Asymmetric looked a class act when giving this column another good-priced winner at Goodwood, Thursday, but jockey Martin Harley must have been mighty relieved to grab the spoils following a scrambling effort due to a stop/start pace; obviously he’d been told to ‘drop in’ but Alan King’s charge was hemmed in at halfway, three furlongs out, and the ‘Arundel curse’ was doubtless on minds of serious punters.
It’s a devilish venue for hard-luck stories and as the field raced into the closing stages Asymmetric was presented with a split-second gap 300 yards out; thankfully he just squeezed through as other jockeys tried to thwart the challenge.
Once in the clear the well-backed favourite asserted and it was ‘phew’ from backers and an enthusiastic King entourage in the winners’ enclosure which the Showcasing colt has occupied three times from four outings, unlucky in the other!
On my time-handicap this is a two-year-old to follow, he’s a progressive sort and there are plenty of Autumn opportunities beckoning; King has really made his mark in a dual-purpose role and won the Goodwood Cup with Trueshan not to mention a race at Stratford. ‘Follow’ him!
On the fifth and final day of ‘Glorious Goodwood’, which has been compromised by too much rain, another Showcasing colt, Flying Secret, attempts to confirm placings with Khanjar in the fifteen-runner Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs of a softish surface and I’ll bet that’s the case.
They finished second/fourth respectively behind Atrium in a similar race at Ascot three weeks ago, when both made their debuts; the winner hampered Charles Bishop-ridden Flying Secret in the first strides and Khanjar, mount of Danny Tudhope, also met interference when trying to get a clear run two out.
Two and a half lengths separated them and obviously trainer William Haggas reckons Shadwell-owned Khanjar can turn the tables under Jim Crowley but, apparently, Eve Johnson Houghton had no aspirations for the runner-up, which went off at 12/1. In such circumstances I’ve found from long experience it usually pays to side with first-up placings and it will be fascinating to see how they trade in the betting market.
Richard Hughes is enduring a moderate campaign but ‘Super sprint’ eleventh, Rosa Mystica, is ‘chucked in’ a Fillies’ Nursery over six furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Newmarket with capable apprentice George Rooke able to claim 5lbs allowance which he couldn’t at Newbury. I’ll chance the extra furlong at big odds!
In-form Mark Johnston has found the perfect slot for I’m a Gambler in a five-runner six furlongs nursery at Hamilton, just about the best of the day!
Selections, Newmarket, 2.10 Rosa Mystica (e.w); Goodwood, 4.10 Flying Secret (e.w); Hamilton, 5.45 I’m a Gambler.
Brown Owl, napped, ‘flew in’ at Wolves last night at 3/1, from 5’s!
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019