Horses To Follow » Oh Goodness Me

Oh Goodness Me

Oh Goodness Me had to dig very deep to win the Park Express Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. She travelled well through the early part of the race – she and long odds-on favourite Mad About You were the only two still on the bridle at the three-furlong pole – and she was the only one who was able to go with the favourite and her stable companion Firey Red when they went for home two furlongs out. At that stage it looked as if Mad About You was travelling by far the best of the three, and Oh Goodness Me looked more likely to finish third than first. However, she found plenty for pressure under Davy Moran as, conversely, Mad About You found disappointingly little, and Oh Goodness Me battled back really well to put her nose in front literally on the line, with a short head and a head separating the first three home.

There are a number of reasons for possibly not getting too carried away with this win. For starters, the Park Express Stakes is an unusually good race for three-year-olds – the youngsters had won five of the previous seven renewals – and Sunday’s race hammered this point home, with the only two three-year-olds in a field of seven finishing first and second. Three-year-olds get 15lb from their elders over a mile at this stage of the season, and that might just be generous enough.

Also, you have to put a question mark over Mad About You’s performance. She came there swinging under Pat Smullen, travelling so well that she traded at 1.03 in-running, but found disappointingly little. It would not be at all surprising if next time Dermot Weld were to fit the blinkers in which she was seen to such good effect at Naas last October.

All of that said, this was still a fine performance from Jim Bolger’s filly. She was racing on ground that was probably softer than ideal, she raced like she will appreciate further than this mile now as a three-year-old, and she was by far the weaker of Bolger’s two representatives in the race. A winner over a mile as a juvenile, she is by Galileo and, although her dam was essentially a miler, the way that she finished off her race here suggests that she will be even better over further. Bolger mentioned a number of possible targets after the race, including the Guineas and the Oaks, and she might just prove to be that good. She would also be of interest if she lined up in the Musidora Stakes at York, which Bolger won last year with Lush Lashes.

© The Irish Field, 28th March, 2009