Thursday, 7 June 2018

Jim Goldie: Perennial Evergreen

Jim Goldie, sometimes known as “Jovial Jim” because of his genial nature, is based at Libohill Farm Stables, Uplawmoor, Renfrewshire, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland.
Goldie took out a full training licence in 1994 and saddled his first winner, Red Tempest, in a novices’ claiming hurdle at Perth in September that year.

His flagship horse in the early part of his career, though, was Orientor, whom he bought for 12,000 guineas in Doncaster St. Leger Yearling Sales in 1999. In 2001, as a 3-year-old, the Inchinor colt won three times, including the William Hill Trophy Showcase Handicap at York and the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint at Ascot. Later in his career, he also won the Kronenburg 1664 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle in 2003 and the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Sprint Stakes at Sandown in 2004.

Goldie is a dual purpose trainer and, in his lengthy career, has managed one or two spectacular successes over jumps. In 2007, he saddled 66/1 outsider Lampion Du Bost to win the Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree and, in 2008, silenced his doubters by winning the same race again with Endless Power.

He has also done well with horses acquired from other trainers, one notable example being Hawkeyethenoo, a “castoff” from Michael Easterby. Hawkeyethenoo won the Victoria Cup at Ascot in 2011 and the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood in 2012, as well as finishing second, beaten just three-quarters of a length, behind Maarek in the Qipco British Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot later the same year.

Goldie also trained Jack Dexter, apparently named after one of his grandsons, to win three Listed races and the Betfred Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle – a race he’d also won with his sire, Orientor, ten years earlier – in 2013 and 2014. Sadly, Jack Dexter fractured a cannonbone at Ripon in August, 2017, but Goldie paid tribute to him, saying, “We’re all gutted. He was part of the family and had been here since we bred him. He was a great horse – nearly as good as you get.”

In the last five seasons, Goldie has saddled over 500 runners at Ayr, resulting in 48 winners but, even at his favourite stamping ground, he was surprised to saddle the first four home in a 6-furlong handicap in July, 2017. Cheeni stayed on strongly to lead close home, beating Goninodaethat by a head, with Insurplus a further 1¼ lengths away in third and Sea Of Green, the shortest-priced of the quartet, a similar distance back in fourth. Goldie quipped afterwards, “We’ve had a 1-2-3 before, a few years back, but never a 1-2-3-4. I’m really kicking myself I didn’t do a tricast.”

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