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Pumped for mouthwatering week of racing at Goodwood

27 Jul 2020

I’m really looking forward to returning to the Qatar Goodwood Festival where the quality is always strong right through the week.
Ed Arkell and the team do a fantastic job there and I just hope the rain we’re having doesn’t get into the ground too much as the forecast for later in the week isn’t too bad at all. But as we know, what will be will be.
In the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup I ride Euchen Glen will likely have to settle for a minor role behind the star performers in this field.
I saw Stradivarius over the weekend and he looks amazing – he’s such an athlete – and we have to celebrate these horses while they’re still going strong.
Giving so much weight to the Irish Derby winner Santiago will be tough but it’s a fascinating contest and one I’m delighted to be taking part in.

Other Tuesday Rides
1.10 – Alabama Whitman
I rode her in the Sandringham and she wasn’t totally disgraced and she’s since run at Newmarket over seven furlongs.
She was quite highly tried as a two-year-old last year so has experience from Group races and the handicapper has cut her a bit of slack now. She wears cheekpieces for the first time and isn’t without a chance.

1.45 – Bell Rock
I thought he’d go to Ascot with a massive chance having won a bit cosily on his reappearance at Newmarket, but he’s definitely ready to go 10 furlongs now.
This race is on the outer loop so gives you a little bit more time in the straight even though the bend is still quite sharp. He’s a well-balanced horse and I think he’ll travel well into things and you need a bit of luck in these full-size handicaps. From stall four I hope to get an inside trip and then the gaps when I need them late on.

2.15 Youth Spirit
I was really happy with him at Newmarket and he’s got a good profile going into the Vintage Stakes. He won’t mind any ground at all to be honest and while it’s a competitive race, he has a chance. Battleground is out of Found and the one to beat after winning the Chesham, while Devious Company hasn’t done much wrong either.
Youth Spirit might be seen over a mile by the end of the season – pedigree would suggest that anyway. The owner was keen to have a crack at this race and I think it’s justified despite having a bit to find on official figures.

2.45 – Bless Him
He’s a cool horse and I’m delighted to be back on him having ridden him a couple of years ago. He might just have needed the first two runs of the season and I could see him running quite a big race.
His big-field handicap experience will stand him in good stead as this might be quite a tough race for more inexperienced horses.

4.20 – Imperial Dawn
This looks quite a hot maiden and has been won by the likes of Masar in the past, but Imperial Dawn has only had the one run and is entitled to have learnt from it.
He didn’t get the best trip at Newbury so I think he can step up on the form but whether he’ll be good enough to win here I don’t know. It’s a race to watch with interest.

4.55 – Torbellino
She goes with a hood which probably won’t be a bad thing. She maybe didn’t quite stay at Newbury and coming back in trip will help.
I thought George Scott’s Au Clair De Lune might be the one we all have to beat in this.