Goodwood’s season opener proved a good day for George Baker - and George Baker.
Jockey Baker won the last two races of the eight-contest card after the trainer of the same name had enjoyed a similar back-to-back double earlier in the card.
Meanwhile Miss Marjurie and Don’t Be marked themselves out as ones to watch for the season with victories in the track’s first two listed contests of the new campaign.
It might have been a bit chilly on the Downs but there was a good-sized crowd in to the enjoy the racing and a new feature for the opening day, a food festival at which a wide range of local producers showed off their food and drink to the public.
The racing opened with regular Goodwood winner Adam Kirby riding Thunder Pass to a 5/1 triumph in the Betfred Home of Goals Galore Handicap before 10/1 chance Miss Marjurie took the Betfred TV EBF Stallions Daisy Warwick Stakes with Shane Kelly on board for Denis Coakley.
Fiftyshadesofgrey gave trainer Baker his first of two wins as Franny Norton brought him home at 8/1 in the Betfred Goals Galore Extra Handicap and the handler made it two from two in the Betfred Racing’s Biggest Supporter Handicap with Humidor (9/2 jt fav), ridden by Pat Cosgrave.
Don’t Be was the 6/1 winner of the Betfred Double Delight British Stallion Studs EBF Conqueror Stakes for Sir Mark Prescott and Chris Catlin while King To Be earned Goodwood’s champion trainer of 2014, Richard Hannon, his first success of the season on the Downs by winning the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Median Auction Maiden Stakes with Sean Levey in the saddle.
Then it was jockey Baker’s turn to take centre stage - effectively winning twice in the same race. So large was the field for the Betfred Hat Trick Heaven Handicap that it was split into two divisions, and Baker took both, first with 3/1 favourite Open The Red for Pulborough trainer Amanda Perrett then with Morrison-trained Sweet Selection at 10/1.
That made Morrison the second trainer to notch a double - and was a third success for the tips listed on this website on Saturday morning, Thunder pass and King To Be having come up trumps earlier.
There’s more racing action at Goodwood on May 21, 22 and 23 in a three-day festival that will have Oaks and Derby trials as its highlights.
See reaction and pictures from Goodwood’s season opener in the Chichester Observer on Thursday