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Our horse racing expert Sam Boswell is looking ahead to the midseason highlight of the Flat season, as Glorious Goodwood day one arrives.

Goodwood gets underway today with a busy eight race card, with the Goodwood Cup over the extended trip the group one highlight. The week always features highly competitive racing, but has often been one of the better big race meets for favourite backers.

Each day, I will try to find you a few horses to consider backing for a bit of interest and hopefully come out Saturday in profit. The two handicap selections both come in races where we are paying five places.

Lucander E/W

Chesterfield Cup - 13:50 Goodwood

We get started with an open looking handicap and a race that will give us answers around how the ground is riding. At time of writing this blog Goodwood has had significant rain and is more or less heading to soft all round, with more due ahead of racing it does help to narrow the field towards those that we know can handle ease underfoot.

A horse in the opener I am prepared to side with is Lucander, he was a winner at York on soft ground over the trip off a mark of 94 back in August last year, this season we saw some promise in a seasonal return at Newmarket where he finished second (again on soft ground) before two moderate runs at Royal Ascot and at York on good to firm and good ground respectively.

The biggest plus point for the selection aside from the four year old likely to be a type that will enjoy the rain softened ground is the yard form, Ralph Beckett’s team are flying at the moment and in the last two weeks have been operating at around a 25% strike rate.

14/1 looks a very fair each way price to get things started with five places on offer at BetVictor.

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Trueshan - NAP

Goodwood Cup - 15:35 Goodwood

The market has spoken loudly about Stradivarius’ chances, with him being a notable drifter as the ground at Goodwood has eased in the last 48 hours. He will also have his fan base keen to back him and should the rain not materialise I imagine he will be back to odds on, but for me with what we know, Trueshan is the bet to spoil the party.

Wins on Heavy and Soft ground suggest any rain is not an issue. His run in the Northumberland Plate was a very fair effort off top weight.

He will be my Nap of day one with Hollie Doyle on board for the ride.

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Desert Safari E/W

Back To Goodwood Handicap - 16:10 Goodwood

One man who loves Glorious Goodwood is trainer Mark Johnson. His record at the meeting is beyond impressive and it would be some shock if he didn’t come away with yet more winners added to his tally by the close of play Saturday.

This five furlong handicap has a deep field but we have just the one runner from his team in Desert Safari. The four-year-old by Slade Power ticks plenty of boxes.

He has won off a mark of 96 in the past, is a course and distance winner and looks the type to handle any kind of going.

Once again at 16/1 he offers an each way play again with five places on offer with us at BetVictor.

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Odds are correct at the time of posting

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