Trend is Set for European tour

Another Try, left, and Alfresco dead heat in The News Veterans' Handicap at Goodwood
Another Try, left, and Alfresco dead heat in The News Veterans' Handicap at Goodwood
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Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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Set The Trend could embark on a European tour.

Andrew Balding’s five-year-old, whose career has been blighted by injury, triumphed in the Listed West Sussex County Times On The House Stakes at Goodwood yesterday.

And the 10/1-shot’s fine front-running performance under jockey Jimmy Fortune has convinced his owners to pursue prizes in Germany later this year.

Graham Skeats, racing manager for winning owners Corbett Stud, said: ‘We’re delighted with him.

‘We’ve always known he was a capable horse. He’s just very, very fragile.

‘As a result of that he’s very lightly raced and we have to take our time in between runs.

‘He’s had more fractures than you can shake a stick at.

‘He ran well at Doncaster last time considering he was quite gassy and ran with a choke out a little bit.

‘He was much more relaxed yesterday and Jimmy has got the tactics spot-on, so all credit to him and credit to Andrew for managing his well being.’

Provided he stays fit, the owners are now keen on clocking up the air miles.

‘We’ll obviously just have to see how he is but I think we’re going to Europe with him with a bit of luck,’ said Skeats.

‘There’s a race in Hamburg in June and there’s a race in Dusseldorf in July.

‘At the moment those would be on the agenda but he will tell us.

‘He’s not straightforward but capable nevertheless.’

Set The Trend beat The Rectifier by a length and a quarter, with the Richard Hannon-trained Invincible Soul back in third.

Fortune said: ‘Luckily they left me alone and gave me a nice, easy lead.

‘He’s a galloper and stretched all the way to the line.

‘He had some good form in handicaps and always looked like a horse who could step up to Listed level.’

Group One-placed filly and hot favourite Rainfall ran terribly on her Godolphin debut, coming home last of the six runners.

Thousands poured through Goodwood’s gates for the meeting, sponsored by owners of The News, Johnston Press.

Each race was named after one of the group’s papers – including the The News Veteran’s Handicap, which ended in a rare dead heat.

John Best’s dual course and distance winner Alfresco (10/1) benefited from a power-packed Kieren Fallon ride to join the Alan Jarvis-trained Another Try (8/1) on the line.

Goodwood’s clerk of the course Seamus Buckley said: ‘A dead heat is very, very rare.

‘I can count on the fingers of one hand the dead heats we’ve had here in my time.’

The first race – the Chichester Observer Selling Stakes – was taken by Kieren Fox on 5/2 joint favourite The Dancing Lord.

The two-year-old was sold for £10,500 in the auction.

Another photo finish in the Worthing Herald Maiden Auction Stakes saw Pat Dobbs on 40/1-outsider Sir Glanton win for Pulborough handler Amanda Perrett.

Perrett is now keen to bring him back for the Glorious festival.

She said: ‘We thought he might just need the experience but they went a good clip and came back to him a bit. It was very exciting.

‘He’s had quite a hard race so we’ll just see how he comes out of it but something back here for the Glorious meeting would probably be on the agenda.’

A stewards inquiry deemed there to be significant interference between Luke Morris on Lethal Force, who finished second, and Richard Hughes on Minal in third. The placings were reversed and Morris was given a two-day ban for careless riding.

Hughes finally found a winner in the first division of the Bognor Regis Observer Handicap Stakes, steering 9/2 shot Byrd In Hand to victory.

Ryan Powell on Wishformore – the 5/1 second favourite – won the second division.

The meeting closed with the West Sussex Gazette Handicap Stakes and it was taken by Fergus Sweeney on Robby Bobby (6/1).

He held off a strong run from Hughes on the favourite Spice Fair.