I am constantly puzzled when newcomers go off at short prices in 2yo races, or lightly-raced horses with perhaps one run under their belts are similarly well-backed against debutants, as surely it is a complete guessing game, isn't it?
How can you have a strong punting opinion in such circumstances?
Gossip, reputation and rumour guide a lot of these markets and I just can't be having them as betting mediums myself. Even if you have an unraced horse that has been doing handsprings at home, how do you know that one of the opposition hasn't been performing triple salkos?
A few people were coming out with the "they knew" line after War Decree won the Vintage Stakes on Tuesday - they thought they did in the Superlative Stakes, too, when he finished second - but I am not sure what planet they were on. But at least it isn't as if the formbook didn't tell you it should have been the slight favourite.
Sure, he was very strong in the morning - though he was only 2-1 very briefly in one place in the 8.30-8.45am guarantee window, and that distorts the size of the "gamble" when it is reported - but near the off he was arguably weaker in the betting than the 13-2 second Thunder Snow, and the 2-1 third Boynton.
So, if anyone "knew", they weren't playing in any significant size close to the off, and that is generally when the big-hitters come out to play. But it is true that Aidan O'Brien's runners in big races tend to be very well-supported, as you'd expect of such a high-profile, successful outfit with a huge following.
So it will be fascinating to see how the betting pans out for the Richmond Stakes at 14:35 in which four of the better juveniles seen out so far this season lock horns in a belter, and the fifth is hardly a no-hoper after just three starts, either.
Blue Point looks like being around a 1.84/5 chance after his 11-length demolition job at Doncaster last time, but Intelligence Cross is a horse that Ryan Moore "loves to bits" - a rare gushing statement from him - and is 3lb better for ½ length with Mehmas on their July Stakes form. And if Ardad recaptures his Windsor Castle form then it will take a good one that lowers his colours.
I just don't see an angle into the race, especially with rain about on to heavily-watered ground, too.
Look to the Stars but don't get blinded to the charms of Dwight D
I'll go through the card in chronological order and Stargazer will be a warm order at around the 9-2 mark in the opener at 14:00.
He is a horse that the stable think a lot of, but he hasn't been out since winning at Sandown in April, having suffered some minor niggles and missed Epsom and Ascot because there weren't suitable 1m2f targets for him there, apparently.
But he isn't the best-handicapped horse in here on what we know - though the stable have Group-race aspirations for the three-year-old - and I am going to take him on with Dwight D.
He was highly-tried in the Spring but was gelded and given a break after Chester, and would have gone close to winning if he had got away on terms at Newmarket last time when he was a strong-finishing third to Ode To Evening.
He wore first-time cheekpieces there, which are left on today, and I'd be very surprised if, off just 1lb higher mark, he wasn't in the first four, so I am going to advise a win and place bet at 9.08/1 and 3.02/1 respectively.
Zhui Feng is expected to go well but Speed Company is interesting in a first-time hood as his stable is 3-14 with such runners in the last 10 years and John Quinn's last five horses' finishing positions in the new headgear read a very impressive 22143.
He has run appallingly on his last two starts and this moody sort could get detached from his wide draw, but he is the complete outsider at 44.043/1 here and if the hood works then he has an excellent chance at the weights on his April form, which included a win and a fourth to Hawkbill in a listed race at Newmarket.
Fighter to emerge victorious from the Goodwood Cup fray
Sword Fighter looks a fair, and very straightforward, bet at 8.07/1 in the Goodwood Cup at 15:10.
I am probably wrong but I think Lucky Moon in 1990 is the last three-year-old to have won this race, though don't quote me on that and I didn't look to see how many of the youngsters have tried in recent years. You say lazy, I say busy.
But what I do know is that Queen's Vase winner Sword Fighter has all the attributes you need for a race like this, is improving and gets a whacking 17lb from the older horses.
Connections believe the quicker ground, if there isn't any significant rain, won't be a problem and he will think he is running loose off 8st 5lb, having humped 9st 3lb to victory at Ascot - Colm O'Donoghue can do the weight, Ryan Moore can't - if he gets to the front once again. He is tough and progressive, and could take this en route to a crack at the St Leger.
Back Boom at a big price
The Lillie Langtry Stakes at 15:45 looks a tricky little heat - Pamona looked back to her best at York last time on her debut for Ralph Beckett, and California impressed at Ascot - and I am more than happy to give that a swerve.
And that is also the case in the 7f fillies' maiden at 16:20 where Amabilis and Rhododendron will dominate the betting and probably the finish, too. For the reasons stated above, this is another "pass" of a race.
The Betfair boys have told me that I have to give Tap Tap Boom a namecheck in the nursery at 16:55 but I am going to go one further and put him up as a small-stakes bet at 15.014/1.
It will really just be a matter of a score win for me - that's £20, if you are reading this north of Watford - but he has course form and he posted an improved effort when stepped up to this trip at Epsom (downhill tracks obviously no concern) last time and beating an even-money poke quite comfortably.
He looks fairly weighted and priced, as does Challow at similar odds.
Everything looks right for Lathom
Lathom and This Is For You are my two against the field in the 5f handicap at 17:30 though I am only backing one.
The first-named was beaten only three lengths in the Molecomb here last season and is running into form for this meeting once again off a very workable mark of 92, and This Is For You also ran well in a maiden at this meeting last season, is in fair form and wears a first-time hood (though the stable are only 4-73 with it in the last 10 years).
There was some 14-1 around on Wednesday morning for Lathom but it predictably didn't last long, but he still makes some appeal at 12.011/1 or bigger.
He was a very fast juvenile when with Richard Fahey, beating Mr Lupton in the Super Sprint as well as his Molecomb effort, and he shaped very well when fifth to a subsequent winner at York last time.
He has come down 6lb since the start of the season despite shaping very well on occasions, not only at York last time but also when eighth, beaten only four lengths, from an unfavourable single-figure draw in the Epsom Dash, just one place and a neck behind Tuesday's winner Boom The Groom.
He looks primed and weighted to win to me, and I think he will go off favourite.
For my Horse Racing Tips for Friday's Goodwood Races then please click on the link.
Back Dwight D @ 9.08/1 win and 3.02/1 place in 14:00
Back Speed Company @ 44.043/1 in 14:00
Back Sword Fighter @ 8.07/1 in 15:10
Back Tap Tap Boom @ 15.014/1 in 16:55
Back Lathom @ 12.011/1 in the 17:30