Goodwood Day Five and after a real marathon as far as I am concerned, we wrap up the Glorious meeting for another year. In all honesty I cannot day it was one of my better Goodwood’s financially, but that’s only because I am stupid enough to get involved in too many races for my own good – I did have a few winners and made a profit but not as much as a sensible punter would have managed. Saturday after noon was not the graveyard it could have ben, but I failed to even think twice about Barnet Fair or any of the runners in an impossible handicap in my eyes. Yes Dandy Nicholls is suddenly hitting some semblance of form and yes he does historically like a winner or two here when possible, but a second to Racy off the same mark was not enough to inspire me though to be fair, Cam Hardie was good value for his claim which after a short head victory certainly made all the difference and added close to £25,000 to connections pockets.
Having seen Rainbow Rock called a non-runner my interest in the race was as a neutral for a change though I would like to say that I know I ought to have transferred across to Mark Johnston’s 7/1 shot Double Bluff who won what looked like a competitive event pretty easily. How his trainer gets horses bred for a speedier trip (in this case around the mile and a quarter mark) to say further like tie twelve furlongs is a neat trick and the way he ran on I suspect we may well see him get better as he goes further as the season progresses?
As mentioned earlier I did not back too many winners but John Gosden came to my rescue yet again via Sultanina who was my second biggest bet of the day (see Muthmir, sadly). She always looked the sort to improve with racing and so it proved as she ran way from her field when asked to go and win her race, and remembering this was only her fourth career start at the age of four, I would bet there is still more to come (though as I took the BSP of 7.54 I don’t really care to be honest). Muthmir was the negative to that positive as I took the 7/1 overnight – and failed to lay off at much shorter prices as he was eventually sent off the frankly silly 5/2 favourite. Win bets as large as £3000 were recorded on track as he shrank from an opening 3/1 which was already way too skinny for a competitive handicap, and to be fair he had few if any excuses. Maybe a run a week ago had taken the edge off the four year old who ran well enough back in fifth – but he will never get a better chance than this once the handicapper gets to him and may even have to move up to Listed company or above, here or more likely abroad for his next race, a remark that may also apply to winner Intrinsic – the vagaries of winning these big race handicaps I suppose?
Nothing awe inspiring leapt off the page before the maiden and that opinion changed very little afterwards though to be fair, Dutch Connection did win with any amount in hand. That said, this was his third race and that experience would have helped him significantly here on a track where any experience can be beneficial. Personally, I can never work out why these races belong on a Glorious Goodwood card which is a “championship” of sorts as they tell us precious little but never mind, I like a mini rant now and again over Sunday breakfast!
Once again Mark Johnston reminded us all how he fine-tunes for the big meetings with yet another winner courtesy of Grigolo. Beating the runner up a length and a half in receipt of three pounds will have made the handicapper happy I suppose, but I was more interested in When Will It End who was a bit unlucky back in fourth after being denied a run when being wound up by Richard Hughes, forcing them to switch before being squeezed for room and although I doubt he would have won, he may be better handicapped next time out when a mile may be just what he needs with everything happening a bit too fast for him over this seven furlong trip.
One last race gave me one last chance to bag another winner but it wasn’t to be as War Spirit faded tamely to finish a well-beaten eighth for no apparent reason I can see – and I won’t be backing him again unless he has a good month off just in case. Online Alexander was a worthy winner under Amy Ryan who rode a peach of a race to score on the three year old who had previously finished runner up to Money Team off a lower mark making this victory all the more meritorious (or even planned?). He was not unsupported so this was no surprise to some, yet I somehow suspect this was the plan and they will struggle to find him another race off his new mark that seems sure to be well in to the 90’s.
Conclusions –simple really – Kingman is still a baby and should continue to improve with racing, John Gosden has a ridiculous embarrassment of talent among the fillies, and Mark Johnston and Joe fanning can be ignored at your peril however far south the meeting – I wonder if that will still be sage advice by the same time next year?