Ian Heit­man re­ports on the ac­tion from Good­wood and be­yond

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Ian Heit­man re­ports on the re­sults from Glo­ri­ous Good­wood

The 2016 Qatar Good­wood Fes­ti­val at­tracted some top class horses,The Gurkha and Galileo Gold sep­a­rated by only a neck in the Sus­sex Stakes, Big Orange’s dom­i­nant front-run­ning per­for­mance in the Good­wood Cup and Mind­ing win­ning her sixth Group One in the Nas­sau Stakes. Although there were only three two-year-old races – two Group Twos and a Group Three – dur­ing the five­day meet­ing, they each pro­vided some high-class win­ners. The Vin­tage Stakes over 7f was the first of the two-year-old races and saw a field of nine face the starter.

The first and sec­ond from the Su­perla­tive Stakes, BOYNTON (had a 3lb penalty for that win) and WAR DE­CREE headed the mar­ket with War De­cree go­ing off the 6/4 favourite and Boynton at 2/1.THUNDER SNOW,sixth in the Coven­try Stakes on his pre­vi­ous start,was third choice in the bet­ting at 13/2.BothWar De­cree and Boynton looked in good shape in the pad­dock be­fore­hand as too did ISOMER. REPTON, a maiden win­ner on his pre­vi­ous start, took the field along closely fol­lowed by Thunder Snow with War De­cree chas­ing the pace and Boynton set­tled in mid­field.

There was trou­ble in the rear of the field when the two horses owned by Fitri Hay, Isomer and Me­dieval col­lided soon af­ter the start and were left with plenty to do as a re­sult.Repton kicked for home with two fur­longs to go but he couldn’t hold off the chal­lenge of Thunder Snow who took the lead a fur­long from the fin­ish but he was soon strongly pressed byWar De­cree who was switched off the far rail by Ryan Moore to get a clear run and although he took a lit­tle while to hit full stride he stayed on strongly to lead with 150 yards to go and beat Thunder Snow by a length and three quar­ters with Boynton, who didn’t get the clear­est of runs through two fur­longs from the fin­ish, run­ning on to be third car­ry­ing his head quite high.

War De­cree pro­vided Ai­dan O’Brien with a sec­ond win in the race, High­land Reel won in 2014, and War De­cree will no doubt by aimed at a Group One race next time, pre­sum­ably the Na­tional Stakes at the Cur­ragh on Septem­ber 11 where he will have a lead­ing chance. He has raced only on good to firm ground but should be as ef­fec­tive with any ease in the ground. Thunder Snow ran a fine race in sec­ond and he should have no trou­ble win­ning a Group race be­fore the end of the sea­son.

As for Boynton, he has plenty of scope, and although he will have to carry a penalty, the Cham­pagne Stakes at Don­caster on Septem­ber 10th looks the ideal race for him. The Group Three Mole­comb Stakes over 5f was the sec­ond of the Group races run on day two of the meet­ing with nine run­ners lin­ing up. GLOBAL AP­PLAUSE was the 2/1 favourite de­spite fin­ish­ing be­hind THE LAST LION, avail­able at 3/1, in the Nor­folk Stakes at Royal As­cot when The Last Lion was sec­ond and Global Ap­plause fifth. Ai­dan O’Brien’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive,SPORTMANSHIP who was hav­ing his first start over five fur­longs,was the 11/2 third favourite. Global Ap­plause had the widest draw and raced in mid­field on the out­side whilst The Last Lion chased the pace set by his sta­ble mate YALTA, who like Sports­man­ship was hav­ing his first start over five fur­longs. Yalta showed the pace here that had seen him lead the Coven­try Stakes and July Stakes fields how­ever this time he didn’t weaken and ran on strongly in­side the last fur­long to beat The Last Lion by three lengths,break­ing the two-year-old record for five fur­longs set by Co­tai Glory in this race two years ear­lier. Global Ap­plause and Sports­man­ship kept on to be third and fourth re­spec­tively but never man­aged to chal­lenge.

Such was the speed Yalta dis­played here,he was sup­ple­mented for the Group One Nun­thorpe Stakes at York on Au­gust 19. Sadly he found the pace too hot as he at­tempted to be­come the first two-yearold to win the race since Kings­gate Na­tive in 2007,and was eased down to fin­ish last.

Although there were only four run­ners in the Group Two Rich­mond Stakes on the third day of the meet­ing, it was a high­qual­ity race with proven form horses MEHMAS and IN­TEL­LI­GENCE CROSS tak­ing on ex­cit­ing prospects BLUE POINT andWAQAAS.

