Keane’s first Goodwood win brings consolation for quarantine
Colin Keane, the Irish jockey who will have to sit out the next two weeks while he quarantines after coming over to ride Siskin, third in yesterday’s Qatar Sussex Stakes, did not, at least, return home emptyhanded, after he rode Steel Bull to victory in the Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes. It was his first Goodwood winner.
Trained in Ireland by Michael O’Callaghan and owned by him, the colt, who had made an eye-catching winning debut at Naas last week, appeared to have a wall of horses in front of him but a furlong out he was poised and he went on to catch and pass Ben Macdui and win by three-quarters of a length. O’Callaghan watched the race back home on the Curragh, although not with any great success. His internet dropped out on the computer he was viewing it on and he had to make do with the replay.
“He’s done it very, very well and we have a nice horse on our hands,” he said. “We had a bit of interest in him after he won his maiden but at the end of the day it was a five furlong maiden and we had to prove he could do something like that.
“I don’t own all of him myself. I own him with my father and another man called John Fleming. They let me go and buy them and luckily we’ve found another good one.”
Keane said: “He showed a good turn of foot. He puts his head down and tries. I imagine he’ll keep progressing. I think he’d get an extra furlong because he settles. I had to wait but the lads said he had a turn of foot and that was what I was hoping for.”
Goodwood’s longest race, the Unibet You’re On Handicap, went narrowly to 25-1 chance Just Hubert. Every journalist who went to William Muir’s to write up the trainer before he ran Pyledriver in the Derby, came away tipping the horse for Newcastle’s Town Plate but with nothing to show for it barring disappointment.
“I think it just takes three runs to get him ready,” said the trainer after the gelding had redeemed himself yesterday. “First time out last year I was telling the owner he was a good horse and he ran rubbish at Bath. He ran better at Chester but got stopped everywhere and then we went to Newbury and Kerrin McEvoy got off and said he’d be a really decent horse if we gelded him.
“If you see him the way he races, on and off the bridle, he never overdoes himself. I think he’d get three miles. He has won a neck so the handicapper can’t hurt us too much but I don’t think it matters about the company, when his mind is right he could compete in whatever staying race there is.”
Charge: Steel Bull (left), ridden by Colin Keane, on the way to victory at Goodwood