Goldie Stalwart On Course For Royal Ascot

West of Scotland-based Jim Goldie is one of the shrewdest trainers around and regularly plunders the south with his well placed handicappers. ‘Jovial Jim’ struck again on Saturday as his tremendously consistent Hawkeyethenoo proved far too good for his 27 opponents when cosily landing the ultra-competitive Totesport Victoria Cup at Ascot, writes Elliot Slater.

The five-year-old Hawk Wing gelding is now on the verge of pattern race company having won the Ascot event off a mark of 96 and is surely likely to see his BHA rating surge past the 100 mark on the back of yet another impressive performance. Anyone looking at the Royal Ascot betting would have seen real potential.

Goldie was clearly delighted with the victory and gave plenty of praise to winning rider Gary Bartley who had been instructed to pay particular attention to the start and to get the horse settled through the first two furlongs of the contest. This Bartley did with the minimum of fuss then produced his mount to lead at the furlong from home marker before striding away to beat Mannassas with something to spare.

Originally trained by Mick Easterby (for whom he won one race from 12 and achieved a modest rating of just 54), Hawkeyethenoo has improved out of all recognition in the last 20 months since joining Goldie, winning six times and improving around 45lbs in the process. Although Saturday’s win was over seven furlongs, the Scottish handler intends to return his charge to the six-furlong trip of the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot, a distance which he believes suits his horse best, and over which he was successfully three times last season in good handicap company.

Apprentice jockey Bartley seems to have struck up a good understanding with the Victoria Cup hero and is likely to be back in the saddle for the big one at the Berkshire track in five weeks time.