Gambler shrugs off busy schedule to win Medallia Handicap
I’m A Gambler (18/1) returned to form in style to provide Mark & Charlie Johnston with a second winner of the 2022 Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Having finished down the field in a Newmarket handicap just seven days ago, the three-year-old raced prominently before forging clear in the closing stages to score by a length and three-quarters. Gisburn (33/1) kept on for second, with 5/1 chance Galiac a further half-length away in third.
Charlie Johnston said: “I’m A Gambler has been a bit inconsistent this year. He ran very well at Hamilton in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup two starts ago, but he was disappointing at Newmarket last week.
“He has become quite difficult in the stalls on occasions. He completely missed the start in the Bunbury Cup, so today, for the first time, we took a ticket to go in last. He came out nice, relaxed and in a good rhythm – it certainly helped the situation. He is very capable on his day and he has bounced back to his best.
“It’s been an okay week for us but that just shows the competitiveness of these festivals. Only one trainer has had more than two winners and it makes you realise you have to enjoy the winners because they are tough to find.”
Winning jockey Jason Hart said: “I’m A Gambler has been messing about in the gates a lot lately. He is a really big horse so I wouldn’t blame him.
“I was able to jump and get into a nice rhythm. I was going to make the running but one or two wanted to go too quick, so I took the lead. It suited him and he finished off his race well. On his day he has got plenty of ability and there is probably a decent race in him.”
3.55pm Medallia Handicap
1 I’m A Gambler (John Brown & Megan Dennis) Charlie & Mark Johnston 3-9-09 Jason Hart 18/1
2 Gisburn (Michael Kerr-Dineen & Martin Hughes) Richard Hannon 3-9-08 Sean Levey 33/1
3 Galiac (Perspicacious Punters Racing Club) William Muir & Chris Grassick 3-8-13 David Probert 5/1
9 ran 3/1F Spirit Of Nguru (4th)
*Charlie & Mark Johnston – 91st Qatar Goodwood Festival winner
Jason Hart – 6th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner
*includes winners trained outside of partnership