FOLLOW RICHARD HUGHES TODAY: As Kieren Fallon, Silvestre De Sousa and Paul Hanagan do battle, sharing 320 winners, Richard Hughes (on 83) is the forgotten man, but Daqman reckons he has hat-trick potential at Goodwood this afternoon.
In between winning, there’s a thing called ‘suffering’. Many people go into betting shops in order to lose but gain the camaraderie of commiserating with their fellow boneheads, when words like ‘suffering’ and ‘hard luck, mate’ are passed around.
You can tell none of them are interested in the actual racing because they talk over the commentary (yes, even over you, Tommo), usually telling the story about the last time they were ‘suffering’.
Sitting behind a computer when you’re ‘suffering’ is a lonely job. There is no one listening when you say: beaten half a length in Deauville on Sunday at 9-1 (Definightly); then beaten a head for 40 points yesterday with 14.0 about a gamble at Epsom (Moorhouse Lad 2nd 8-1).
The only consolation is that you know you are doing the right thing when you are getting massive Betdaq overs. You just have to keep going until your luck turns; it can only get better as the man said to the Arsenal fan (he’s doing well on life-support, I hear; the man not the fan; or maybe it’s both).
Seriously, as long as I’m getting 13-1 about 8-1 chances, I shall win over time. Gerfalcon (WON 4-1) eased the pain yesterday, actually bigger at SP than I got on Betdaq. A rare moment.
As John Mort Green says in the Racing Post today, you can afford to lose money, but you can’t afford to lose your confidence.
Defy The Odds (2.20 Goodwood) would be an appropriate start today; a Galileo filly, Group entered after a positive debut run at Newmarket.
Compton Blue (4.00) doesn’t look much on the bare form figures but is a far better horse on a right-handed track and will have been targeted at the race he won last year.
Uncle Fred, Pat’s Legacy and Jeweled are all of a heap on the form of their race at Windsor, when they were first, second and fourth. Locally trained Jeweled seems to come out of that race best at the weights but all her best form is left-handed: 7.0 Compton Blue is good value.
Compton Blue’s jockey, Richard Hughes, could be the man to follow at Goodwood all day: Free Verse (2.50) carries the royal colours, down four grades from a Listed attempt at Newbury; and Hughsie is two out of two when riding for Anabel Murphy, whose Volito is big at 9.6 this morning.
Volito (4.30) returns to the scene of her CD win in June. The favourite, Sluggsy Morant, is quite often slowly away and I’m not sure that the seemingly good draw in stall 2 is actually going to help this fellow.
Cathy Gannon and Hayley Turner clash twice on the hallowed Epsom turf, which seems to have taken the rain well, with ‘pogo stick’ going returns of 7.2 to 7.7 (why can’t we have this on every racecourse?).
Cathy’s mount Scarlet Rocks (2.40) seems to want a sharp 5f and this six will better suit Hayley on Clear Praise: her beast is 10lb better off with Baldemar on their running on today’s course in July.
There shouldn’t be much between them now, and Betdaq offers allow you to back them both. This morning’s favourite, Gentle Lord, may need rain.
I like Hayley on Shesha Bear (3.50), a CD winner here in July. Her overall form looks lean but, if you reduce it to left-handed tracks, you trap all three of the mare’s wins and realise a near-40% win-and-place strike rate.
The opening maiden at Southwell (4.40) is a play: the trick is to try to get the best odds available about each of Three Sugars – Jeremy Noseda striking at 50% – and Ghost Train, who is trying to redeem a gamble lost at Leicester after being slowly away.
The 6.4 Ghost Train this morning must be my first position and, since I’m unable to anticipate the adjustments with you during the day, I will simply leave a Ghost Train stakes saver on Three Sugars.
BET 5.5pts win DEFY THE ODDS (2.20 Goodwood)
BET 5pts win BALDEMAR and 2.4pts win CLEAR PRAISE (2.40 Epsom)
BET 7.4pts win FREE VERSE (2.50 Goodwood)
BET 4.7pts win SHESHA BEAR (3.50 Epsom)
BET 3.3pts win COMPTON BLUE (4.00 Goodwood)
BET 2.3pts win VOLITO (4.30 Goodwood)
BET 3.7pts win on each GHOST TRAIN and THREE SUGARS (4.40 Southwell)