Hoping for a Brilliant start to Glorious Goodwood

Goodwood selections Tuesday 26th July

The first of five days on the South Downs at Goodwood and the weather looks set fair for another Glorious meeting. The Goodwood Cup is the opening day highlight, but I am looking elsewhere to three other races for some betting opportunities. We had a couple of each-way places in the previous column on Saturday with Random Harvest (advised 10/1) and Aratus (SP 12/1)

Goodwood 1.50: Bell Rock & Brilliant Light

A really cracking handicap to start us off and I have two selections for the opening race.

First choice is BRILLIANT LIGHT who ended a long losing run when winning a small race at Ripon back in May, but has since run even better in defeat in two of the hottest handicaps in the calendar.

He was the only horse in the top six from a single figure drawn when fourth at Royal Ascot, having to come very wide turning for home. That race was over 12f, but he has the pace for 10f, as his Ripon win demonstrated, and when fifth in the John Smiths Cup at York earlier this month. A low draw today should be much more advantageous.

BELL ROCK was third in this race in 2020 (he was withdrawn due to the heavy ground last year) and is worth another try back at 10f having been campaigned mainly at 8f and 9f. He is one of those horses that is quite highly rated for handicaps but not quite good enough in pattern company.

However he has run respectably this term with a couple of third places in listed company and a fourth in a Group 3. His record in handicaps though is generally good and his last win came on Guineas weekend of 2021 at Newmarket over 9f on fast ground off a mark of 103. He can race off a pound lower today and has the benefit of promising apprentice Harry Davies to take off 5lbs.

Goodwood 3.00: Sacred

I am not looking past the obvious for this classy 7f race and a specialist at this trip in SACRED should be ideally suited by the way this race should be run.

With the likes of Pogo and Lord of the Lodge in the field there should be no hanging around and that will be perfect for this hold up performer. She has won well on both starts at this distance, in the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket and then the Hungerford at Newbury, comfortably beating today’s rival Laneqash.

Her comeback from a ten month absence in the Platinum Jubilee at the Royal meeting was full of promise considering she was outpaced over 6f before flying home for fifth. This trip, plus a slight drop in grade should be just the ticket and the strong early pace will bring her finishing kick into play.

Goodwood 4.10: Night on Earth & Stone of Destiny

The first of the week’s cavalry charges down the straight course and with any effect of the draw to be established, I am picking horses drawn on either side of the track.

NIGHT ON EARTH is a very fast horse who could just benefit from a draw against the near rail. All his wins have come on sharp tracks such as Windsor, Lingfield and Chester and he ran well in first time cheekpieces at Newmarket recently. Racing along against the near rail, he held every chance before fading up the finishing hill – but there is no upland finish to worry about today.

He has dropped to a very fair mark of 89 now and is technically 7lbs lower than that Newmarket race with apprentice Freddy Larson taking over from Luke Morris.

Whilst he will be trying to make all, STONE OF DESTINY will be aiming to come from off the pace. He is another who has dropped to an eyecatching mark of 84 having been placed off a mark of 102 in the Epsom Dash of 2021 and he was sixth in the same race this year off 8lbs higher just last month.

Admittedly he has looked out of sorts on his last two starts, but a very fast paced 5f suits him and perhaps first time cheekpieces can motivate him. He can also call upon Harry Davies to take off a valuable further 5lbs.

Recommended bets:

1pt each-way – Brilliant Light – 1.50 Goodwood – 6/1 Skybet, William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 7)

0.5pts each-way – Bell Rock – 1.50 Goodwood – 8/1 William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 7)

1pt win – Sacred – 3.00 Goodwood – 7/4 general

1pt each-way – Stone of Destiny – 4.10 Goodwood – 10/1 Bet365 (1/5 odds 1st 4)

0.5pts each-way – Night on Earth – 4.10 Goodwood – 9/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 4)

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