Andrew Balding: The only person pleased to see rain *H&H VIP*

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  • Opinion

    We went to “Glorious Goodwood” with a nice handful of horses and high hopes. Therefore, coming home with three wins and three seconds, at such a big meeting, was a brilliant result for the yard and I was delighted.

    Here Comes When winning the Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes at 20-1 and beating the favourite Ribchester was an obvious highlight.

    With both Ribchester and Churchill entered for the Sussex Stakes, we put Here Comes When in the race hoping at least to pick up the £106,800 prize money for third place.

    I may have been the only person at Goodwood on the Wednesday (2 August) pleased to see the rain arrive, and arrive it certainly did, with the ground officially turning to soft.

    Here Comes When’s chances increased dramatically within an instant when the downpours made their way across the South Downs.

    When Aidan O’Brien decided, at the last minute, not to run Churchill it certainly opened the race up hugely for us. It was at that point I thought a placing was surely guaranteed.

    I was, of course, thrilled when he got his head in front by a neck, beating Ribchester — a horse three years younger than him.

    At seven, he is an older Flat horse but he’s a total “ledge” in the yard. He’s been with us for five years now and is owned by Dr Jim and Fitri Hay.

    He’s been a successful horse at Group Two but has always been racing just below top class.

    He’s the only Flat horse I’ve trained that really likes the soft ground. If he runs on firm ground he jars up, so I have to choose his races carefully and train with a degree of caution — like any horse over five years old, they will jar up more easily.

    The plan for him now is to head overseas to Milan for the Premio Vittorio di Capua, where he won’t carry a penalty because the race has now been downgraded, so he’ll have a good chance there.

    My other two winners came courtesy of Scorching Heat in the Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Handicap and Beat The Bank in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes.

    It was great to have both Ryan Moore and Jim Crowley aboard two of my winners. Although neither are my retained jockeys, it was a privilege having two of the world’s best in the plate and there was no complaining from me.

    Goodwood is a fantastic racecourse and there is always a brilliant atmosphere — “Glorious Goodwood” is a key meeting for me each year.

    I currently train 170 horses from my base at Kingsclere in Hampshire — we have around 70 full-time members of staff employed, and our success at Goodwood was a huge boost for my hard-working team.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 10 August 2017