Rumstar shines brightest in nursery
Trainer Johnathan Portman and jockey Rob Hornby got off the mark for the week with Rumstar (22/1) in the Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Nursery Handicap.
Rumstar had the perfect tow into contention and angled between horses entering the final furlong before powering clear of Silencer (9/1) to score by a length. Bolt Action (10/3F) was third, with Land Of Summer (66/1) fourth.
The winner had held his own in Listed company on his two previous starts, most recently finishing fourth behind G3 Markel Molecomb Stakes runner-up Rocket Rodney at Sandown Park.
Portman said: “Look what happens when you put a good horse with a good trainer and a good jockey! Michael Blanshard was a very good trainer and, when he retired, he very kindly asked Vincent [Ward, owner] to send the horse to me to train. It was a very nice of Michael and I might have to give him a case of wine.
“This horse is doing well all the time. He is only a little horse, but he is not just a two-year-old, and if we give him a chance, he can go on and be all right. It was a good weight-carrying performance. We were very close behind Rocket Rodney at Sandown, who was second in the Molecomb – that gave me a lot of confidence.
“This meeting has always been very kind to us. I love coming here and want to win more races here. it means a lot.”
Hornby said: “Let’s hope Rumstar can keep progressing from this. We were discussing draw bias and where the draw might be. Some of the nicer horses were high and with me, 10 and above. It was this horse’s first time over six furlongs, so we were just going to ride a normal race and get a lead. Some of the horses fell away and I was able to get a nice seam into it. Venturing into the extra furlong, it was nice to see he was able to extend once hitting the front and he hit the line strongly.
“He has a really good attitude – he is hardy. There has been plenty happening for him at an early stage of his career, and he takes his racing well. He is a solid work horse at home and is a real pleasant horse to have about the place.
“On hitting the front, I was just thinking ‘please win!’ It is so nice to have a winner on a big occasion for Johnny. He has been such a big part of my life for quite a while, a great mentor and a close friend.”
4.45pm Coral Beaten-By-A-Length Free Bet Handicap
1 Rumstar (Vincent Ward) Jonathan Portman 2-9-07 Rob Hornby 22/1
2 Silencer (J Harron Partnership & Qatar Racing) 2-9-05 Cieren Fallon 9/1
3 Bolt Action (Victorious Racing & Fawzi Nass) 10/3F
4 Land Of Summer (Julie Wood) Richard Hannon 2-9-00 Pat Dobbs 66/1
Jonathan Portman – 4th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner
Rob Hornby – 2nd Qatar Goodwood Festival winner