On day three of Glorious Goodwood tipster Tony Calvin recommends four bets including a flier at a big price and one at odds that are too big to ignore...
"The seven-runner Richmond Stakes at 14:15 didn’t initially look a betting race to me but I am willing to take a complete flier with the outsider Talbot at [34.0] or bigger."
Honesty tends to be my downfall - and has cost me all sorts down the years - but I am donning my positive hat on Thursday. I had to, as otherwise I would have been crying.
In truth, it didn't look my idea of a punting card at all when I first locked eyes on it on Tuesday morning, but you play the hand you are dealt, and I actually managed to eke out a few wagers. Sometimes good betting opportunities can sneak up on you, and hopefully that is the case here.
Opener looks tough to call
I am going to take the card in chronological order, starting with the nine-runner 5f handicap at 13:10.
I was hoping to find a bet in here as there are obviously three places up for grabs for each-way terms, but it really is an incredibly hard-to-call sprint handicap, as these type of races tend to be.
As suggested by that comment, you can basically make a case for them all, but Glamorous Anna is probably the one that interested me most at the prices - she was 8/1 on the first show - even if she is 2lb badly-in here with her penalty for her recent Windsor win.
She looked very awkward there in victory - indeed, she previously threw a race away at the same track when wandering close home (the official comment was she hit the rail) and gifting it to today's rival Spanish Angel - so I think first-time cheek pieces could really help her (though her trainer is 0 from 2 with this headgear option).
There is also a fair possibility she could get on the lead on the stands' side rail here from her draw in seven, but Goodwood is not really a place to bring a wayward filly, and she has only beaten one horse in two starts at this track, so I have to leave the race alone.
Bright Melody can shine at 13:45
Even without looking at the form, you just knew the likes of Zabeel Champion (who doesn't look entirely straightforward to me and I have doubts about him on this track, and I can never call Mark Johnston's horses correctly anyway), Al Salt and Magnetised would dominate the betting in the 1m2f handicap at 13:45 as they all clearly have all lightly-raced sexy profiles from big yards.
They, of course, all have their chances but I am going to give Bright Melody a spin at [11.0] or bigger.
A debut winner at Chelmsford in January, he shaped well, despite himself not looking a totally straightforward ride, when third to Berlin Tango and Pyledriver (who both excelled at Royal Ascot subsequently) over 1m2f at Kempton, after which he was stepped up to 1m4f in handicap company at Ascot, for which he was sent off 9/2 joint favourite.
That was an understandable move given the way he finished off his race at Kempton but he blatantly failed to get home there in first-time cheekpieces, briefly mounting a dangerous-looking move on the outside entering the straight (he was poorly positioned throughout) before running on empty in the final 2f.
The headgear was left off when he went for a four-runner Listed race over 1m2f at France last time and he again appeared a tricky ride, looking likely to drop away in the straight, only to rally once his rider finally, and perhaps belatedly, got serious on him late on, beaten only a three-quarters-of-a-length and a nose into third.
The handicapper has left alone on a mark of 98 after his last two runs, and it could be that a strongly-run 1m2f is what he needs. And the return of the pieces was predictable enough after what we saw in France last time.
Lucander could be a smart saver
I deliberated with putting up Lucander as a saver, as he is surely better than his Newmarket run last time suggests, as he went out like a light there in the soft after going nicely enough to 3f out.
Perhaps a combination of the ground and the 1m2f trip was responsible there - though I suspect it was simply a massive off-day - and he looks a big price if you forgive him that run as his previous third at Haydock has worked out well, with runner-up Angel Power finishing a good second here on Tuesday and the fourth and fifth both winning next time. And he has won on fast ground, too.
On a day where I found bets hard to come by, I decided he was worth a saver at [19.0] or bigger.
Take a flier with Talbot at 14:15
The seven-runner Richmond Stakes at 14:15 didn't initially look a betting race to me but I am willing to take a complete flier with the outsider Talbot at [32.0] or bigger (he is also 30/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook) on the Exchange.
He beat a fair sort in Jojo Rabbit (who has won and run well since) first time out in a good time at Lingfield before disappointing as a 12/1 chance in the Coventry, but I thought he ran a relative stormer in the 5f Weatherbys Super Sprint last week, despite finishing 11th of 25 (Jojo Rabbit finished second there).
That doesn't tell the story at all, though, as he was basically drawn out of the race from the outset at Newbury in stall two, with the first six home berthed in 16-22-21-1-13-26, and he blew the start as well.
But the manner in which he stuck on in the final furlong, eventually finishing on the fair rail, caught my eye and the step back up to 6f will suit.
Brian Meehan, who won this race with Barraquero in 2017, is a well-above average 9 from 51 when applying the sheepskin for the first time in recent years, and the horse has looked as though he could do with some help to make him concentrate.
He is rated just 85 going into the race and clearly needs to find a stone of improvement, and more, from somewhere but maybe the cheek pieces will provide that, and I am willing to take my chances at the price.
Given his pedigree - he is by Gleneagles out of a War Chant mare - it is reasonable to assume the quickening ground will suit him, too.
Magic Wand is too big to ignore
I like English King most in the Gordon Stakes at 14:45 as I think he could, and should, have finished second in the Derby with more urgency from the saddle.
But I would be wanting much bigger than 13/8 in this competitive line-up, so I will move on.
I would have loved to have seen one more runner in the Nassau at 15:15 as I would have had a proper each-way go on Magic Wand with eight runners.
I was very surprised to see Ryan Moore on the French Oaks winner Fancy Blue, but he is as likely to have been steered by connections rather than making the decision himself, as I thought Magic Wand ran as good a race as she has done in four seasons of her career when fourth in the Eclipse last time.
She was ridden from off the pace there but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest were she to go from the front here given the apparent lack of pace, and of course she will relish the drying ground.
I was going to leave the race alone, as it is clearly hugely competitive, but she was too big to ignore at [6.0] or bigger.
The other ITV race is the 7f nursery at 15:45 in which William Bligh looks the right favourite at around 3/1 after scoring in a good time at Haydock last time, but the ground is an unknown for him and it looks too trappy for me.
The following maiden holds no punting appeal to me and the concluding nursery is best left to Winter Power - she will be odds-on here after her Redcar success earlier in the week, mind you, and the 6lb penalty seems unlikely to stop her - but it is no bet for me.
Bright Melody at [11.0] or bigger in 13:45
Lucander at [19.0] or bigger in 13:45
Talbot at [32.0] or bigger in 14:15
Magic Wand at [6.0] or bigger in 15:15