George Baker: A Glorious Feel about our Goodwood result

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  • Opinion

    I am not sure we have ever had a 100-1 winner, let alone one at 125-1, but it was a great result for us at “Glorious Goodwood” with the aptly named Feel Glorious.

    I was let down by a potential owner for Feel Glorious, so I named her “By Default” for about two weeks.

    We’ve got a good relationship with the team who work at Goodwood racecourse and are involved in promoting the Qatar Goodwood Festival. They were down at the yard in the spring and we mentioned the filly, before deciding to call her Feel Glorious, and then we made the meeting a target for her.

    She’s a lovely filly and we’d been rather disappointed with her on her second run at Kempton Park in July. We went to Goodwood knowing she wasn’t going to be completely out of her league, but it was a very pleasant surprise to see her stick her little head in front.

    The Goodwood team were at the yard on the morning of the race making a short film about her, which would have been much less dramatic had she ended up finishing last — so it all panned out perfectly, and on my birthday as well.

    A moment in the spotlight

    We also won Thursday’s charity race, the Magnolia Cup, with Harry Hurricane. His jockey, Katie Forrest, has been an absolute star. She has been training for the race with us over the past few months — the ladies riding go through an extraordinary amount in preparation.

    Katie raised an almighty £10,000 for Cancer Research UK and, with both her parents suffering from the awful disease, it was a wonderful and emotional day for her family. She’s still smiling about it now and she fully earned her moment in the spotlight. I hope she’ll continue to ride out with us because her enthusiasm is infectious.

    Making the move

    We knew when we moved from Manton in Wiltshire that it was going to be a transitional period on many levels. We’ve lost a lot of the superstar Saturday horses such as Belgian Bill, Boomshackerlacker, Humidor and Jack’s Revenge, who ran in all the big festivals but had come to the end of their time in training. We went for it again and now have about 27 two-year-olds, but I might only run some of them this season.

    Hopefully by this time next year, we’ll look back and know we have a nice bunch — or perhaps we’ll have to go again. I think we have some nice ones to look forward to alongside Feel Glorious.

    We all got payback for the dreadful monsoon at “Glorious Goodwood” in 2017 and the lovely weather and sunshine made the racecourse look utterly fantastic. The standout performance came from Battaash, who you could call the winner after a furlong in the King George Stakes and is an absolute superstar. It was also great to see trainer Mark Johnston do so well once again, you can almost back his horses blind there.

    I found the meeting completely magical; it’s my local track and my favourite racecourse. Fifteen years ago, when I did a “proper job” in the City, I would always take Goodwood week off. If you  said to me then that I’d be training runners — let alone winners — there, it would have been beyond the wildest of wildest dreams.

    Ref Horse & Hound; 9 August 2018