Graeme Rodway's dos and don'ts for betting at Glorious Goodwood
Don’t bet on every race
With five days of action coming thick and fast it’s easy to get carried away but don’t get sucked into betting on every race. Sacrifice a few with a view to specialising on some of the other contests and that could pay dividends. I prefer punting in handicaps and the tougher the better, but if your forte is Group races there is plenty to get your teeth stuck into. Discipline is the key to making money and that is never more true than at a big meeting like Goodwood.
Do shop around
There is so much competition for business at a big meeting and it will mean bigger prices on offer in the morning, so make sure you shop around and take the best odds. Most firms will be offering Best Odds Guaranteed, so you can’t go wrong, and keep an eye out for bookmakers who are going extra places in the big races. The more competitive the contest, the more places are likely to be available so make sure you make the most of the additional places on offer. There’s nothing better than backing a horse who sneaks into an extra place late in the day to secure a small profit from what usually would have been a losing bet.
Don’t be caught out by the draw
There is a sharp turn into the straight at Goodwood and a low draw can be crucial over seven furlongs and a mile. That is particularly true on the Friday when the false rail is taken out and the bend becomes sharper than before. The Golden Mile is a prime example of a race where the draw is more prevalent than in the majority of big-field handicaps run throughout the year, so stick to this golden rule: from Friday onwards make sure you side with those drawn low.
Do follow Qatari-owned horses
This meeting was always known as Glorious Goodwood when I was growing up but in recent seasons it has evolved into the Qatar Goodwood Festival and the Qatari’s have enjoyed plenty of success at the fixture since their sponsorship started with a ten-year deal in 2015.
Qatar Racing Limited and Al Shaqab Racing are the two most prominent Qatari-based ownerships in Britain and both have a healthy 17 per cent strike-rate at Goodwood in the last five seasons. However, it is the Al Shaqab partnership which has proved the most profitable to follow, with a £1 bet on all of their runners in that time yielding a tidy £26.87 return.
Do back speed over stamina
Goodwood is one of the sharper tracks in Britain and it suits those with plenty of speed. You need to travel to have any chance at Goodwood and it rarely pays to back staying types.
Battaash is the perfect example and he will be odds-on to complete a hat-trick in the King George Qatar Stakes on Friday. The Charlie Hills-trained speedball has looked unbeatable on the downhill layout at Goodwood and nothing has finished within two lengths of him. Look for similar strong-travelling types who might relish the test of speed and you won’t go far wrong.
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