The scenery is fantastic at Britain's most naturally beautiful racecourse, set in the Sussex countryside with a naturally panoramic view of the entire track. Combine this with high class racing at the uniquely tricky and undulating Goodwood racecourse, and you have a compelling test for any punter. Here we present our ten point betting plan to take to advantage of Goodwood betting odds and make your Glorious Goodwood a profitable one.
2019 Goodwood Festival Dates
The 2019 Goodwood Festival runs in July and August.
1- The Goodwood draw is crucial
Low numbers are hugely favoured on the round Goodwood course, with the ability to secure a pitch against the far rail before the relatively sharp turn for home crucial. Those drawn high either have to take a pull and drop in, relying on luck in running to get a run through up the inner, or use up valuable energy early to get across and into a prominent pitch. Over the years, low drawn frontrunners have a terrific record here, often proving impossible to pass with scrimmaging in behind on the camber allowing them to escape on the lead.
2- Certain jockeys excel at Goodwood
The Goodwood track is unique and very difficult to ride, with frequent trouble in running as the field concertinas on the camber and hard luck stories are common. Follow these four riders who have excellent strike rates over the past five years at Goodwood (especially considering how competitive the racing is)
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3- Follow Mark Johnston at Goodwood
One trainer stands put from the pack at Goodwood, with his string traditionally at the peak of its powers in midsummer and a lot of the runners suited by frontrunning on fast ground and finding more for pressure as the pack closes. The Middleham handler has sent out 39 winners in the past five years at Goodwood from 229 runners, 17% win rate and showing an incredible level stakes profit at starting prices of over one hundred pounds.
4- Goodwood course form can be crucial
Time and time again the same horses come back to Glorious Goodwood and run blinders, almost regardless of the form they have been in recently. Watch the action from the past few years at Goodwood before the meeting begins. You will spot unlucky losers or horses who clearly handle the undulations well. They may be ignored in the Goodwood betting market because they have not been at their best of late, but very often they will peak at this time of year when the ground comes right (and their handicap mark has slipped back to a winnable level).
5- Check the latest going with your own eyes
Goodwood Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley has something of a reputation for over-watering with punters (to put it politely). Regardless of the official report it is worth watching the first race each day and to check the winning times (and listen to the jockeys reports when they come in). This will be a much more accurate guide as to whether the surface is as predicted, and not been changed by over-zealous and under-reported watering the evening before. Frequently "good to firm" can become "good to soft" for no obvious weather reasons, and punters must beware of backing confirmed fast ground performers before they have watched the first race each day.
6- Look for sole frontrunners or those that like to race prominently
Try and work out how the races will be run and identify lone frontrunners. These will be able to dictate their own fractions and avoid any bother in behind. On fast ground especially, frontrunners have a terrific record at this meeting, and latching onto a tough and genuine trailblazer is a far safer strategy than chancing a hold-up performer with a turn of foot (who has form at a flatter, more conventional track).
7- Play each-way when the terms are favourable
During the Glorious Goodwood meeting many bookmakers will offer up 1/4 the odds a place on all races. In uncompetitive Group races with small fields (and not many realistic contenders or a long odds-on favourite) this can be terrific value for the astute player. Pick your punches, avoid the 15 runner lottery handicaps, and play when the terms are clearly in your favour. The fact that this meeting is top class and traditionally very competitive means the bookmakers come out to play, and offer their prices in bigger size than is normally the case.
8- Avoid short priced "hyped-up" public horses
Glorious Goodwood has a reputation as something of a punters graveyard, with horses not getting a clear run and some very messy races in bigger fields as they roll around on the camber. Avoid the shortest priced runners and the hyped up public "name" horses. Search instead for horses with a proven ability at the track in the past. Inexperienced juveniles often come here on the back of impressive debut wins on flatter/fairer tracks, and are sunk without trace at very thin prices. Battle hardened runners, perhaps with less potential but with experience of undulations at Brighton, Lingfield or Epsom are usually better value and certain of performing at their best.
9- Take advantage of all Goodwood bookmaker offers
With racing more and more something of a "loss leader" for many firms, the value on offer can be incredible for the more discerning punter willing to shop around and play only at the top price available. Not only are the best prices rarely over 100% (or anywhere close to that break even mark for the layers) when taken collectively, but there is a huge range of enhanced prices and concessions available on the day of the big race. Money back if you come 2nd to the favourite, BOG, extra places etc etc are all commonplace and can give the punter a real edge. Check the invaluable bettingexpert free bets page for a summary of the best available on the 2016 Glorious Goodwood meeting, and make sure you have a full range of accounts fully funded and ready to take advantage.
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