IT was an impressive start to Goodwood’s meeting yesterday when Olly Stevens sent out Fracking to a clear victory in the opening race on the card.
Fracking won the British Stallion Studs E.B,,F. Maiden Stakes coming home five lenths clear under a superb ride from Mickael Barzalona. The two-year-old Intikab gelding was sent out 9-2 favourite, having shown promise on two initial outings.
He is part owned by Sheik Fahad Al Thani and Peter Winkworth, who previously trained from Robins Farm Stables at Chiddingfold where Olly Stevens and his wife, Hetta now train.
The victory endorsed their outstanding first season of training there, from where they have sent out some impressive winners. Olly Stevens said he would see how Fracking comes out of the race before deciding whether the Intikhab gelding will run again this season.
He said: “We have always held him in high regard, and although the trip today was over seven furlongs, I can’t see why he shouldn’t get a mile sometime in the future.. He also is comfortable with ground either side of good.”
Double Bluff won the Bibendum EBF Maiden Stakes for trainer Mark Johnston under Joe Fanning for owner Ron Higgins, bringing memories of Double Trigger who won three Goodwood Cup victories in the mid 1990’s. The colt’s dam is a half sister to both Double Eclipse and Double Trigger, who were owned by the Higgins.
Gospel Choir, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was the start of a double for jockey Ryan Moore, when winning the Santa Maria Foodservice Handicap, despite the horse having been off for almost a year.
Moore also won the Greene King Foundation Stakes Listed Race on board Jeremy Noseda’s Grandeur- which was also the first leg of a double for that trainer. This victory was at the expense of Brown Panther, trained by Tom Dascombe and partly owned by footballer Michael Owen’s company Owen Promotions Ltd.
Afterwards Brown Panther’s trainer said he thought the performance would put him spot on for his engagement in the Melbourne Cup.
” We had to give Grandeur 5lb and we probably went a bit too quick up front and Brown Panther didn’t quite get home. But I’m happy enough with him,” he added.
Grandeur’s trainer Jeremy Noseda said that he had been worried about the soft ground at Goodwood, but had wanted to get another run into him before he headed off to America, where the horse has a number of options including the Breeders Cup.
He was quickly back in the winner’s enclosure after taking the Hildon Natural Mineral Water Stakes Handicap over one mile three furlongs, this time in the capable hands of jockey William Buick.
“This horse has a lot of class and could even get one mile and a half,” he said of the three-year-old.
Apprentice Thomas Brown had a good win on Joey’s Destiny to finish a nose up in the 3663 Inspired By You Handicap.”He won on his debut but then fractured a tibia, so it’s been a long road back. He’s only now becoming the horse we hoped he’d be,” said trainer George Baker.