Presenting takes St Leger road

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD: The final Classic of the season beckons for yesterday's convincing winner of the Gordon Stakes

Racing

GREG WOOD

reports from Goodwood

Given the ill fortune which has dogged him in the Classics so far this season, it is probably an invitation to disaster, but Presenting demonstrated here yesterday that he should be a leading contender for the St Leger in early September. The only advice, perhaps, is to wait until he is safely locked away in the stalls at Doncaster before supporting him with hard cash.

Third in the Derby (when he came from way off the pace), Presenting banged his head as he was being led on to a plane to the Curragh for the Irish equivalent and went straight back home to Newmarket. Yesterday, though, he arrived for the Gordon Stakes after a trouble-free preparation to find the ground baked firm, just the way he likes it, and his determination to succeed was unmistakable.

Presenting and Lanfranco Dettori led at the turn for home, with half a mile still to run, but while Istidaad and Don Corleone both threatened to pass him, Presenting kept finding a little more, an attribute which will serve him well down the long straight at Town Moor.

"It was a hard race today," John Gosden, Presenting's trainer, said. "They started racing as soon as they straightened up and it was a fair old battle." How much it took out of Presenting should become clear in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York next month, but if the ground is still fast, it is hard to see beyond him.

Presenting's performance was just one of four which set new track records yesterday, with Hever Golf Rose reducing the mark over five furlongs in the King George Stakes, and Brief Glimpse taking almost a second off the seven-furlong record in the Oak Tree Stakes. April The Eighth also improved the juvenile best over six furlongs despite carrying top weight in the nursery.

What this means is that the ground at Goodwood is now as yielding as the average runway, a point to bear in mind when making selections for the rest of the week. It certainly caused no problems to Hever Golf Rose, though since her previous four outings had taken in Sweden, Italy and Germany, it seems likely that there is little left to surprise her.

The astonishment belonged to the spectators, as Hever Golf Rose burned up the stands' rail having started the final two furlongs in last place and caught Eveningperformance with a stride to spare. As a filly who started off in handicaps last year, the similarities with Lochsong, winner of the King George for the last two seasons, are striking. They will be even more so if Hever Golf Rose can take the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month.

There were no such last second heroics from Silver Groom, who had the William Hill Handicap won before the furlong pole. It was further testament to Reg Akehurst's touch with handicappers, not least because the trainer himself was attending his son's wedding in Barbados.

The victory did not find universal favour, however. James Bethell, who saddled Hunters Of Brora to finish second, pointed out that Silver Groom's recent form was a little less than outstanding. "My horse got a little blocked in about three furlongs out, but where has the winner been?", Bethell said. "He hadn't won any of his last few races and yet runs away with this competitive handicap. It really gets to me."

Similar incidents have recently prompted invitations to the trainers concerned to explain the improvement at the Jockey Club. The Goodwood stewards, by contrast, seemed to view it as just part of the game. While they were probably correct, current policy seems to be no more consistent than the horses concerned.

n Michael Hills, with two wins, leads the Ritz Club Trophy after the first day of Glorious Goodwood. Hills moved to the front after victories on Brief Glimpse and April The Eighth. The first-day crowd of 13,681 was 24 down on the 1994 figure.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Frontend Developer / Designer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working on a range ...

Ashdown Group: Software Developer - C#, .Net, SQL - Cambridgeshire

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful and g...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Controller

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opening has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower