EVEN Noah would have winced at the Goodwood weather on Sunday.
It was wetter than Manchester in a monsoon and you knew we weren’t in for a visual extravaganza when commentator John Hunt announced, “I see some car headlights in the background so I think the runners are on their way”.
Cue a `Carry On’ moment when heavily backed Phoenician Star (7-4 to evens) failed to emerge from a pea-souper sea-fret in the seller.
After 20 minutes of shoulder shrugging it was announced that the horse had gone in the stalls but backed out as they opened.
Money back for the Bank Holiday crowd you’d think. Oh no, the stewards deemed him a runner and the punters did their dough!
Things had been a bit different at Goodwood on Saturday – we had sunshine, blue skies and six of the seven jollies obliged.
It was a proper horror show for the layers who had faces as long as fiddles after Just In Time (5-2 to 11-8) banged a final nail in their coffin by bolting-up in the last.
Best bet horse of the day was Flaming Spear (9-1 to 4-1) who won the £100,000 7f handicap under a blinding Adam Kirby ride.
If this handsome gelding needs to be ridden chilly then Kirby must have had severe frostbite as the field swung for home.
The result was never in doubt once he dragged the horse wide to challenge though, and trainer Dean Ivory was delighted.
He said: “The way Flaming Spear delivered that was great.
“He’s a bit of a thinker going in the stalls and that was my only real worry.
“I’ve been patient with this horse and it has paid off today.”
When it comes to patience Sir Michael Stoute makes the Dalai Lama look like a foot-stamping teenager.
This is a trainer who would rather pickle his head than overcook a newcomer, so when he sends out a well-punted debutant to do the business it’s worth taking notice.
Sangarius falls into that category after outgunning another promising newcomer – Bangkok – at Newmarket on Friday.
This looked a red-hot novice event – the gap back to the third was wider than Cherie Blair’s smile – and the front two must be followed closely.
If you fancy a bit of jumps action then keep an eye on Sophie Leech’s new recruit Garo De Juilley.
AL JELLABY (4.50 Epsom) raced with the choke out at Goodwood last time but drops down a level here and has every chance
A double-shrewd jumping pal tells me connections were expecting to pay upward of 30k for this gelding at the sales, so were over the moon when they pinched him for just 8,000gns.
He duly ran a cracker at Newton Abbot last week and is nailed-on to win a race or two before the big boys come out to play in the winter.
Epsom drains like a sieve but there will be plenty of give in the ground there today which should suit AL JELLABY (4.50).
He raced with the choke out at Goodwood last time but drops down a level here and has every chance.