Trainer Mark Johnston began Glorious Goodwood 2016 in the best possible style when Fire Fighting (5g Soldier Of Fortune-Savoie, by Anabaa) took the meeting’s opening heat.
The son of Soldier Of Fortune saw off 16 rivals to win the ultra-competitive contest and take his career earnings to almost £300,000. It was a ninth start of the season for the tough-as-teak five-year-old.
“This horse is a bit special.” said Johnston. “You have to wonder whether he is tough and that’s what makes him able to race a lot – or is it the fact that he races a lot that makes him tough.
“We gave him a couple of months off in the winter and his first run back was the first time that he has ever come back lame from a race. You have to remember that time off doesn’t always do them good.
“Adam (Kirby) has found a bit of the key to him and I think he rides the horse with a lot of confidence. He hit the front quite a long way out here and showed no sign of stopping.”
Kirby was full of praise for his mount’s tenacity.
“It was a typical Goodwood race with a lot of runners and you can get locked in down the inside. I did well to get a run through,” said the jockey. “Everyone would love to own this horse. He turns up on the big Saturdays and you will always get a good run for your money with him.
“He’s a fantastic horse and he tries his heart out. What a lovely horse to ride and own – he should hopefully keep everyone happy.”