Goodwood Day Four and the Godolphin horses look to be on their way back judged on the running of 2012 St leger winner Encke, who ran a blinder to finish second to Pether’s Moon in the opener here. Where he heads next could be interesting (Irish St Leger at a guess), but if he goes off too short do build the possibility that he “bounces” in to your thinking, as this was his first run for close to two years!
Sadly, I am not too sure what Adam Kirby was thinking on board Rapprochement as he certainly looked as if he set off a bit too fast early doors (I confess- I haven’t seen the fractions), before being murdered and coming home a distant last in his own time. He wasn’t going to be disgraced as far as I could tell and clearly has plenty of ability (this was only his second run), and I will be keeping an eye out for his next race.
As you may have read yesterday I was all over Our Channel for the Betfred Mile and took exchange odds of 17.5 and 5.1 overnight which looked like value as the stalls opened. For 90% or so of the race I was on the winner as Silvestre De Sousa went off like he had been stung by a hornet, though why he decided to be there to be shot at is beyond me –a quick look at his past form shows you he is at his best hitting the front with a furlong or two to go? These things happen and all I can do is lick my wounds and congratulate both Jimmy Fortune and Ed Dunlop for the winner Red Avenger, who was not for a moment on my short list.
First time blinkers worked the oracle and in spades for the four year old as he came late and fast to score at odds of 12/1 – though it may as well have been 1,000,000/1 – there was no way I would have backed him regardless.
The King George followed and was a cracker though I would say that – I had a little each way on winner Take Cover. The punters certainly had it right with the 6/1 shot beating 5/1 chance Extortionist by a neck, with favourite Moviesta a short head further away in third. This looked like an all time best run to me from the winner so all credit to trainer David Griffiths, who is improving him at the age of seven and granted a good draw, who is to say he cannot step up to Group One level next time out?
A nursery is the equivalent to sticking needles in my own eyes as far as I am concerned as by definition they are handicapped two year olds with untold room for improvement though, as an old timer, it was good to see Henry Candy add another winner to his CV with Son Of Africa, who was always doing enough to hold off any challengers though I won’t be getting too carried away with the form in what looked to me like a pretty weak renewal.
Being wise after the event is an art I am getting better at day by day, and now I look at the form of Oak Tree Stakes winner J Wonder it is all so glaringly obvious. She started her season with a win in the Fred Darling Stakes over this seven-furlong trip before being beaten in both the French 1000 Guineas and then the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, both over a mile. In both races she led at the furlong pole before fading badly late on – and a 7/1 obvious winner slips through the net.
Finally, the lucky last wasn’t for me, though local (ish) trainer Gary Moore did score with Tall Ship with the removal of the visor enough to put me off. His best race previously was in first time headgear at Epsom though I saw no reason to expect him to improve from that – others disagreed hence the starting price of 10/1, nowhere near as generous as I would have expected.
Looking ahead for one last time at this particular Festival, and Muthmir will do for me in the Stewards Cup, obvious or not. I have to take it as read that he is fully recovered from an easy win at York but if he has, then a six pound penalty seems unlikely to stop him and with a decent draw in the two stall even the current 7/1 looks like a decent price to me – we shall soon see!