On a summers day in July you will not find a more picturesque setting than Goodwood, but this fantastic five day meeting poses many top racing pundits a challenging time in identifying possible winners. The racecourses has long been recognised as having a problematic nature, with its many steep uphill and downhill undulating sections; combine this with sweeping bends and you have a unique, difficult test.
The ideology is that a well balanced horse ridden handy to the pace is preferential and proven course form is essential. I don’t disagree with those views, but each race distance here presents its own complexities, and from my experience I prefer to approach the running of each race on an individual basis. The configuration of the course with its increasing downhill section in the straight, lending itself to pace, provides a mixed conclusion as to whether speed or stamina is the main asset at the track. Perhaps all these elements confuse the issue of making a successful selection in a race.
Having contemplated previous Goodwood meetings I am of the opinion that some of the races are not necessarily won by the best horse, but by a good horse that received the best judged ride. My attention is also drawn to trainers that have constantly or in recent years, shown an aptitude to delivering consistent performance at the track.
I am sure it is no fluke that the HANNON stable and Richard HUGHES had so much success at Glorious Goodwood. The trainer is aware of the demands required and the jockey had the requisite skills of how to judge pace, where to be positioned and when to deliver a challenge, with the extra magic of being flexible to changing circumstances. Lester Piggott was the grand master tactician with automatic clockwork reactions and he stole races that he should never have won. Watch ROBERTO beating RHEINGOLD in the 1972 Epsom Derby to name just one unlikely success.
Richard HANNON and Mark JOHNSON are synonymous with Goodwood winners, but there are four trainers who are usurping both at this track in both win and place statistics. However it is the jockeys that are given priority, as this is a track where natural ability shines through. As expected, Ryan MOORE has a good record at the track, but interestingly there are five jockeys that have superior win and place statistics and I am excited and confident that I can utilise these added factors, together with my form analysis, in achieving a profitable Glorious Goodwood.