Birdman can sprout wings in Vintage renewal
1 August 2012
(1-5 pt staking plan)
2.35pm Goodwood: 1pt Birdman
5.30pm Goodwood: 1pt each-way Common Touch
Before the prices came out for the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, Simon Crisford told Racing UK that out of all the two-year-olds that Godolphin were going to run this week it was Artigiano he was most excited about. It was clear in the interview that Artigiano was his preferred horse to Tha’ir, who he believed has it all to prove.
And yet, in today’s Group Two contest over seven furlongs it is the mount of Silvestre De Sousa that trades at 15-2, while you can back Frankie Dettori’s ride at 11-1.
Perhaps neither will win, but Artigiano is rated significantly better both by the official handicapper and by the various ratings services that are available to punters out there.
If I had to nail my colours to one horse in what looks a fiendishly difficult race it would be Birdman. On first impressions Olympic Glory seemed to be idling slightly in the Superlative Stakes at the July Course last month before he had to knuckle down to fight off Birdman, but David Simcock’s horse suffered a poor passage.
Martin Lane was checked at the two furlong pole and had to take the long way around before finally latching on to the heels of Artigiano and Olympic Glory. After expending all of that effort to get to the leaders Birdman then posted the quickest final furlong out of any horse in the race, and by a quarter of a second. It was not a cheap gain by any means and over a furlong further, and on better ground, he is worth a small investment at 13-2.
Where Birdman is versatile on any going the final race of the day looks the type to go to a horse that has the conditions perfectly tailored to their abilities.
Common Touch could be one of those horses. Richard Fahey expressed significant disappointment when the chestnut gelding was only seventh at York last month.
The performance followed two poor runs as Ascot and the Knavesmire, but all of those were over a mile.
If you look at the son of Compton Place, the sprinter, it seems that he simply does not get a mile. Two of his three wins have been over seven furlongs and he was placed over seven and half, also.
Fahey has suggested that Common Touch could improve for the drop back in trip, and what’s more he was an unlucky second to Webbow over the Sussex Downs last season, also on good going.
There are of course a whole host of dangers in a 20-runner Goodwood handicap, but at 14-1 it is worth paying to find out whether horses for courses can be a money-making scheme.