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Hoping Deirdre can repeat Nassau magic

30 Jul 2020

It’s still pretty raw what happened in the Qatar Sussex Stakes yesterday.

Kameko felt great and travelled powerfully throughout but got no run at all in the straight. I just couldn’t find any room and perhaps the best horse didn’t win on the day.

That’s taking nothing away from Mohaather, so well done to Marcus Tregoning and his team. It’s just unsatisfactory not to get a clear run in a Group One and we’ll never know what would’ve happened had I had a clear passage.

Hopefully we’ll get the chance to make amends later in the season. He feels very much a miler to me, but we’ll get him home and make sure he comes out of the race well before we start making any plans.
Things just didn’t pan out. That’s Goodwood and at least I left the course with a nice winner after Toro Strike won for Richard Fahey. He bolted up.

Hopefully there will be more of that and less of the hard-luck stories over the next three days.

On to Day Three and Deirdre aims to go back-to-back in the Group One Nassau Stakes and it was a tremendous thrill to win this race on her last year. On ratings I don’t think this year’s renewal is any deeper, but interestingly there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pace on paper so you might see her ridden more prominently than usual.

It’s still a very competitive race. Nazeef doesn’t know how to be beaten, Fancy Blue got a very good ride last time out in France and Deirdre has to give 9lb to the three-year-olds. But she’s in really good form and I’ve been pleased with her recent homework. I’m happy with my draw in six, I should be able to slide up and it would be nice to go forward on her, I think it could suit her.

Thursday’s other rides

1.10 – Spanish Angel
I won on him at Windsor and he’s run well a couple of times in defeat since then, he’s been running to his rating. He’s an easy horse to ride. I’d say he has chance but the one to beat looks to be the horse that’s on a five-timer, Bal Mal, with George Rooke taking 5lb off his back.

1.45 – Starcat
I can’t believe he’s 14/1 but he was obviously disappointing in the Britannia. He’s freshened up since and I think a mile and a quarter will suit him well. I think he’s a smart horse, I always thought he’d be a fair bit better than 94, anyway, so I hope he can bounce back.

2.15 – Talbot
He gave me a nice feel when I won on him on his first start at Lingfield where he beat Jojo Rabbit on debut. He’s obviously been disappointing since, but he was in at the deep end at both Royal Ascot and Newbury and it’ll be my first go back on him since his first run. Brian Meehan’s horses are running well, so I wouldn’t rule him out, even though it looks a tough race.

3.45 – Running Back
I think stepping up to seven furlongs will suit this horse in the Gusbourne Nursery Handicap. He’s done nothing wrong in his two starts and I actually don’t think this is the deepest of races for a Goodwood nursery. He needs to take a leap forward from his last start as he was quite green, he looked an unlucky loser at Kempton but he put himself in that position.

4.55 – Acklam Express
He came forward plenty to win on his second start in good style at Hamilton earlier in the month. I liked how he squeezed through a gap that day and he clearly handled the downhill start well which bodes well for Goodwood. I’ve had three winners from five runners for Nigel Tinkler so we have a great record together.