The Sussex Stakes is the feature race on day two of the Glorious Goodwood meeting and Tony Calvin is taking on the favourites. Here are our big-price tipster's thoughts on an excellent day of racing...
"He can go from the front, but is better served doing that over 7f, as he showed when making all to beat today's impressive winner Dutch Connection in the Lennox here last season (as he also did, giving him 3lb, first time up at Sandown this season), a performance that brought his Goodwood form figures to 121, all in Group 2 company."
The market seems to think that the Sussex Stakes at 15:10 will be a carve-up for the Classic generation, and you can see why, I suppose.
What is not to like about dual Group 1 winner Galileo Gold, or Awtaad if back in the same nick as when beating the aforementioned St James's Palace winner by 2 ½ lengths in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, or The Gurkha back on the fast ground on which he destroyed the opposition in Deauville, or Ribchester fresh from his authoritative Jersey win under a 5lb penalty.
A case can be made for them all, but none of them set a scary standard - Galileo Gold is officially rated 123 and just 6lb covers the quartet, with Ribchester bringing up the rear - and they are possibly a bit under-priced as the market seems to be factoring in that, as relatively lightly-raced 3yos, they all have a lot more to give.
They may well do, but at the prices I am keen to take them on with the two 5yos, Toormore and Lightning Spear.
We will start with the latter as he finished ¾ length in front of Toormore when third to Tepin in the Queen Anne, having previously had him ½ length and a place adrift when fourth in the Jacques Le Marois last August.
Both of those runs came on soft ground but I don't think he is a mudlark by any means, and indeed he simply hasn't encountered a fast surface since chasing home Arod in the Summer Mile at Ascot last summer, funnily enough.
And the Queen Anne run hinted that he could have improved for the switch to David Simcock from the now-retired Olly Stevens. The bare form was arguably a career-best, which is even more encouraging given that he wasn't at all suited by the way the race panned out, as he was sat too far off the pace and couldn't reel in Tepin and Belardo on the ground.
He is a fair punt at [12.0], but Toormore at [26.0] is even more appealing at the price.
He, too, sat too far off the pace at Ascot - they were never going to make up a lot of ground in the testing conditions - and I am going to forgive him a poor run when he made the running last time. Fast ground may also be put forward as an excuse for that run, but I think he handles it well enough and connections should let him take his chance here.
He can go from the front, but is better served doing that over 7f, as he showed when making all to beat today's impressive winner Dutch Connection in the Lennox here last season (as he also did, giving him 3lb, first time up at Sandown this season), a performance that brought his Goodwood form figures to 121, all in Group 2 company. I simply think he is over-priced.
I am personally going to stick the pair in a reverse forecast, too. Feel free to join me.
Gun to fire in the Gordon Stakes
I can't get too excited by anything in the 2m5f race at 14:00 - I would have risked 2014 winner Teak at the prices if the Ian Williams stable were in better form - so I will happily pass there, although Market Rasen Summer Hurdle fourth (and he has been in fair nick on the Flat, too) Iftiraaq is a fair price at around 16-1+, if unproven as effective over anything further than 1m4f on the Flat.
Having backed him for the Derby there is no way I am going to let Shogun go unsupported at around 8-1 for what looks a very winnable Gordon Stakes at 14:35.
The case for him is simple, and it rests pretty much solely on his Derrinstown second to Moonlight Magic over 1m2f, where Ryan Moore felt the horse was crying out for 1m4f and faster ground.
He is set to get that here after three underwhelming efforts since, but if he comes back to the Leopardstown form - where he finished in front of dual Derby-placed Idaho and King Edward VII Stakes runner-up Beacon Rock - then he must go close. And if he improves for it then he has far more of a winning chance than odds of [9.0] suggest.
Global can draw the Applause in Molecomb
On Sunday morning, Global Applause was 14-1 with Paddy Power for the Molecomb at 15:45 but he is less than a third of that price now, so most of the value has long gone.
But odds of around [5.2] are still fair for a horse who is the form pick here on his National Stakes defeat of Mehmas at Sandown in May.
This 5f on fast ground are his ideal conditions and he can bounce back from a disappointing, though fair, fifth in the Norfolk last time, though to be fair the testing conditions were not to his advantage, nor was the fact that he raced on the outskirts of the main action at Ascot.
I like his chances most in here, but I will just shy away from a tip and a bet.
In-form Ivory yard can land closing handicap
There are three RUK races at the end of the card and regular readers will know that I will jog right past the 6f maiden at 16:10 - over to you gossip merchants - and the fillies' handicap at 16:55 is also pretty unappealing though Miss Van Gogh could be interesting at a decent double-figure price.
There is no surprise that Lingfield runner-up Afjaan is favourite for the 17:25 - the winner Red Box was awarded a listed race at Ascot last week after running a stormer - and he has been predictably well-found in the market. The handicapper hasn't had time to react to that recent bit of information yet.
But he is too short me for me and last year's winner Pastoral Player, Jack's Revenge and Rex Imperator were all considered before I landed on Twin Sails at [12.0] or better. One firm were generously offering 16-1 on Tuesday morning but that soon disappeared.
Again, no real story here other than he was back to form in first-time blinkers when just touched off at York last time.
He has gone up 2lb but that still leaves him as very well-treated on his juvenile form, which included a ¾ length 4th in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes here last season, and he goes well on fast ground.
The Ivory yard has had three winners in the last week, and plenty of the others have run well too, so everything looks in place for him to run well.
For my Horse Racing Tips for Thursday's races at Goodwood please click the link.
Back Shogun at [9.0] in 14:35
Back Toormore at [26.0] and Lightning Spear at [12.0] in 15:10 (also back the pair in a Reverse Forecast)
Back Twin Sails at [12.0] or bigger in 17:25