Blue Point was very strong in the mar­ket,sent off the 5/6 favourite in a bid to ex­tend his un­beaten record to three with In­tel­li­gence Cross at 5/2 ahead of his July Stakes con­queror Mehmas at 7/2 who had to carry a 3lb penalty for that New­mar­ket win. Blue Point has plenty of strength about him and he set out to lead all the way un­der James Doyle, closely fol­low­ing by In­tel­li­gence Cross with the other pair in touch. Whereas at Don­caster, Blue Point ef­fort­lessly drew clear from his ri­vals, he was un­der pres­sure with less than two fur­longs to go and drifted to the cen­tre of the track where Mehmas made his chal­lenge un­der Frankie Det­tori, the pair draw­ing clear from In­tel­li­gence Cross and a well beaten Waqaas. Mehmas got the front with 75 yards to go and bat­tled on well to beat Blue Point by a neck. This was a very smart per­for­mance from Mehmas who landed his sec­ond Group Two of the year and whilst he isn’t the big­gest horse, he is very tough and re­ally puts his head down in the fin­ish. Blue Point did noth­ing wrong and is sure to win a Group race be­fore too long.

CAR­AVAG­GIO made his first start since win­ning the Coven­try Stakes at Royal As­cot with a very easy win in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Cur­ragh on Au­gust 7.Sent off the 1/8 favourite he was al­ways go­ing well held up in mid­field by Seamie Hef­fer­nan and made progress to take the lead a fur­long and a half from the fin­ish and only pushed out, beat his sta­ble­mate COURAGE UN­DER FIRE (a maiden af­ter four starts) by four lengths. There is a chance Car­avag­gio could head straight for the Group One Mid­dle Park Stakes at New­mar­ket on Septem­ber 24 where he will no doubt ex­tend his un­beaten record to five. TIS MAR­VEL­LOUS will be a big dan­ger to Mehmas given the way he won the Group Two Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laf­fitte for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby. Al­ways go­ing well close to the pace set by Nor­folk Stakes win­ner Prince Of Lir, Tis Mar­vel­lous took the lead at half­way and ran on strongly in the last fur­long and a half to win un­chal­lenged by two and a half lengths from AL JOHRAH.

He is fol­low­ing the same path Reck­less Aban­don took for Cox in 2012 by win­ning this race be­fore go­ing to on to land the Morny and he looks sure to go well. Per­haps the big­gest dan­ger will come from LADY AURE­LIA who put up the per­for­mance of Royal As­cot when she won the Queen Mary Stakes over five fur­longs and is due to make the jour­ney from Amer­ica for this Group One con­test.

The Group Three Princess Mar­garet Stakes at As­cot on July 23 saw an im­pres­sive per­for­mance from FAIR EVA who be­came the first Group win­ner for her sire Frankel and re­tained her un­beaten record. She im­pressed in the pad­dock

Although there were only three 2 yearold races dur­ing the five-day meet­ing, they each pro­vided high­class win­ners

be­fore­hand, strong with plenty of scope, and moved well to the start and was well sup­ported in the mar­ket, sent off the 4/6 favourite with her main mar­ket op­po­si­tion MAG­I­CAL FIRE hav­ing to be with­drawn at the start.Fair Eva was al­ways go­ing strongly for Frankie Det­tori in mid­field and made good progress to chal­lenge KILMAH a fur­long and a half from the fin­ish.

Given a cou­ple of taps with the whip by Det­tori, she sprinted clear from a use­ful ri­val in­side the last fur­long to win by four lengths, in a time just out­side the track record. DAINTY DANDY who had shown plenty of pace here kept on for third with TAL­LU­LAH ROSE run­ning her best race in fourth. Given the man­ner of this win, Fair Eva was short­ened to 4/1 favourite for the 1,000 Guineas and while that is a long way off,she is go­ing to be very hard to beat this year and her odds for the first fil­lies clas­sic of 2017 will only shorten as a re­sult.

Dainty Dandy and Tal­lu­lah Rose didn’t do much for the form when they were last and sec­ond last re­spec­tively in the Listed St Hugh’s Stakes over 5f at New­bury on Au­gust 12. MRS DAN­VERS ex­tended her un­beaten record to four with a good win, get­ting the bet­ter EQUIMOU in­side the fi­nal fur­long to win by two lengths.

Mrs Dan­vers has pro­gressed well phys­i­cally since her win in the Su­per Sprint and will con­tinue to run well,her next race could be the Dick Poole at Sal­is­bury on Septem­ber 1st over 6f and although that could be her first start over 6f,she fin­ished strongly at New­bury and should have no trou­ble with the ex­tra fur­long. NA­TIONS ALEXAN­DER did give Fair Eva’s form a boost (four lengths be­hind at Hay­dock when Fair Eva made her de­but) when she led all the way in the Group Three Sweet Sol­era Stakes at New­mar­ket on Au­gust 6 beat­ing GRE­CIAN LIGHT by an easy length and a half with ON HER TOES keep­ing on well for third.

Na­tions Alexan­der has proved very con­sis­tent in her five starts, yet to fin­ish out of the frame,and whilst she will have to im­prove to beat Fair Eva,she will con­tinue to run well.

As well as Na­tions Alexan­der, her owner, Noel O’Cal­laghan, has an­other use­ful two-year-old in ASISDIOUS ALEXAN­DER, trained by Si­mon Cr­is­ford, who landed the Listed Prix Six Per­fec­tions at Deauville on July 30,fin­ish­ing strongly to deny Char­lie Ap­pleby’s well-backed favourite CALARE close home.

