Reflections On Goodwood

July 31st, 2016 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

I made no secret of the fact that I had recently been through a rough spell of form, but also added that I intended to do something about it.

As I put on my Twitter account, I decided to return to basics and revisit some of the tried and tested methods that had served me well so many years ago. One of these was to ensure that every day I pored through the advance five-day entries and overnight declarations, putting a line through the races that did not interest me.

This is far more effective than using the Racing Post website, mainly because the act of putting a line through a race takes control of the situation – a kind of empowerment. The same applies to marking a horse out for interest. By contrast, if you wait for the day of the race then you find yourself bombarded with data and views from elsewhere, blinding you to the horse which may really interest you.

Personally I like to perform this task away from my working environment. I am blessed here in the Lake District, and there is a little pub along the bay which looks after me very well. The landlord loves his racing, too, which helps.

Well I am pleased to say everything went well, with my three selections to date for the Weekend Card each winning, with one more to run in the week.

The Weekend Card was always one of our most successful services and its return has been well received by clients, many of whom are former subscribers. We have revamped it, with other feature writers as well as loyal stalwart Ian Carnaby and my assistant Jodie Standing.

Kings Fete was a good winner for us on Friday, while I also gave a strong mention for Poet’s Word in the last. Both are typical late-maturing types and the sort with which Sir Michael Stoute traditionally does so well. The former had been desperately unlucky not to win at Royal Ascot and he now looks set for Group 2 honours. He had to miss last season due to a tendon injury sustained in the 2014 St Leger and had been gelded in the interim.

Poet’s Word is most definitely a horse to stay with. I was prepared to forgive his slightly disappointing run at Epsom on account of the track and the soft ground. I loved the way he powered home in the final furlong here and I confidently expect him to be competing in Group class company over a mile and a half. He will be raised about 8lb, from 88 to something in the mid-90s, for this.

Earlier in the week I was delighted to see Mehmas win. I went to some lengths on my line to advise clients that the son of Acclamation is a very tenacious battler, noting his determined head carriage, and it was that courage which won him the race. Apparently runner-up Blue Point was considered a world beater beforehand – it seemed that a fair number of pundits had stepped in to back him – but Mehmas is an out-and-out professional and time may show that this was a special effort, conceding the second 3lb.

Ulysses, who had been my selection for the Derby, returned to winning ways in the Gordon Stakes. The colt had been buffeted around at Epsom, after which his rider allowed him to stroll home in his own time. He still looked immature here, but he ran a few pounds above his mark and won’t mind dropping back to a mile and a quarter.

Keep on the right side of Queen’s Trust, who ran so well to chase home Minding in the Nassau Stakes. I know that Sir Michael has always rated the filly highly and I was confident beforehand that she would outrun her price.

Dancing Star justified my rather unimaginative selection in the Card for the Stewards’ Cup, while the other winner was Luca Cumani’s newcomer El Vip at Doncaster. Luca Cumani has always liked him and this victory was not unexpected.

Bye for now