The first-time blinkers really galvanised Santefisio, who ran a cracker in defeat at Goodwood, where he was second, typical of our recent luck. If it wasn't for the really intelligent race-riding of Cathy Gannon on the eventual winner, then he wouldn't have been for passing and it's a damn pity. Again, he cruised along through the race but found a lot more for pressure than can often be the case, only giving way inside the very late stages. If the blinkers can have the same effect in the future, then he may be able to land a nice race and his connections surely deserve to see him do so. It was a cracking run and I've no complaints.
-2.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 3-2-8-3-2-0-0-8-0-2 (0 winners & 5 places).
More crap at Goodwood for today but we've got two to cheer on and here's hoping for the best. They are decent prices at least and who knows, one could surprise us by winning. All of the best and good luck.
It's no certainty that Pilgrims Rest will be completely suited to this track, as he's thought to be favoured at courses where there are no undulations by his trainer - Richard Hannon - but I can't help but think that he has got another nice race in him and if he does indeed go here, then he'll be up to running a big race. He is only a 3-year-old, which is the age group that this race is specifically for, and has just eight career runs to his name, so further progression is very likely. In fact, you can probably ignore his four outings when he was a juvenile, because he just wasn't fully developed and actually looked like he was only going to make up into a modest handicapper. To my eye, he looks the type to be able to run to a mark in the mid-nineties based on how he performed at the Royal meeting, over a trip too far, and if he could just convert that form to this track, then there wouldn't be many who could progress too far past him. The problem is achieving that, as Goodwood is a track where you want certain attributes in order to go well there and I am finding it hard to ascertain whether he has got those attributes or not. At Ascot, over 2f more than today's 1m 2f trip, he travelled into contention going strongly (hit 1.73 IR), if not better than anything else. Just after that point, he faltered, with his stamina seemingly giving way but he still galloped on gamely to finish a two-length fifth of 18. He has run since, when performing to a solid level at Newmarket last time out, on ground that I think was just too soft for him (race not run to suit either). Things should pan out well for him this time and the massively in-form Jim Crowley being on board is no bad thing (good record for Hannon). It's not easy to make head-nor-tail of the opposition, but this one is overpriced and should go well if handling the track.
Red Art comes into this race on the back of a dismal performance at Ascot last time out, but that was over the straight mile and it was simply a step too far for a 3-year-old who shapes as if he does not want to go much further than an easy 7f. Today, Charles Hills' tough and consistent performer drops back to what I believe is his optimum trip and if getting a race run to suit, he could well outrun his odds. In contrast to the market leaders, he has come down the weights and is now 2lbs lower than when finishing well to end up 4-lengths behind the improving, potentially Group-class Van Ellis over 7f at Chester and he has since won impressively over at York in a hot sprint handicap. The Hills performer was not totally suited by the run of the race on that occasion, considering the nature of the track, and did shape well despite being unable to give best on what was his first run for quite some time (252 days). He also has plenty of decent form from his juvenile days, including when not beaten too far in a Group 3 over this trip at Newbury and also in a big 6f sales race at York. I feel that he has a lot of scope to improve on turning tracks over this trip, though it'll be quite tough to defy his current rating. At the same time, when the cards drop correctly, I think that he can and they may do so here. Michael Hills being on board is a big negative but the price makes up for the risk and hopefully he'll get involved. There's also the possibility that Goodwood will not be his sort of track but has run well on all three visits to Chester, along with winning his maiden impressively at Windsor, so the tracks that many consider to be fairly strange seem to favour him. Here's hoping that this one will as well.
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