Racing: Carson makes it 3,500 on Signet

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The Independent Online
WILLIE CARSON rode his 3,500th winner in Britain when partnering the joint top-weight King's Signet to a length and a half victory in yesterday's Stewards' Cup Handicap, the first running of the race on a Saturday.

Carson and the trainer John Gosden, who walked the course on Friday night, correctly decided that the fastest ground lay under the far rail and King's Signet, isolated from the majority of the field - who opted to race up the centre of the track - made light of his 9st 10lb burden, equalling the weight-carrying record set by Petong in 1984.

Behind only Sir Gordon Richards and Lester Piggott in the list of all-time winning jockeys, the five-times champion Carson is not planning to hang up his boots just yet.

'It is always nice to win the Stewards' Cup but it gives it that little bit extra being my 3,500th winner,' he said.

'I don't know how long I can go on. The things that have been written about me, I should have given up 20 years ago]'

Gosden had not been too confident about King's Signet's chances on the good to soft ground. 'He had a 7lb penalty and his trainer to overcome,' he said. 'That's quite a feat. I told Willie to go for the far side and hope for the best. I had told everyone he had not much chance but the horse had to run because he had been gambled on for three weeks.'

'But when I saw the draw I was much happier. People were tending to think the ground was best on the stands side, but King's Signet raced virtually on his own and stormed away with it. We thought about this race last year. His lad Phil Montoya even cancelled his holiday to be here.'

Goodwood's decision to switch the race to Saturday produced a 25 per cent rise in Ladbrokes betting turnover.

The Group 2 Nassau Stakes had been billed as a showdown between three classy, if not top- flight, fillies - Sueboog, the Oaks fourth, Thawakib, a Royal Ascot winner, and the injury-hit, but seemingly resurgent Dancing Bloom.

What it produced was a muddling race won by the Henry Cecil- trained Lyphard's Delta, the narrow winner last time out of a pretty unspectacular Newmarket handicap.

It was the kind of head-scratching result which makes punters wonder why they bother. Even the 10-1 winner's trainer, admittedly not one to overstate a horse's case, had said he was hoping for a place at best.

(Photograph omitted)