Presenting takes St Leger road
GLORIOUS GOODWOOD: The final Classic of the season beckons for yesterday's convincing winner of the Gordon Stakes
Wednesday 26 July 1995
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.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...