FLAMING SPEAR landed the £100,000 seven furlong handicap at Goodwood yesterday on just his third start for the stable under a fine ride from Adam Kirby.
Formerly with Kevin Ryan, the six-year-old Lope De Vega chestnut is not the easiest horse to train and has a slight aversion to going into the stalls but patience was rewarded yesterday in fine style for owner, Tony Bloom.
In the International Handicap at Ascot last month, Spear was reluctant to enter the stalls and the hood came off him rather late. Yesterday, things went according to plan and the 4/1 joint-favourite was settled nicely by Adam at the back of the field. Making a move three out, he was switched to the left of the field and came with a decisive sweeping run on the outside two from home to pass most of the field and hit the front during the final 100 yards and won going away. The winning margin was a length and three quarters to the runner-up, Cape Byron.
As well as coping with the stalls and settling better, the ground, officially good, also came right. There’s no doubt Flaming Spear is a very talented horse but he does need things to drop right for him. A lot of the praise should go to his lad, Steve Harland who has done a good job with him at home.
The £62,250 first prize was the biggest payday in the horse’s career and as he seems to like these big field handicaps, there could be more big days to come for Flaming Spear. Rated 104, the horse is in the Ayr Gold Cup but Group success also looks within his capabilities.
This was the stable’s 27th win of the year and moved the yard past the £400,000 prize money barrier. Hopefully, the yard can enjoy an Indian summer with more winners to come.