Day one of Glorious Goodwood didn’t disappoint and provided us with some cracking finishes, hot favourites bringing back the bacon and a variety of trainers revelling on the big stage. Dutch Connection had no excuses with all conditions perfectly set up for victory, and Charlie Hills middle-distance star delivered for Godolphin and his big support. Day two of Galway saw the horse everyone loves to hate, Penhill, win the opening Novice Hurdle under a breathtaking ride from Ruby Walsh. There were two performances at Goodwood that particularly stood out to us, both from juveniles, one winner and one runner-up.
2 35 WAR DECREE (A O’Brien) 6/4, Group 2 2YO, 7F, Good to Firm
All the talk pre-race was the rematch of War Decree vs. Boynton – the markets once again sided with War Decree, and this time they got it right. The race was messy and there were certainly some hard luck stories. But War Decree was superbly positioned coming around the bend, before battling it out with Godolphins Thunder Snow in the final stages. War Decree stamped his authority down and there were no excuses for the main challengers down the straight. Ballydoyle have another classic contender in their armoury for 2017 and while there is a long way to go to be considered in the same street as Caravaggio, the potential is certainly there. He is around the top of the market for the 2000 Guineas and this seems a reasonable enough target for now. There is an interesting theory that War Front’s don’t train on however, and you only have to look at Air Force Blue this summer to think there may be something in this…
4 55 RICH AND FAMOUS (M Johnston) 12/1, C2 2YO Maiden, 6F, Good
Although Best Solution is undoubtedly a good horse, Rich and Famous has to be the one to take from this race. He looked the winner for 90% of the race and the inexperience just told in the most important part of the race. The top two pulled well clear of the others in a strong field, suggesting the pair have bags of ability already. Johnston’s 2YO is entered in a novice race on Friday at HQ and if up to it so soon after, will certainly head into it as a very short priced favourite. It was almost the perfect debut and he should come on leaps and bounds for it. James McDonald hardly used the whip on him and on his first day at school he battled brilliantly and would have learnt plenty.