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Hoof It

The blog has not had much time or inclination to entertain, or be entertained, lately but I did manage to watch the Nassau Stakes and the Stewards Cup from Goodwood last Saturday. Aftertiming is a disgusting habit as all punters will know, nonetheless, after not having had a bet for ages I was very much taken with Hoof It’s appearance and was therefore prepared to overlook both his joint favouritism and top-weight of ten stone.

Looking at the horse, with his deep chest and powerful engine, I concluded he would be well able to carry the weight. And he was, and more impressively than I could have hoped. He was a joy to watch, and you should take those when you can in my experience, as they can come few and far between in a gambler’s life.

The horse’s owners are supplementing him for the Nunthorpe @ the Ebor Festival I think. Good.

Hoof It and Kieren Fallon coming home well - ears pricked


Due to the endless rain in the South East, Goodwood have been forced to abandon today’s racing – waterlogged track.

Due to the endless rain in the South East, Makemeadiva has been forced to abandon her washing on the line for the second day in a row – experience tells me it will dry out one day…

And, just as I plan a spot of racing in Chepstow, they are forced to give up their last two flat cards to Bath (how apt).  The calamity is due to worms.  The wrong kind of worms.  I may be forced to go to Hereford instead which is the wrong kind of racing.

Midday: the right kind of racing in the wrong kind of weather for washing

My Morning Line


I don’t normally watch this, but today I was in need of a weather forecast so I thought I would tune in.

Once I had got over the shock of seeing a hobbit (Sprint King Dandy Nicholls) and Gandalf (Roger Charlton, Tweeter and Trainer to HM) I was so *bored by their witterings that if they mentioned the weather I missed it. Even through my roadkill eyes it would have been hard not to notice that Goodwood has a serious sea fret gwarnin as I type and it looked to be raining too.

It is therefore entirely impossible to make any punting decisions as the state of the ground in five hours time is an unknown. It is also turned out to be nigh on impossible to take a price with some of the online bookies as they haven’t priced up the races I am interested in. Lazy gits. It’s a bloody liberty to get up at the crack of sparrows to find you have to take SP.

I am nothing if not determined though, so wondering where the Racing Post site were getting their 12s for a certain Michael Stoute trained maiden filly Focal I took the bold step of clicking the Bet Now link. Two companies had priced up the race and had Focal available: Skybet @ 15/2 and Bet 365 at nearly double the price 12/1. I have an account with no money with nearly every firm so it was simply a matter of recalling the keys to kingdom to unlock the account.

If the Pivotal filly, Focal is still 12/1 later on today I will be very surprised, particularly if it rains in Suffolk; bigger than 12s at the off and I will stay in bed in future. Otherwise I could become a late convert to early rising.

*The guests Gandalf and his hobbit were not boring, I actually couldn’t hear a lot of it and Jim McGrath and Nick Luck remain wafflers of the highest order. It’s not unpleasant, it’s just not edifying.

They call it the Audi Stakes @ 2.45 Goodwood

The Racing Post Spotlight verdict says: “Hard to imagine many stronger Group 3 sprints with a host of Group 1 winners in the field, all escaping a penalty.”

I call it a bleeding nightmare (in impeccable flat vowels naturally).

The going remains good after 5mm of overnight rain, I wonder if it might ride on the dead side myself, although the Going Stick (strange contraption IMO) disagrees.  If so, that won’t entirely suit the Greek Freak Ialysos and I would hazard a guess that he might be wondering a bit about the undulations too.  Of course it’s all guess work and supposition if I don’t throw the kids in the car and speed down there right now (it’s not too late after all) but devoted as I am to the sport, a trip to Glorious Goodwood takes a tad more planning than that, if only on the picnic front.  Plus this has guessers’ race (I assume there will be more than one of us) written all over it so it wouldn’t be worth the bother.

Nonetheless it is quite interesting to pick over some of the contenders in this 5f dash.  I have ruled out Kingsgate Native before on account of his brain being fried as a 2yo but I will be looking at him closely today.  He has some good course form behind July Cup winner Fleeting Spirit and I have a little feeling that the wide open spaces of Goodwood might just help him to swallow that chill pill Sir Michael must have been offering him all season. If the terrier that is the Native can win again I will abandon my Stoute embargo henceforth, such would be my admiration for the achievement/

We all know about Borderlescott and it will, once again, be about how the cards drop for him.  A nicer horse/trainer combo it’s hard to find but I never followed this lad over a cliff and I won’t be starting today at the forecast prices.  Dandy Man promised so much but has never quite delivered.  I think it is fair to say that sprinters are not Goldophin’s forte.  Reverence is a lovely lad (and if any of these three hosed in I would be quite happy) but it is fair to say he does best on a softer surface and his fastest days may now be behind him – not unlike mine 😉

So my pin, tarnished from lack of use, hovers over Kingsgate Native (depending on whether he can pop his eyes back in their sockets) and two others who come to the race on the back of some uninspiring form.  Moorhouse Lad has all the speed if he can turn it on and he has a nice bit of CD to his name too.  Smart’s string have not been quite at their best recently so I am putting his last run down to that.  The other is Fat Boy.  Aptly named he will have needed it the first time in the Palace Stakes and with better ground I would hope to see a quite radical improvement this afternoon.  He too, has some interesting pieces of form at the track.  There will be others much better backed this afternoon and with sprints there will alway be a bit of luck in running to pray for but  am happy to have a guesser’s dabble on these three later.

Kingsgate Native - hell be in the Cheveley Park silks later

Kingsgate Native - he'll be in the Cheveley Park silks later

Definitely Racing! Sussex Stakes Consideration…

This has been brief I admit.  If we get a downpour as per the Met Office’s “Weather Warning” the goalposts will move considerably in any case so I don’t see much point in death by preview.

Ghanaati won’t want rain.  She also might improve but the course is an unknown as is her fairer sex form.  I still love her miler’s pedigree with a passion but the ifs and buts are tempering my usual enthusiasm for a filly against the colts.  Look Here hasn’t helped either to be truthful.

Rip Van Winkle has apparently had a minor setback, some suspect ramping, frankly I don’t care.  He may be putatively the “best horse in the race” but I don’t think this mile will see him at his very best anyway.  Dangerous but discounted nonetheless.

I like Lord Shanakill and I like Paco Boy.  It seems silly to write, the horse that wins finishes his race off best, but at Goodwood it does often seem to me to be about the finish and I can rely on Paco Boy in that respect in spades.  He also has the all-important course form and when I last looked the 11/4 seemed a touch generous.  Noseda’s Forgotten Voice is going to be an each-way price and is not without a chance for a place, but realistically I suppose we are looking at the three market leaders to fill the places in some order or another.  I am concerned about Ghanaati, I am a big, big fan but I am worried about rain, the course and the colts so I won’t back her today. 

My money is on the Boy.  I’m going to be tempted by the Lord.  Let’s hope the rain stays away 🙂

Lord Shanakills - undoubtedly tough

Lord Shanakill - undoubtedly tough

Cycling, Racing or Neither?

Day one of Glorious Goodwood and my head is still full of cycling thoughts cycling… I’ve read the Balding yard think a lot SWINDLER in the Gordon Stakes at 2.45 today and I was shocked to read that Masterofthehorse is with Miss D Mountain now.  No disrespect to her, but not where I thought he would be come the summer season.  I must have been on another planet for that piece of info to pass me by and that is rather how it feels.  As if I am halfway between the biggest organic chemical comedown I’ve ever experienced, courtesy of the bike, and my own life. 

Seems I have some reinterpretation of daily routine to organise.  I’ll have to take the dog for a run and think about it.