I was thrilled to win the Gordon Stakes on Nayef Road for Mark Johnston on Thursday. He’s such a gutsy and tough horse, he really battled all the way to the line. Mark is a fantastic trainer, to get 50 winners in July was an incredible achievement and Nayef Road is typical of one of Mark’s horses. The yard have now started August in perfect style as well! I’d hit the crossbar a few times earlier in the week, so it was really nice to get one on the board. Here are my thoughts on my Friday rides…
I kick off day four on Perfection for David O’Meara. It’s nice to have a ride for David and his horse are in great form at the moment. There’s a big field for this race, so it’s not going to be easy, but we’ve got a nice draw in stall four close to the favourite Jubiloso. She was second in a Group Three at the Curragh last time and before that she ran well in the Wokingham. She’ll have to improve again, but she’s a decent each-way price and must have a chance of getting placed. I would also flag William Haggas’ Solar Gold as a big danger. She was a close second in the Bunbury Cup last month and looks a filly on the up.
I COULD DO BETTER 2.25pm
This is another wide open race and I’m on I Could Do Better for Ian Williams – we could all do better, couldn’t we?! The horse is unbeaten in three career runs for Keith Dalgleish and this will be his first start for Ian. I don’t know a lot about him but he deserves a crack at a race like this and hopefully he’ll run well. It’s not an easy race. I was very impressed with Paul Cole’s Duke Of Hazzard at Newmarket last month and he is probably the one we all have to beat.
ORIGINAL CHOICE 3.00pm
This is one of the most competitive handicaps of the whole week and Original Choice was a close third in this race 12 months ago when trained by William Haggas. He’s now with Nick Littmoden and on his best form he would have a chance, while it’s also a positive that he’s run well both times he’s raced at Goodwood. His recent form isn’t that strong, but his draw in eight isn’t too bad as you need to be low in this race. Of the others, Mojito won well at Sandown last time and Beat Le Bon is on a hat-trick and is well drawn in stall three.
3.35pm – King George Stakes
No ride for me in big race of the day, but Battaash surely has to be the one as he tries to win this for a third year running. Goodwood suits him perfectly and on his day there is no horse quicker.
If you’re looking for something to hit the frame, I would have to say Judicial. He loves a strong pace and could be the one to follow Battaash home.
DARK SILVER 4.10pm
Another competitive Goodwood nursery. This is the first time I’ll have ridden Dark Silver and he’s one of the more unexposed runners in the field. It’s my second ride for Ed Walker’s yard this week, so it’s nice to get some new connections. Mark Johnston always has a strong hand in nurseries and I was quite impressed by Praxeology when I won on him at Salisbury last time.
FOX VARDY 5.15pm
Fox Vardy won his last start at Windsor in June but he’ll have to improve again to take this. We do have a nice draw in stall five, though. King Power also have Top Power in the field, he’s got a mark now and we hope he’ll prove better than that sooner rather than later. I rode High Commissioner for Paul Cole at Newbury last time. He ran very well and should have a good chance of hitting the frame in a very hard race to call.
If you have a question for Silvestre drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and include in the next blog…