Thursday Review (22/05/08)
Racing expert Dale McKeown gives an overview of the day's top equine action.
Sixties Icon outclassed his rivals in the mile and a quarter Letheby and Christopher Festival Stakes Listed Race despite running over a shorter trip than is ideal. Building on his seasonal debut at Newmarket behind Getaway, the 2006 St Ledger winner seems as though he is getting back to something like his best having had a wind operation over the winter. Reports from the trainer Jeremy Noseda seem to suggest that the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot is next on the agenda.
The in form Councellor was just too game for Golden Desert as the front two pull a mile clear of the pack. Setting the early gallop Mickey Fenton aboard Councellor looked as though they were going to get swamped by Jimmy Fortune and Golden Desert, only to rally bravely to repel the persistent challenge of the second.
Elhamri looks the type of sprinter that can win quickly off a penalty as this was his first victory since 2006 and so he is well handicapped. Stalking the front runners he was squeezed along by Richard Kingscote to get the better of the well supported favourite Safari Mischief, who lost little in defeat as the front edged on from the third Sweet Afton.
Amanda Perrett had a welcome winner as brother in law Jim Crowley brings the 10/1 shot Celtic Dragon from last to first. Even though only seven went to post the mile and three handicap was run at a true gallop, entering the final couple of furlongs all eyes were drawn to the gamble of the race Forget It, however having got the perfect trip behind the leaders he capitulated badly not staying the distance, unlike the winner Celtic Dragon who wore down Summer Winds and Top Ticket.
Juvenile maiden winner Indian Art showed a real likeable attitude holding off the persistent challenge of In Transit, two well balanced sorts that came down the hill well they could both easily go on to better things.
Casilda springs was a surprise for trainer William Knight at 16/1 as the favourite Quirina levels off to finish out of the money. What seemed visually a fair 3 yr old fillies maiden went to the fast finisher in the hands of Paul Doe with Sunny Peace at 80/1 close up.
Racing at Goodwood concluded with a 5F Apprentice contest which went to the impressive Crimson Fern. Held up early he was produced by Patrick Hills to foil a major game on Rocker with the favourite Matterofact only a short-head back in third.
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