The Fallon Factor: “Big Orange is the star name, but I think he’s beatable”
The multiple Champion Jockey previews day one at the Glorious Goodwood Festival
Goodwood’s one of the most beautiful tracks in the world and Glorious Goodwood is one of the best meetings, but riding around the place is a serious challenge for jockeys.
The problem is you’re turning all the time and that makes the draw hugely important. It’s going to affect the outcome of so many races this week, especially over seven furlongs and a mile.
If you’re drawn high in races over those trips you have a mountain to climb. You end up on a wing and no horse likes being out there. I’d not even look at a horse, no matter how good it is, if it was drawn wide in a race over one of those two trips. You have to use up so much energy to get across and get a position that you have very little left for the end of the race.
Someone was saying to me the other day ‘Kieren, you weren’t very good around Goodwood were you’ which is something I’ve said myself. But there’s a plaque in the weighing room which shows I’m one of only five riders to have ridden 100 winners at the course, so I can’t have been too bad! It was certainly a place I loved having winners, as it was so tough to win.
In my opinion, it’s the most difficult track in England to ride and at Glorious Goodwood it’s so much harder as it’s so competitive. Everyone targets it and everyone wants to win there.
Getting off the mark in the first race at any big meeting is a huge relief, and there are a couple of horses in the opening 1m2f handicap (1.50) that I like.
Khairaat has been working really well but is drawn in 16, which makes life so tough. However, he’s got half a chance of getting away with it due to where they start for this race. Jim Crowley will need to produce some magic in the saddle. I like Garcia too. He hadn’t run for a long time before running in the John Smith’s Cup and was a very good fifth. Ryan Moore’s on him too, and most people would be keen to have him riding their horse in the race.
Big Orange is the star name in the Goodwood Cup (3.35), but I think he’s beatable. James Doyle gave him an unbelievable ride at Royal Ascot as he was able to control the race and they left him alone. They have to make life harder for him, you can’t give him a freebie. I like Higher Power as he’s been brought along gently and he’s ready to take on Big Orange.
I’d also hope for a big run from our horse Dream Castle in the Lennox Stakes (3.00). He’s going the right way and was just caught in the wrong place at Royal Ascot. I can see him being involved.
Looking ahead to later in the week, I think Aidan O’Brien is the man to side with in both the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday and the Nassau Stakes on Thursday.
I’d be with Churchill in the Sussex. The St James’s Palace was a step too far from him after the two Guineas, but he’d have been freshened up since. He’s a seriously good horse.
I cannot oppose Winter in the Nassau Stakes, a race I won on Russian Rhythm, Favourable Terms and Islington. Everything she’s beaten has run well since and she’s such a relaxed filly the trip won’t be a problem.