The King George Stakes is the highlight on day four at Glorious Goodwood and Tony Calvin has a big-price selection for you to consider. Read our man thought's on all the day's races here...
"The horse is tactically versatile - he won his good-ground Group 3 in France when making all - but I think Jamie Spencer, back on board today, will look to play him very late from a draw in 12 which gives him options."
I wrote a piece about "dodgy drifters" recently - read it here - so I was pretty relaxed, and predictably went in again a couple of times, when Goken went for an almighty walk in the betting before the July Cup last time.
His SP of 33-1 doesn't do any justice to his true price at the off that day - he returned at an amazing Betfair SP of 114.21 - and while the layers were smiling after the race I bet they weren't too comfortable when he was tanking on the bridle for the first 4f, albeit behind a wall of horses.
Granted, he wasn't the only one travelling smoothly into the race, and he didn't pick up in the anticipated fashion once he finally got a clear run, but I thought that it was a very encouraging performance - and he was beaten less than six lengths despite finishing 10th - as regards his chances in this race.
Yes, he ran very disappointingly when beating only two home in this race behind Muthmir last season - and I see they are trying the winner in cheekpieces today to try to ignite his flickering flame - but, on reflection, he was always going to struggle to truly stay 6f on the July course in that company.
He had earlier recorded a career-best when meeting trouble in running when a strong-closing third to Profitable in the King's Stand Stakes, only getting going in the final furlong when finally negotiating a clear passage, and the gossip after the race was that was due to him having his wind tweaked after a disappointing run in the Duke Of York (where he was tried in a tongue-tie for the first time) in May.
That Ascot run obviously came on soft ground and a fast surface here would admittedly be a concern, but Goodwood have not held back with the watering can this week - and there are some more showers dotted around in the next 24 hours after today's rain - so hopefully that won't be a problem at all. And good ground clearly suits him fine.
The horse is tactically versatile - he won his good-ground Group 3 in France when making all - but I think Jamie Spencer, back on board today, will look to play him very late from a draw in 12 which gives him options.
There is no point highlighting the dangers as I genuinely think any of the 17 have a chance of sorts, but Goken at 14.013/1 is my clear pick of the prices in the 15:45 though I do retain a soft spot for Muthmir, who could well stand up and be counted here.
Just one point to clarify here and that is I am writing this column on the basis of good ground given today's rain, but obviously a weather watch is needed from hereon in.
Kings Fete to gain compensation for luckless Royal Ascot defeat2>
A look at the field for the Glorious Stakes at 14:00 brings back the horrendous memory of Kings Fete getting mullered when coming with a winning run at Royal Ascot.
I think the stewards were about the only ones who thought he wouldn't have obliged had he not been hampered, as they let the winner keep the race.
Well, that's not true at all, as he was 1-3 to keep it in the betting, but Ryan Moore has spoken for the first time about the interference in his Betfair column this evening and he thinks he would have won by a good ½ length. But at least that run confirmed the horse was still progressing at the age of five, despite all his problems.
He is a very fair price at around 3-1 now that Scottish is out, but not quite enough to appeal as a bet.
Word given One More chance
Franklin D is officially 10lb well-in in the 15:10 which explains his price of 4.47/2. He could get a prominent position from stall one - low numbers have a big advantage, historically, in this race - and dot up. But, at the price, no thanks.
I am going to take him on with two horses ridden by jockeys who will be looking to atone for a couple of moderate rides here last week.
Hors De Combat was trounced six lengths by Franklin D at Newmarket last time and is only 3lb better off here, but that was at least a welcome return to form for him and, at odds of 26.025/1, it is not out of the realms of possibility that he could get his revenge, for all that stall 18 may not be ideal.
He was rated 7lb higher than his current mark this time last year and he finished an excellent neck second in a Group 3 on this card two years ago.
He is ridden by Oisin Murphy, who perhaps didn't have his finest moment when coming from well off the pace in a steadily-run race to finish sixth on Lightning Spear in the Sussex on Wednesday. Pocket-talking comment, number one.
Number two is David Allan's ride on Snoano on Tuesday - the horse did remarkably well to finish sixth given where he came from - but he could well redeem himself on One Word More here.
This horse ran a career-best when third at York last time, despite his rider dropping her whip 1f out, and a 2lb rise is very fair. He has plenty of form in these big-field handicaps, fast ground is no concern, and this could be his day at odds of 15.014/1 or bigger.
Promising Run to produce exactly that in first time visor
My last bet on the card is Promising Run in the 14:35.
The case for her is pretty simple. She may not need to improve on her Coronation Stakes fifth last time if Emotionless disappoints again, and has experience of this track, having made an eye-catching debut at this meeting last season.
Connections obviously think a first-time visor will help her, too (though the trainer is 9-84 with them in last 10 years, so certainly not bet-enducing on that fact alone) so at odds of 12.011/1 she looks well worth a tentative poke of the punting stick.
And in the RUK races...
Nothing remotely appeals in the 18-runner nursery at 16:20 but I do rate the winning chances of Always Smile in the 16:55 though unsurprisingly so does the market.
But she does look to have outstanding claims, as I think the step back in trip - not to mention the step down in class after her Falmouth Stakes third - will suit her.
I think she will win but there are enough doubts to stop shy of backing her at a short price for me, not least how she will react to first-time cheekpieces. And she is only rated on a par with Besharah, so it is not as if she is the stand-out filly on form here.
There were a few glum faces when Poet's Word could only finish fourth in the 1m2f handicap at Epsom on Derby Day, and I bet connections weren't too chuffed when he was put up 1lb for being beaten five lengths there, too.
But the form has worked out very well and he is clearly thought a lot better than he showed there. He could well outclass these on better ground but, once again, the price is hardly tempting, even if the opposition doesn't really frighten.
That said, the Al Shaqab-owned Shaan and Afjaan went off at ridiculously short prices for handicaps here on Wednesday so it will be interesting to see how their Chester winner Al Neksh fares in the betting in this 17:30.
For my Horse Racing Tips for Saturday from Goodwood and Newmarket, please click on the link.
Back Promising Run at 12.011/1 in 14:35
Back Hors de Combat at 26.025/1 in 15:10
Back One Word More at 15.014/1 in 15:10
Back Goken at 14.013/1 in 15:45