Express Wish takes advantage of absentee
REPORT: GOODWOOD, Tuesday
FEW can have had Express Wish down as a next-time-out Group winner when he finished only 11th in last month's Stewards' Cup consolation race, but the withdrawal of hot favourite Royal Vintage and three others put an entirely different complexion on the KBC Supreme Stakes race and the four-year-old stepped up to the plate for a career-best.
On a day when there were nearly 30 non-runners, the South African Group winner Royal Vintage was one of just a handful who were not taken out on account of the ground, which was testing following an inch of rain. Unusually, he was found to be bleeding from both nostrils in the stables before the race - whether as the result of an infection or an injury, nobody knows.
His absence threw the race wide open, and although Express Wish had something to find with veteran Welsh Emperor and the others he travelled well and picked up nicely to beat the favourite by two and a quarter lengths.
Trainer Jeremy Noseda admitted that he was not convinced about running Express Wish in this company, but he was swayed by owner Peter Mitchell. He said: "Big congratulations to Peter - it was more his idea than mine! The trainer always thought he wanted fast ground in an ideal scenario."
He added: "At home he's always shown plenty of talent, but he's disappointed us on a number of occasions. However, he travels so well that at any level we thought he might just travel into the race. Peter and I were both up for it, andwe are delighted. When we saw all the non runners we thought 'just maybe' and sometimes you just need to be in the right place at the right time."
This was jockey Shane Kelly's biggest win since he took the Yorkshire Cup onGeordieland shortly after his return from anenforced absence.
Kelly said: "That's 42 winners, including a Group 2 and a Group 3, since I came back in May, and I'm quite happy with that. As the school report might say, I could do better, but it could also have been an awful lot worse too."
Headded: "He travelled great, and when I gave him the office I thought he picked up well considering the conditions."
Peter Winkworth is a rare visitor to the racecourse, where he is usually represented by assistant Anton Pearson, but he was here for the win of Lady Rusty in the 6f maiden fillies' race.
After Jim Crowley had got the filly home by a length and a quarter from Equinine, Winkworth said, prophetically as it turned out: "Jim said she stayed on well in the ground, as I thought she would as she's by Verglas, and they like it soft. I'll be looking for some more of them at the sales."
Winkworth's view on Verglas was echoed by jockey Richard Hughes little more than half an hour ago when Lethal Glaze had come from an unpromising position to nail front-runner High Alert right on the line in the nursery.
Hughes said: "He's by Verglas and they love this ground. I always felt I might get there."
Lethal Glaze's trainer Richard Hannon added: "He's bone idle isn't he, but all these Verglases go on the ground. He'll probably go a mile and a quarter and he'll be a nice horse for next year when he'll get a mile and a half one day."
William Buick ended a frustrating run at Kempton on Monday and followed up with another win on the Mouse Hamilton-Fairley maiden Thunder Gorge in the 1m handicap. Unfortunately, he was found to have used his whip with excessive frequency and was stood down for three days (September 16 to 18), which was a shame as he gave the reluctant-looking three-year-old a great ride, and it was three late cracks following a deft switch of the whip only 50 yards from the finish that carried the day.
The afternoon had started with a decisive win for Fort Churchill in the amateur riders' race, the seven-year-old providing former apprentice Dale Swift with a second winner some three and a half years after his first.
Swift, who is attached to the stable, hopes to ride over jumps as a conditional in due course and working hard to "get noticed".
Moville beat a depleted field in the 1m2f maiden, while Kovaleva Tectona continued Pat Eddery's good season with the narrowest of wins in the 7f handicap.
Express Wish, at last translatinghis flashy homework to the track.