Goodwood Part Two should be the title of this week’s article as I did rather well, even if I do say so myself, and need to blow that trumpet when the opportunity arises (after all, we take all the flak when things go pear shaped)!
Brown Panther was pretty much my bet of the week as it seemed so glaringly obvious that this was the one and only plan for the season and he does look a different animal after what I am told is a different training regime and less races this season. I agree the Goodwood Cup is only a Group Two as opposed to the Ascot Gold Cup but he still picked up about £57,000 prize money with any amount in hand and it will be interesting to see if he takes up his Irish St Leger appointment on the 15th September at The Curragh, as I wonder whether he may need longer breaks between races to be seen at his very best?
Friday was the turn of (yawn yawn) Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes who doubled up via Wentworth (don’t ask why I failed to back him, its along and painful story), and the very impressive Montiridge. To watch a Group Three and be left open mouthed is a rare occurrence but this rapidly improving three year old put this lot to bed with a devastating turn of foot when asked to go and win his race, winning with any amount in hand. Where he goes next will be the big question (no entries at the moment but plenty of options), though he will naturally try to avoid Toronado so I suspect a trip to France could be on the agenda.
Saturday saw the meeting draw to it’s inevitable close, though I still find it sad each and ever season as another major meeting heads off in to the record books. Multi runner handicaps were the order of the final day for most punters, knowing full well that finding any winner would result in a decent return, though whoever backed Seeking Magic in the opener did a lot better than me. Clive Cox trains the winner who was quietly supported at 16/1, though I have excuses for Enrol who was going well enough before being shuffled back through the pack, then running on when the race was over. In the Nassau Stakes I confess Winsili was not really on my short list though how my each way selection Sajjhaa failed to place is beyond me, as she was in the first three throughout the last furlong until passed narrowly ahead of the line, and at odds of 11/1 (taken early doors), that would have seen me profit. Meanwhile, Sky Lantern was backed as if defeat was out of the question and was without a doubt unlucky in running but if her stamina had been assured she would not have needed to look for a run and I am still to be convinced that she truly gets any further than a mile.
The Stewards Cup followed and as I cannot remember backing the winner since Soba in 1982, it came as no shock to me that I failed dismally once again! With the tricast paying £8910.35 (no winning tickets) I was not the only one, though William Haggas’ Rex Imperator was backed down to 12/1 before scoring very easily and I suspect an off course gamble that nobody told me about?
Elsewhere, one to add to the horses to follow list was the John Gosden trained Taayel who won at Doncaster on his comeback after nine months off then track. He looked as if he needed the run, drifted in the early betting as if he certainly needed the run, and blew like me after a 100 metres race in the unsaddling enclosure, all of which made the victory all the more impressive. He is a shoe in to improve for the race and will be worth backing next time out though it will be interesting to see just how highly they aim him next with Group races very much on the agenda for this beautiful looking son of Tamayuz.
Looking ahead to the weekend, and the main meeting has to be Newmarket as the Shergar Cup may be good fun (and better publicity for the sport), but all the races are handicaps and more in Ron’s domain than mine. Those looking to have a punt at a higher level are pretty much left with the Sweet Solera Stakes over seven furlongs and due off at 3.35pm. Baby Bush is an interesting possible for the aforementioned Hannon team while the extra furlong is likely to suit Wedding Ring yet I am told that Ihtimal is the one I ought to be on here. Three frustrating places have cost me an arm and a leg but the form looks as solid as we can find in this particular race, and as is oft the case for me, I am happy enough to reply on our old friend Silvestre De Sousa.
Suggested for this week:
Ihtimal 3.35pm Newmarket Saturday
Horses to follow:
Cape Arrow – a twice raced two year old trained by Paul Cole and held in very high regard at the stable and I am now told should be far better as a three year old (entered at Sandown Friday).
Afortunado – unraced three year old trained by Conrad Allen.
Taayel – a nice lightly raced sort trained in Newmarket by John Gosden – should be Group class, will improve for his reappearance, and well worth adding to your little black book.