Anyone fancy a 20-hour round trip on the roads from the outskirts of Glasgow to the Sussex Downs this weekend? A decent weather forecast means the stay-at-home holiday traffic is likely to be as sticky as ever, but the fear of a traffic jam or two won't deter Tommy G and his intrepid Renfrewshire handler Jim Goldie.
Three previous visits to the Sussex Downs for Tommy G have yielded a win in the Stewards' Cup consolation race in 2018, under Saturday’s rider Silvestre De Sousa, a second place in 2017 and then a third 12 months ago.
Those performances alone have amassed the thick end of £70,000 in prize money for Goldie and his Johnnie Delta Racing syndicate members.
For a sprinter whose four other victories in a 60-race career have come in Class 4 handicaps at Ayr off marks in the mid-70s, that’s not bad going.
Undeterred by the prospect of another trip to Goodwood - he's already done the drive once this week - and a huge cut to the winner’s purse, Goldie will again get behind the wheel to take Tommy G to the south coast for a fourth crack at a race he loves to target.
Tommy G comes home clear in this race two years ago
Goldie, who also plundered the Stewards’ Cup in 2012 with Hawkeyethenoo, said: “Goodwood is a place we’ve done well at down the years.
“When Tommy G got into the consolation race in 2017, we thought we’d give it a go. Then when he finished second, it quickly became the plan to go back the following year and then the year after that.
“There was no great intuition on my part that he’d prove particularly well suited by the unique track that Goodwood is, but it seems to bring out the best in him. It’s an easy six furlongs and it suits him that he’s able to freewheel his way through a significant percentage of it.
“The prize money for the consolation race has always been so good - up until this year anyway. If you look at how much Tommy G has earned from it, why wouldn’t you keep going back?”
Jim Goldie is interviewed on Racing TV after Tommy G's 2018 victory
Accompanying Tommy G in Saturday’s line-up will be the seven-year-old's two younger half-brothers, Call Me Ginger (Kevin Stott) and Primo’s Comet (Paddy Mathers).
The latter finished a 50-1 fourth in last year’s race, while Call Me Ginger chased home leading Stewards’ Cup fancy Meeras in the Scottish version at Hamilton earlier this month.
Goldie added: “This race has been the target for Call Me Ginger. He’s a progressive young sprinter and his last piece of form really stacks up.
“There’s a doubt about whether he’ll handle the track but, if he does, I think he’ll win.
“He’ll have to be on his A-game, though, because it will take a good one to reel in Tommy G on this track.
“He got quite badly bumped at the start last year, which I think cost him. Silvestre said to me afterwards that if we could get 2lb off his back for this year, he’d win it again. As it turns out, we’ve got 6lb off!
“It’s going to cost me a good few hundred pounds extra to send a second horsebox down there with Primo’s Comet.
“But when I looked through the race, I thought the tricast would pay a lot more than the dual forecast! He was fourth last year at a big price and seemed to enjoy himself, so I’ll be saving a few quid for the tricast!”
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