Glorious Goodwood can be frustrating

July 26th, 2015 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

This week is all about Glorious Goodwood which, for all its glamour and attraction as a spectacle, can prove deeply frustrating for serious backers. I have said time and again that Goodwood is a track where the best horse in the race may not necessarily win due to circumstances which are no fault of its own. I have seen horses get stuck on the rails in five-horse fields, although I have to say in recent years jockeys have been more prepared to switch and ensure they get a clear run through. Anyway I have a few horses in mind and the new Snapshot Service is the perfect medium to pass on my thoughts, as I can be more selective than with the Online Preview. The Snapshot will be produced for each of the five days of Goodwood, Tuesday through to Saturday.

Looking back to the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes I belong in the camp that believes this was not a vintage renewal. My personal view is that the ground was nothing like as slow as it walked – it was obviously pretty testing around Swinley Bottom – and if Golden Horn had run he probably would have won. He would, though, have taken plenty out of himself and that might have had consequences for his Juddmonte challenge, which is in just over for weeks’ time. There are also hopes for an autumn campaign, including the Arc, so I expect it was consideration for the colt’s long-term programme which had a bearing on the decision. John Gosden implied as much, when he said he would probably have come to a different decision if this was to be the horse’s last race of the season.

As for the race itself, I was surprised to see Postponed handle the ease in the ground so well. Luca Cumani said afterwards that he didn’t know how the colt would act, but he has stressed in the past that Postponed is particuarly well suited to fast ground. I thought Eagle Top was a little unlucky to be forced wide soon after the home turn, losing more ground than the nose by which he was beaten. Initially it looked as if Frankie Dettori had timed his challenge to perfection, and indeed his mount did strike the front for two or three strides before Postponed gallantly fought back to put his head down on the line. The winner’s courage won the day – his trainer said afterwards he had never lost a gallop in his life – and following the Hardwicke we have to accept there is precious little between the two horses. We will probably see them meet again in the Arc, where they will come up against the mighty Treve and possibly Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs.

From the rest of the card I think we need to keep on the right side of Portage, who defied a mark of 90 in the 1m handicap. Michael Halford’s son of Teofilo met with trouble in running in the Britannia but he won here in the manner of a horse on the verge of Pattern-class. He will be raised about 7/8lb for this, leaving him ideally poised for a strike at the Cambridgeshire.

That race may also be in Simon Crisford’s mind for Peril, who won the ladies’ race with a little more in hand than the margin suggests.

I hope to be updating this page on a more regular basis from now on following a little time away.

Have a great week and bye for now!