Goodwood boss delighted by start to busy month

Adam Waterworth hailed Goodwood’s season opener a success - and predicted the course’s racing would get even better as the month went on.

The track was up against Newmarket’s 2,000 Guineas meeting for its 2013 debut but managed to attract some quality horses.

The crowd enjoy the opening-day action despite grey skies  Picture by Clive Bennett

The crowd enjoy the opening-day action despite grey skies Picture by Clive Bennett

It also managed to lure Kieren Fallon - and wasn’t he gald about that after riding a back-to-back 136-1 treble.

They go again at Goodwood this afternoon (Thursday) when the Singleton Stakes is the feature race, and again the list of declared entries suggests some very competitive racing is on the cards.

Around 9,000 went through the gates on Saturday, when temperatures dipped some way below those seen for most of the bank-holiday weekend.

Racecourse MD Waterworth said: “The weather wasn’t kind but we had a great day’s racing.

“Everyone was full of praise for the ground that Seamus Buckley and his team had prepared and we saw some high-class racing.

“It was great to see Kieren get his 100th Goodwood winner then go on to get a treble.

“This afternoon’s racing looks just as competitive, if not more so. Our meetings in May are all about opportunities for horses to come here, show what they can do and show they’re worth bringing back for something bigger.

“We’ll see that this afternoon and more so at the May Festival in a fortnight.”

Fallon notched three wins in 70 minutes to dominate the season opener at Goodwood and perhaps lay down a marker for the rest of the campaign.

On an afternoon that started in chilly conditions but ended in sunshine, Fallon’s first win - on 4/1 chance Khione for Luca Cumani in the Betfred The Bonus King EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes (Listed Race) - was his 100th Goodwood success.

He admitted afterwards he had not realised he was close to the milestone and said: “I’ve ridden for some great trainers over the years. Goodwood’s not been my best track but it can’t be that bad if I’ve ridden 100 winners.”

Within an hour, Fallon’s total was 102 after he took the honours in two successive handicaps - on Michael Attwater’s 10/1 chance George Guru in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Stakes and on 6/4 favourite Duke of Firenze, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, in the Betfred Mobile Sports Stakes.

It was also a good start to the Goodwood season for teenage jockey Michael Murphy, who had four wins at Goodwood last year - he carried on where he left off with victory in the opening race, the Betfred TV EBF Maiden Stakes, on John Gallagher’s Iseemist (8/1).

The listed Betfred Mobile Casino British Stallion Studs EBF Conqueror Stakes went to Burke’s Rock (12/1), ridden by Mickael Barzalona for Jeremy Noseda. The Brett Johnson-trained Firmdecisions (8/1) was first home in the Betfred Still Treble Odds On Luckys Median Auction Maiden Stakes under George Baker.

And the last, the Collect totepool Bets At Betfred Shops Stakes, was won by Jim Crowley on 16/1 shot Jan De Heem for handler Ralph Beckett.

For a report on today’s racing, see this website later.