It has certainly been a rollercoaster ride for us racing fans in the past week and sadly I do not only mean the undulations at Glorious Goodwood.
Every Thursday night I try to make myself sit down and analyse my bets and the first thing I saw was a loss on Workforce which, believe it or not, I had almost forgotten in the aftermath of the King George from Ascot. I am man enough to admit that I let out an audible yelp (to the embarrassment of the family) when Rewilding broke down at the end of his last race, which reminded me in brutal fashion how horses and jockeys put their necks on the line for my entertainment, day in and day out. His loss was, by all accounts, a tragic and unavoidable accident, but it did leave a sour taste in my mouth, as he was still a fairly untapped talent who will now never get the chance to show us what he was really capable of.
On the bright side, we did see a decent horse win the race in the shape of Nathaniel who ran on strongly over the mile and a half and had St Leger written all over him. I did, for a fraction of a second, consider an ante post bet on this son of Galileo until I remembered just how unfashionable the fifth classic has become among the breeding fraternity (more speed please), so common sense suggests we wait until the day to see if he lines up or not. Workforce, on the other hand, may or may not have gone close had he kept a straight line but the truth is he is not the unbeatable machine connections hoped as a four year old and with my fingers badly burnt, I will think long and hard before backing him again in a hurry.
On the same day I also backed Club Oceanic at Newmarket in the mile and a quarter handicap as I was convinced he had the form to win this contest, which he duly did. Unfortunately for me, my bottle went with two furlongs to go and I laid him in running but a small profit is better than no profit at all and I can at least take the satisfaction that I found the winner, even if it wasn’t as profitable as it should have been.
Not a lot happened Sunday or Monday as I waited for Glorious Goodwood though I never know why, it is such a minefield to even think about finding all the winners. Just like Royal Ascot, all the rules go out of the window and I bet in every race, looking to make my fortune and invariably failing dismally! I did make a profit when laying Fiorente who at 2.2 looked way too short for the out of sorts Sir Michael Stoute yard. I did worry but this time I kept my nerve and collected, before losing it all on Delegator in the next! I am no conspiracy theorist but do wonder why a better explanation was not asked for as the five year old trailed in a distant last, with the reason given being the ground (which was Good, a surface he has won on three times), or perhaps the trip (he has won over less and further) depending who you listen to, though it did turn out he had been struck in to, though whether that explains his dismal showing is a moot point?
Jockey Richard Hughes also gave me a few grey hairs with his ride on Moustache, a horse I backed purely because he is a Hannon two year old. I backed him before the race and again with a furlong to go as he was moving so easily, and he did win by a nose, but I did worry for a moment that his jockey had left it too late or was that just nerves talking.
On Wednesday Frankel was the one I wanted to be on having seen him win on his debut at Newmarket last August (7/4 in a maiden, hindsight is a wonderful thing), and I spent most of the morning hovering up the best odds to small stakes as Canford Cliff fans seemed eager to lay him. In a race where tactics were paramount, Tom Queally rode a blinder from the front and won as he pleased though I am not going to get carried away just yet, and would prefer to see him do it again against the same rival in a truly run race with a bigger field.
After Frankel, Thursday was a bit of an ante climax but I could be talking through my wallet as I failed to find a winner all day, nor an opportunity to get out in running – ouch. Three favourites on a tricky card must have seen most punters wit a grin on their face but not me I am sorry to say and its back to the drawing board for day four this afternoon.
As a glass half full kind of guy, I refuse to be despondent and am convinced as always that the next winner is just around the corner. Although I will still try and win in every race (will I ever learn?), Harbour Watch is the one to be on in the Richmond Stakes this afternoon at 3.45 from Goodwood, and I hope to find a little evens if I get up early enough. Richard Hannon Junior made no secret of his high regard for the son of Acclamation who is unbeaten after two runs at Salisbury and Newmarket and apparently works with Casual Glimpse who won the Tatler Stakes yesterday.
At a better price, I also like the chances of Chachamaidee in the Oak Tree Stakes at 4.50. Trained by the one and only Sir Henry Cecil, I remember backing her on her debut when she won at Lingfield and have followed her over a cliff ever since with three wins and sadly eight losses. She ran her best race ever last time out when runner up to Lolly For Dolly in the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot, and with the drop in class and a furlong less to travel she must have every chance, and seems a safe each way option.
On Saturday Glorious Goodwood comes to a close for another year, but I will still have a couple of bets starting with Misty For Me in the Nassau Stakes (3.10 Goodwood Saturday). Aiden O’Brien has been conspicuous by his absence so far in Sussex but sends this three-year-old filly here where she has her toughest task to date taking on the likes of Snow Fairy who is my idea for the forecast. My selection has the beating of Midday on Curragh form and gets her age allowance of ten pounds from her elders, which could be enough to sway it in one of the races of the meeting.
Finally, I will have a small each way bet in the Stewards Cup (3.45 Goodwood Saturday), how can anyone resist a twenty-eight runner handicap over six furlongs as away to fame and fortune? Hoof It looks sure to start favourite but as we have only had one winning jolly and one co jolly in the past ten years, I am willing to pass him by. I could name ten contenders and still not have one in the first five but at odds around 36.0 to win and 7.0 to place, a little on Kanaf will do for me. The four year old won as he pleased last time out and arrives here with a six pound penalty, has a good draw in the 20 stall, Chris Catlin in the saddle, and represents the in form Ed Dunlop yard – no certainty but certainly overpriced in my opinion for what it’s worth.
Summary of my bets this week:
4pts Win Harbour Watch 3.45 Goodwood Friday
1pt Win 1pt Place Chachamaidee 4.50 Goodwood Friday
2pts Win Misty For Me 3.10 Goodwood Saturday
1pt Win 1pt Place Kanaf 3.45 Goodwood Saturday