I don't think I have ever seen three Group races on one card as closely-knit and tightly-packed on official ratings as at Goodwood on Friday.
In particular, the 5f and 1m4f races are ridiculously hard to call, but let's crack on, starting with the 2m4f handicap at 13:50.
One of the bets of the week so far
I actually feel I am a few quid in front on the race already as Smart Champion isn't running this year, though I was planning to stay loyal to Make My Day after Ascot until I saw his opening price.
To say I was somewhat underwhelmed when I saw he was the Sportsbook's 13/2 third favourite early on Wednesday morning was something of an understatement, so I decided to let the Exchange market settle down on Friday morning to decide if I wanted to get with him again at more attractive odds.
I would want a double-figure price about him.
I thought Reshoun was as solid as you like, and Baasem the most interesting of the outsiders, but I kept coming back to Super Superjack at 10/1 each-way, four places, with the Betfair Sportsbook.
Unfortunately, the 10s turned into 8s just before I published, so I am going to switch and recommend you back him 10.09/1 or bigger, win-only, on the Exchange.
He won over 2m here on his return, then beat Make My Day over 2m at Ascot in May and he arguably should be coming here on a five-timer as he was surely unfortunate not to win at York and Salisbury on his most recent starts.
He got the door closed on him at a vital moment over 2m at York, so he had to switch to the near side, and he only just failed by half-a-length to catch Evaluation, who is now rated 11lb higher after winning next time and then finishing fourth in the Northumberland Vase.
Back to 1m6f at Salisbury and with cheekpieces re-fitted last time (he won on them at Bath last year, and they are retained here), he again didn't get a smooth run through, especially close home, but he was beaten only a short-head and half-a-length off this mark.
Everything about his run-style suggest this step up 2m4f is well worth chancing, and he strikes me as one of the bets of the week so far.
The ever-impressive Milton Harris, who continues in great form in both racing spheres, has schooled the horse over hurdles and he reckons he jumps brilliantly, so I assume no stalls and a standing, flag start will be no issue.
Bayside Boy very much the one to beat
I had a 66/1 swing on Bayside Boy in the St James' Palace Stakes and he ran a screamer to finish a two-length seventh, coming home powerfully (a fact that may have been lost on many given Maljoom's finishing kick on the inner).
Given his run from a wide draw in the French Guineas on his return can be safely ignored, and the high level of his juvenile campaign, he is very much the one to beat and I thought the Sportsbook's 9/4 about him in the 1m Group 3 at 14:25 was very tempting.
However, history tells me that I am better off letting these short-priced opportunities pass me by from a tipping perspective, and I do think Checkandchallenge, who should have won a Sandown handicap off a mark of 108 last time, is a dangerous rival.
To be clear, I have backed Bayside Boy myself though.
I will quickly deal with the other two Group races on the card, and in the case of the 5f Group 2 at 15:35 very rapidly indeed. I simply had no betting opinion on a race in which a mere 5lb separates 10 of the 11 runners on official ratings.
That contest actually looks easy to call compared to the Glorious Stakes at 16:10, so I am a touch surprised to see Rebel's Romance as short at 7/4 (though again he is a bigger on the Exchange) even if he was impressive when winning on his turf debut at Newmarket last time, beating Kemari 3 ¼ lengths, and at his first attempt at this 1m4f trip, too.
I looked at taking him on with Regal Reality at 6s each-way - although this is his first attempt at 1m4f and he doesn't want to be missing the break again here - or Desert Encounter, who never runs a bad race at this course, but I am not inclined to force a bet.
Blue For You can upset fancied favourite
Many people will look at the 20-runner 1m handicap at 15:00 and be scratching their heads even more.
The market loves the 4/1 chance Noble Dynasty and so does the handicapper, as he put him 9lb for his Newmarket win earlier in the month, and he can run under just a 3lb penalty, so the assessor thinks he has 6lb to play with.
The case for him is obvious then - the clock also loved him at Newmarket - but do you really want to be backing horses at 4s (and that price could be under pressure shortly) in 20-runner handicaps around here?
I can fully see the argument, especially as he is drawn well too, but not for me.
There is a slew of well-in horses in here - seven to be precise - and I like the claims of one of those, Blue For You, who will be carrying 3lb in future handicaps.
He won in a first-time visor at Leopardstown last July when trained by Dermot Weld - the runner-up was rated 10lb higher after winning at this course in October - and he has improved when that headgear has been re-applied on his last two starts for his current handler.
He was just touched off by Eilean Dubh at York and then he was given a curious ride when second at the same track last week, declining the invitation to go from the front in a four-runner race, only to fail by a neck to reel in an unexposed and improving Godolphin horse.
Perhaps the stable, who won this race in 2020 and had the runner-up last season, didn't want him carrying a 3lb penalty here in such a valuable race.
The recent run came off a 3lb higher mark than this, so he is clearly handicapped to go well, and I'd be very surprised if they didn't try to get on the front end here from his draw in one, as they did when he was third (without a visor) at Sandown earlier in the season.
Back him at 12/1 win-only with the Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on Rebel
I really liked the way Rebel Territory travelled through his race when winning at Sandown on his debut - he probably got there too soon - and his trainer was full of praise for him afterwards, saying he was a big horse just beginning to fill his frame.
He has been raised 5lb for that success, which I think is fair given they pulled a mile clear of the third, Lyndon B, who won the last here on Wednesday. And the runner-up, Ouzo, finished a good third off a 4lb higher mark last time.
And Rebel Territory has won and finished second in two course starts.
The problem with him is the ground though, as he has been a non-runner three times on good to firm ground, and he was a self-cert on fast ground in the Hunt Cup, too.
I suppose I could tip him at around 14s on the Exchange now and we will simply get our money back if he pulled out.
But the downside is he will probably be a drifter if the ground remains on the quick side (which it looks like being, unless they continue to shovel the water on - and they did put 5mm down on Wednesday after racing), so I would probably be advising him at a modest price if I stick him up now.
And the Sportsbook actually cut him into 9s on Wednesday night, anyway.
I will keep an eye on him - and maybe chance him if he is given the green light at a lengthening price - but I will rely on Blue For You here and now.
Kaasib at 10s was the nearest I came to a bet in the nursery at 16:45, but it wasn't that close, to be honest.
Another light tipping and betting day, but good luck.