Salutation can get in-form Johnston off to a flyer at his beloved Glorious Goodwood

Bill Esdaile
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THE opening handicap of Glorious Goodwood, the Stakes (1.55pm), has not been the most friendly for punters in recent years. No favourite has won in the past decade and it was Richard Hughes who took the first of his nine wins 12 months ago, but with surprise 16/1 shot Viewpoint.

Plenty will fancy Hughes to hit the scoreboard first time up again with The Queen’s Sea Shanty, who finished an excellent fourth in the Hunt Cup last time. That would get those famous Panama hats, so familiar at Goodwood, flying into the air.

And if you do fancy Hughes to score, don’t miss out on Unibet’s standout 10/1 offer about the champion jockey winning a record 10 or more races at this year’s meeting.

However, for any Goodwood handicap I always look at the Mark Johnston yard and SALUTATION must have an excellent chance after finishing second to Arab Spring at Royal Ascot. He looks a typical Johnston improver and he is very experienced for a four-year-old. Take the 8/1 with Unibet.

I wouldn’t rule out Johnston’s other two runners, Sennockian Star and Busatto, but the other one to back is NICEOFYOUTOTELLME for Ralph Beckett. Jim Crowley’s mount was hampered in the Hunt Cup but had looked good with a winning return at Newmarket so 14/1 is a fair price.

Today’s highlight, the bet365 Lennox Stakes (3.05pm), has a lop-sided shape to it with last year’s champion juvenile Toormore heading the market and the rest of the 10 runners much of a muchness.

Toormore was unbeaten in three starts last term and won the Craven on his reappearance but, although the colt hasn’t been disgraced in the 2000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace since, he must prove he’s capable of last year’s standards.

BOOM AND BUST is an exposed seven-year-old, but his best performances have been at Goodwood including a win and a fourth in the Betfred Mile, and a third in this contest last year.

Marcus Tregoning has had a few winners of late and his horses always run well on the Downs. In a race where there isn’t a confirmed front-runner, Boom And Bust could be allowed an easy time of things on the lead and is more than capable of at least snatching a place. The 33/1 with Unibet is a good each-way bet, especially with the firm paying 1/4 odds, three places.

In the bet365 Summer Stakes (3.40pm), HAVANA COOLER looks the most progressive horse in the field and can atone for what at first looked a disappointing performance when favourite for the Old Newton Cup at Haydock last time.

However, despite finishing sixth, the four-year-old was only beaten 2¼ lengths and that came on the back of a great run at Royal Ascot.

Already prominent in the betting for York’s Ebor, Luca Cumani’s charge is sure to relish moving back up in trip here and the 4/1 with Unibet should be snapped up.

The online bookmaker is enhancing all show prices on every horse for the 1.55pm and is boosting all of Ryan Moore and Richard Hughes’ rides in the show, not just tomorrow, but throughout the week.

Hugo Palmer’s string are in fine form and he can land back-to-back renewals of the bet365 Stakes (4.50pm), this time with EXTREMITY. The three-year-old is wearing cheekpieces for the first time, should relish moving up to a mile and has a good draw in stall one. Ryan Moore takes the ride - another positive.

Finally, VALMINA can go well at a big price in the closing five furlong sprint. He has been placed in both his starts over course and distance and is down to a winnable mark. His trainer Tony Carroll has won the last two runnings of this race with 25/1 and 22/1 shots.

SALUTATION e/w 1.55pm Goodwood
NICEOFYOUTOTELLME e/w 1.55pm Goodwood
BOOM AND BUST e/w 3.05pm Goodwood
HAVANA COOLER 3.40pm Goodwood
EXTREMITY e/w 4.50pm Goodwood
VALMINA e/w 5.20pm Goodwood