It was terrific to ride three nice winners at York on Saturday along with two seconds. Fox Chairman stepped forward again and it was just a bit frustrating to bump into Aspetar who won that York Stakes nicely. Anyway, the action keeps coming fast and this week we roll onto Glorious Goodwood. I’ve often said it’s a lovely meeting to ride at as it has the quality of Royal Ascot, without the added pressure. This year will be stranger than ever behind closed doors, but it’s a track I enjoy riding at. On Monday morning I recorded another Zoom Room discussing the meeting and my rides and you can watch that below…
ANGEL POWER (1.10pm)
She is a filly we have always liked who is still learning her game. Despite the fact that she is up another 5lbs, I was pleased with her run at Haydock last month when she was only just touched off. That will have hopefully put her spot on for a race like this and she should go well from a nice draw.
A typically tough-looking Goodwood handicap over 10 furlongs where I ride Maydanny for Mark Johnston. He flopped for whatever reason at Newmarket last time but was very progressive before that disappointment. He followed a good win at Yarmouth with a pleasing run in the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. If he can return to that sort of form and the step up in trip suits, he will surely be a leading player. He has a nice low weight and also a decent gate which should make life a bit easier in a race like this. There are dangers everywhere but one I fear most is Simon and Ed Crisford’s Cape Cavalli. I rode him to finish second on his reappearance at Newcastle and he took a massive step forward last time at York. He looks the one to beat despite the hike in the weights.
Vintage Stakes (2.15pm)
No ride for me in the big two-year-old race where Aidan O’Brien once again looks to hold the key. He saddles Battleground here who looks to build on his win in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. I finished behind him that day on March Law and the son of the great Found dug really deep on rain-softened ground to see out the trip. He will surely build on that performance and may take plenty of beating again.
MARIE’S DIAMOND (2.45pm – Lennox Stakes)
The Lennox Stakes looks a really good renewal and I’m looking forward to riding Marie’s Diamond for Mark Johnston once again. He was really good when I made all on him in a Listed contest at Newmarket back in June (pictured below). I wasn’t aboard him when he ran a cracker to finish third in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. That was an extraordinary run and if he can reproduce that form, he will be bang in the mix here. I suppose he was a little disappointing last time in the Summer Mile back at Ascot, but you can always forgive a horse one below par run. There is no reason to change the tactics here from a good low draw and we will go forward and hope for the best. The positive thing about those simple tactics is you avoid all the inevitable traffic problems in behind. I have huge respect for the likes of Space Blues and Safe Voyage, but we will give it a good crack.
Goodwood Cup (3.15pm)
No ride for me in the feature Group One Goodwood Cup where all eyes will be on Stradivarius as he looks to win the race for a record fourth time. He was in breathtaking form at Royal Ascot and if he reappears here in anywhere near the same form, he will take some stopping. The only real danger to him on paper looks to be Aidan O’Brien’s Santiago who comes here having won the Irish Derby. His Royal Ascot win was over two furlongs shorter, so he has to prove he truly stays. He certainly didn’t look like he was stopping that day so he shouldn’t be beaten for stamina. He gets a massive 15lbs from Stradivarius and that should make it a real good race, but whether he can beat Stradivarius remains a massive task.
WELL DONE FOX (3.45pm)
Only the 11 runners for the five furlong sprint handicap where I ride Well Done Fox for Richard Hannon. The presence of the likes of Ornate, Caspian Prince and A Momentofmadness means that this will be run at a really fast clip. I’ve been convinced that five furlongs is the right trip for my fella as he showed his best over this distance on his reappearance at Newmarket. If he doesn’t get run off his feet early, he will be a big player late on and I’m looking forward to riding him.
I don’t know too much about Sarvi, who I ride for Jim Goldie in the last, other than the fact that you always have to respect his runners when they come down South. Looking at her form, it appears she will relish any more rain if it falls. Her two wins have come on bad ground, so I guess it’s a case of the softer, the better.