Cyrano's for those with nose for value

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The Independent Online
Solitude is a rare commodity in the teeming arena of Glorious Goodwood, but for jockeys there is a place where they can feel alone with their thoughts. Several places in fact - the outside stalls in races over a mile, which cast their occupants into a no-man's land from which few prevail. It is an image to keep in mind before taking an almost obligatory dip into the market on today's Schweppes Golden Mile.

In its eight-year existence, the Golden Mile has become one of those irresistible events which demand an interest, much to the delight of bookmakers since a favourite has yet to oblige. Add this fact to the all but insurmountable handicap of a low draw, and both Behaviour (drawn seven of 22) and Khayrapour, who is falling off the other side of the hill in stall one, are dreadful value at their morning-line odds of around 7-1.

Indeed, so many fancied runners will be leaving a low-numbered box that a surprising result is a distinct possibility, the only problem being which of the dozen or so outsiders to support. Desert Green and Moscow Mist are two with a chance, but on a point of value, it is impossible to ignore Cyrano's Lad (3.45), who is propping up William Hill's entire list at odds of 50-1.

This is not a time to remortgage the house, but at a price like that, there is no need to. The fact remains, however, that while much of Cyrano's Lad's limited form is modest, his most recent outing at Newmarket showed considerable improvement. Under top weight, he was beaten only a length and a half by Bouche Bee, a winner both before and since, and the stopwatch implied that his performance was no fluke. A small interest at 50-1 is recommended.

Double Trigger, who heads the market for the Goodwood Cup, also looks vulnerable under a 5lb penalty for his success in the Gold Cup at Ascot. He might also appreciate an extra four furlongs, and BOLD GAIT (nap 3.10), who showed both stamina and acceleration to run away with the Northumberland Plate, is a better choice.

One of the contenders here is Further Flight, who today will not even have the consolation of being the most game and genuine performer on the card. That honour belongs to Vindaloo, already the winner of nine handicaps this season and attempting to become the first horse this century to reach double figures.

His natural surroundings, though, are tracks like Carlisle and Redcar, and courage alone may not be enough today. Cherrington (next best 2.30) should beat him, while Kahir Almaydan (4.15) and Admiral Jones (5.20) should also go well.

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