I’m Seeking Magic at Goodwood today!
We seem to be bidding too many farewells. On Saturday afternoon it’s Richard Hughes’s turn as he hangs up his saddle to join the trainer ranks.
Goodwood has always been his spiritual home, providing many great memories for us and him to reminisce over the years, mine will always be aboard Tillerman, not at Glorious, but instead in the Celebration Mile, somewhat controversial, yet he and the horse were a marriage made in heaven.
His final day will be a very difficult, and a very different day, the emotion is bound to build up as each ride becomes closer to his last.
The relentless interviews and chat, I don’t suppose the actuality will sink in until Sunday or even later as Saturday will provide plenty to occupy his mind.
Richard has been a massive asset to the sport, one which will be impossible to replace.
I can’t wait to see his first of many runners as a trainer, but for now let’s hope fate is generous and sees good that at least one entrance to the winners’ enclosure is made by Hughesy.
But for the draw Magical Memory would be my choice in the Stewards’ Cup. He was so authoritative at Newmarket’s July meeting and his opposition within his age group has been just short of the highest calibre.
Sentiment gives me attachment to Basil Berry having represented his trainer, Chris Dwyer, in the Stewards’ Cup draw, but the ground drying out won’t be to his favour.
On Thursday evening trucks were being backed up into the betting ring as punters shovelled on Muthmir in the King George Stakes. There was a call for wheelbarrows as pockets probably weren’t deep enough!
It started so promisingly for the layers. Having canvassed a few prior to the first race there was a feeling that they could get either The Corsican or Latharnach beaten, with the latter seemingly more vulnerable. As it was, The Corsican was beaten by cruel luck, closing gaps and Dubday.
Though one observation. There are not many horses at big Festival meetings that double in price, but Aktabantay was one such rarity in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes. He was 9-1 out to more than double at 20-1! Other than being involved in a bit of skirmishing, he didn’t run well.
That was enough for the confidence to be boosted and the on-course boys did not face the Betfred Mile with as much trepidation as normal.
Over the years the golden rules for the Betfred Mile have been etched for many to follow, the main one being a single figure draw. Stalls seven, nine, two, 11 and four were the stall numbers of the first five home in 2015 with The Rectifier running a cracker given a soft lead up front.
I can’t wait for the Ebor Meeting with him, while David O’Meara erased another item on his ‘Things to do’ list when So Beloved won the Mile. Goodwood winner, ticked off and and it was his 500th winner over all!
The sad postscript to the Betfred Mile was the loss of Loving Spirit, my heart goes out to the connections, condolences to all.
The ground continues to dry with the word ‘firm’ creeping into the description. There was selective watering on Thursday evening and I am told there will be more thorough come Friday evening.
Tanya Stevenson's Saturday tips:
2.00 Goodwood: Seeking Magic at 20-1 generally available
Tanya Stevenson's Saturday pointers:
2.00 Goodwood - Qatar Stewards' Sprint Stakes:
The last ten favourites have been beaten
Seven of the last eleven winners came from stall 12 or above
Nine of the last ten winners were aged five or older
Kevin Ryan has had no luck with his 12 runners over the last decade
Slip Sliding Away has had 11 runs at Goodwood resulting in four wins and two seconds and a third
2.35 Goodwood - Educate A Child Stakes:
The favourite has run woefully in the last ten years with only one second placing and a third in that time.
Mark Johnston has won the race three times in the last seven years
3.10 Goodwood - Qatar Nassau Stakes:
Nine of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting
Eight of the last ten winners had at least contested a Group One
Three-year-olds have been the dominant force in the race with only eight older horses obliging since 1970
Seven of the last ten winners had won at least one Group One previously to winning the Nassau
Seven of the last ten winners had finished no worse than second on their previous start
3.45 Goodwood - Qatar Stewards’ Cup:
Seven the last 10 winners carried 9-1 or more
Eight of the last ten winners were aged four or five
Nine of the last ten winners were drawn in stall 10 or above
Eight of the last ten winners had no more than four races prior to Glorious Goodwood that season
Eight of the last ten winners came from the first six in the betting
All of the last ten winners had won over 6f
Fourteen of the last 18 winners ran in the Wokingham and of those 13 had had another subsequent run prior to Goodwood!
The last horse to run in a Group race prior to the Stewards’ Cup and win was back in 1981.
In the last 25 years only one three-year-old winner.