Goodwood hosts its final fixture of 2010 this Sunday, October 10, when the afternoon kicks off with the unique Three Musketeers Trophy Handicap (2.00pm) over two miles.
First run in 1995, the Three Musketeers Trophy has been generously sponsored since its inception by the Marquesa de Moratalla’s Childwick Bury Stud and commemorates her three great chasers - Ucello II, Ubu III and The Fellow - who all trained by Francois Doumen in France and collectively known as “The Three Musketeers”. Its position in the racing calendar is unique in that it is restricted to jump jockeys, with the roll of honour including such famous names of the winter game as Paul Carberry, Robert Thornton, Richard Johnson, Timmy Murphy and Paddy Brennan, successful in the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Imperial Commander.
This year’s race has attracted a total of 30 entries and one jockey hoping to be in the line-up on Sunday is Mattie Batchelor, who is based locally at Brighton and is best known as the regular partner of Lord Oaksey’s decent chaser Carruthers, who ran a fine race to finish fourth in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. Batchelor is set to take the mount on Double Whammy, trained at Lewes by Jamie Poulton, in the Three Musketeers Trophy.
Batchelor said today: “I spoke to Mr Poulton the other day and the intention is for Double Whammy to run on Sunday. Hopefully, I will go down to his yard and ride out the horse on Friday to get a feel for him.
“I have had a few rides on the Flat over the summer, so it won’t be that much of a change for me. I started off over the Jumps but I was apprenticed to Gary Moore’s father Charlie for a while and rode a few winners before concentrating on the National Hunt side of things.
“I also spent some of the summer riding in the Channel Islands - Jersey has one meeting a year and Guernsey has about eight or nine. I had about 40 rides out there, with seven winners, but Vince Slattery was champion jockey.
“The Three Musketeers Handicap is always a good laugh but I have never done any good - Leighton Aspell seems to be the race specialist! I think that Double Whammy will stay the two miles and hopefully he can give me a nice spin around Goodwood.”
The richest contest of the afternoon is race two on the card, the £10,000 Toyo Tires Speed Handicap (2.35pm) over six furlongs for which there are 32 entries. Toyo Tires have been great supporters of Goodwood in 2010 and were the official tyre partner for the 2010 Goodwood Revival.
Regular Goodwood sponsors Blue Square back four races during the afternoon, the Bet At Bluesq.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes (3.45pm), the Blue Square Bet EBF Maiden Stakes (4.20pm), the Exclusive Live Shows At Bluesq.com Handicap (4.55pm) and the concluding Play Roulette At Bluesq.com Handicap (5.30pm).
The going at Goodwood is currently SOFT.
Clerk of the Course Seamus Buckley explained: “We have experienced a significant amount of rain in the last few days and the going is currently soft and I expect it to stay the same for when we race on Sunday.
“The course has taken the rain well and the forecast is for drier conditions from Wednesday onwards with no rain currently forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“It has been another fantastic season at Goodwood and the course has stood up remarkably well during the year. It was regrettable that we lost one of our meetings in August due to waterlogging but I would like to pay tribute to all the groundstaff at Goodwood who have worked incredibly hard to produce an excellent racing surface throughout the season, particularly for our first 15 racedays when we had hardly any rain at all.
“During Festival week we had more than 500 runners over the five days and I didn’t receive a single complaint about the state of the going.
“The highlights for me this year was the dominance of the Richard Hannon/Richard Hughes combination during Glorious Goodwood, while it was fantastic to see Midday land her second Blue Square Nassau Stakes.
“It was also very gratifying to see Workforce, who began his career with an impressive victory at Goodwood last year, hits such great heights with his victories in the Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2010.”