Goffs London sale, mind you - and hopefully he hasn't had a setback since, as we haven't seen him for the best part of two months.
The form hasn't really worked out either and he is 10lb higher here, but he really was extremely impressive in the manner in which he finished off that race over 1m2f in a good time, and this extra 2f promises to suit.
The sire wouldn't be noted for getting many middle-distance horses but his dam won five times over 1m4f and the selection's run-style at Epsom gave you plenty of encouragement, as well.
I imagine his new trainer Hughie Morrison, who is in fair form (albeit in a very quiet period for the yard), will have him pretty straight here, given that price tag, and wouldn't be running him undercooked.
Back him to small stakes at 10.09/1 or bigger, as I am slightly worried about his draw given that he likes to force the pace.
Not a great deal interests me in the non-ITV races, though my old mucker Charles Molson nearly got the nod in the last.
Light And Dark will probably be all the rage but Charles Molson has solid each-way claims, even if connections received the proverbial kick in the cojones after the horse was raised 3lb after being disqualified after finishing first-past-the-post at Ascot last time.
But he is still more than capable of running well off his revised mark, and he has some fair course form, too.
On balance though, I will leave it on a quiet day. Good luck.
Back Fun Mac at 15.014/1 or bigger in 13:50
Back Le Don De Vie at 10.09/1 or bigger in 14:25
Back Lord Glitters at 10.09/1 win and 2.56/4 place in 15:35
Back Zabeel Prince at 19.018/1 win and 3.55/2 place in 15:35