August 1 – Goodwood – Executive Decision – 98

Sophia’s Starlight ensured this three-year-old sprint handicap was run at a good gallop and that was reflected in the overall speed figure the winner ended up posting. Twice on the fringes of the action in two big sprint handicaps previously, Jamie Osbourne’s filly certainly was not winning out of turn and on the evidence of this display, she should enjoy a fruitful Autumn campaign with the going on the easy side. Of the rest, a special mention goes out to Funny Story who did exceptionally well to finish third considering she was posted out in the slowest part of the track down the middle. Well-backed despite being drawn low, Ralph Beckett’s inmate can gain compensation next time.

August 2 – Goodwood – The Goat – 100

Andrew Balding inmate had an unexposed profile heading into this competitive staying contest and he proved to be the surprise package of the race, powering clear in the closing stages of a well-run affair to win with any amount in hand. Obviously, it usually pays to be cautious about wide margin winners on soft ground but either way, he remains one to keep on side when similar conditions surface in the future.

August 2 – Goodwood – Big Evs – 95

Having landed the Windsor Castle on fast ground, the rain that had fallen prior to this Group 2 affair had to be of some concern for Michael Appleby’s colt but despite the slight negative, he still proved he is a two-year-old sprinter of some class. Jumping cleanly out of the stalls to lead up the stands side rail, he exhibited brave battling qualities when pressed by Purosange inside the final furlong and his winning time figure – slightly better than the one he posted at Ascot – puts him towards the top of the tree in the juvenile five-furlong division. Likely to be seen to even better effect back on a faster terrain, York now beckons for this progressive type.

August 3 – Goodwood – Vandeek – 97

Well-touted prior to his debut at Nottingham, Simon & Ed Crisford’s colt duly landed the punt despite totally missing the break but on this occasion, there was no such dramas as he proved to be much more professional right from the start. Tracking the pace set by Toca Madeira, the son of Havana Grey always looked to have matters in control and he only had to be nudged out to repel the late thrust of Ballymount Boy. Clocking a very fast time figure for a two-year-old, this imposing colt is no ready for Group 1 company and he will take some beating in The Prix Morny on this evidence. The runner-up deserves a special mention on account of this being only his third start and, hailing from a yard who would not have the ammunition of his southern counterparts, Adrian Keatley has clearly got a very smart colt on his hands. Seven furlongs or further could well turn out to be the key to him long term.

August 3 – Goodwood – Royal Rhyme – 101

One of the most competitive and wide-open handicaps of the week ended up producing one of the easiest winners in the shape of Karl Burke’s colt and he looks one to follow. Now 2-2 on a soft surface, connections will no doubt be swayed by similar conditions in future and it would come as little surprise if he were biding for pattern race glory next time, either here or abroad.

August 4 – Goodwwod – Johan – 99

A strange race in many respects as only a handful were ever involved but that should not detract from the performance of the winner who had to overcome stall 18 to succeed. Clearly a horse who goes well fresh, he would not be guaranteed to follow up if brought out again quickly, but providing he does receive a sufficient break before his next encounter, Jack Channon’s inmate would have to be of significant interest under similar soft ground conditions. Long term, he comes across as a type for the Cambridgeshire.