Horses To Follow » Classic Vintage

Classic Vintage

There was a lot to like about the performance that Classic Vintage put up to win the mile-and-a-half heritage handicap at Goodwood last Wednesday. Pushed along in the very early stages of the race – he actually received a reminder before they had gone a furlong – he was soon travelling better in mid division. He travelled best of all three furlongs out, before Jim Crowley eased him to the outside and kicked him on at the two furlong pole. Once he hit the front he edged a little to his right towards the rail, but he continued to go forward, despite pricking his ears and giving the impression that he was keeping a little back for himself. That said, he continued to gradually move further and further clear of his rivals, and he kept on well to win, ears pricked, by three lengths. He was almost certainly value for a fair bit more than that.
This was a good race for a Class 2 handicap, a fact that has been hammered home by subsequent events. The third horse, Becausewecan, was backed down to favouritism and finished fourth in a good handicap back at Goodwood on the Saturday, while the seventh and eighth horses in the race, Chiberta King and Sabotage, finished second and third behind the really well handicapped Polly’s Mark in the Shergar Cup Classic at Ascot on Saturday. For his own part, Classic Vintage looked like a useful sort going into the Goodwood race. Winner of a Class 3 handicap at Salisbury in June off a mark of 85, he ran a cracker on his last run before Goodwood to finish second behind Cool Strike and Manyriverstocross, also a winner at Goodwood and a lively outsider for the Ebor, when he was held up out the back in a race in which they went a slow pace and which was ultimately dominated by the leaders. He was much better suited by the fast pace on Wednesday. The handicapper has raised him just 7lb to a mark of 97, which still makes him interesting. He is most progressive now, and he could improve further for a step up to a mile and six. He is more of a galloper than a quickener, and the Melrose Handicap looks tailor made for him.

28th July 2009