Ed Dun­lop has a much bet­ter bunch of two-year-olds this year com­pared to 2015 when he only had four win­ners, with Global Ap­plause win­ning a Listed race ear­lier in the year and APEX KING tak­ing the Listed Pat Ed­dery Stakes at As­cot on July 23 when he got up near to the fin­ish to beat pace set­ting MON­TI­CELLO by a neck with FRANKUUS a fur­ther head away in third. Apex King is likely to have his next start in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at New­mar­ket on Septem­ber 24 and while he is pro­gress­ing well, he will have to im­prove fur­ther to take that prize.

Frankuus didn’t do much for the form of this race on his next start in the Listed Wash­ing­ton Singer Stakes over 7f at New- bury on Au­gust 13 fin­ish­ing last of the four run­ners. He was the 3/1 sec­ond favourite be­hind ES­CO­BAR who was the well sup­ported evens favourite with MR SCARAMANGA and AMABILIS com­plet­ing the line-up.Es­co­bar was a lot calmer in the pad­dock than he had been on his de­but 29 days ear­lier and he won in good style un­der Frankie Det­tori.

Held up last of the four by Det­tori, he made good progress with three fur­longs to go, took the lead from Mr Scaramanga with a fur­long and half to go and stayed on strongly to win by a length and a quar­ter from Mr Scaramanga with Amabilis in third and Frankuus last.Es­co­bar will likely have races such as the Cham­pagne Stakes and Royal Lodge Stakes on his agenda next time and should make a bold bid to

ex­tend his un­beaten record to three.

Ai­dan O’Brien horses have largely dom­i­nated the two-year-old scene in Ire­land and he sad­dled a Group race dou­ble at Leop­ard­stown on July 21 when PROM­ISE TO BE TRUE won the Group Three Sil­ver Flash Stakes get­ting up in­side the last fur­long to beat TAKE A DEEP BREATH and main­tain her un­beaten record.35 min­utes later, CHURCHILL was made to work harder than his odds of 2/5 favourite sug­gested he would have to when he beat ALEXIOS KOMMENOS by a neck.

Churchill was left un­changed in the Derby bet­ting at 20/1, how­ever given there is so much speed on the dam’s side of his pedi­gree his best chance of a clas­sic win might be in the 2000 Guineas where he is cur­rently 8/1 sec­ond favourite be­hind Car­avag­gio.

O’Brien does have the cur­rent Derby joint favourites in DOU­GLAS MACARTHUR who got off the mark at the sec­ond at­tempt also at Leop­ard­stown on July 21, lead­ing all the way and run­ning on strongly to beat his seven ri­vals by up­wards of five lengths and CAPRI who made all the run­ning to win the Listed Can­ford Cliffs Stakes at Tip­per­ary on Au­gust 5. Both Dou­glas Macarthur and Capri have pedi­grees more in keep­ing with that re­quired to win a Derby than Churchill and at 16/1 look to be de­cent prices.

MAID­ENS Richard Han­non’s EQTI­RAAN took the eye in the pad­dock be­fore his de­but at As­cot on July 22 over six fur­longs and he ran out a con­vinc­ing win­ner,lead­ing all the way and beat­ing RIVET, who stayed on well from the rear, by a length and a quar­ter.

Eqti­raan has plenty of scope and should progress into a Group per­former be­fore too long. The first of Good­wood’s four maid­ens at the Qatar Good­wood Fes­ti­val was over six fur­longs with vic­tory go­ing to BEST SOLUTION who got the bet­ter of new­comer RICH AND FA­MOUS in­side the last 100 yards,the pair three lengths clear of the third. Rich And Fa­mous is a good look­ing son of Ber­na­dini but looked as if the run was needed in the pad­dock.

He got off the mark at the sec­ond at­tempt at New­mar­ket on Au­gust 13,very strong in the mar­ket, he led all the way and com­fort­ably beat FA­THER MCKEN­ZIE (a maiden af­ter seven starts) by three and a quar­ter lengths and should have no trou­ble win­ning a Listed race with the Ripon Two-Year-Old Tro­phy at the end of Au­gust a suitable race (his trainer Mark John­ston won in 2015 with Whit­man). There have al­ready been a cou­ple of sub­se­quent win­ners from the six fur­long fil­lies maiden PER­FECT AN­GEL won on July 27,FIRE PALACE and TEXAS KATIE.

Per­fect An­gel trav­elled well close to the pace and kept on well to beat PROMIS­ING by a neck, the pair clear from favourite BOU­QUET DE FLO­RES who ran a lot bet­ter than on her de­but at New­mar­ket. A 33/1 shot at Good­wood, Promis­ing was sent off the 11/8 favourite for her sec­ond start, a 6f fil­lies maiden at New­bury on Au­gust 13 in a field of 15.

She missed the break and then pulled hard in the early part of the race be­fore set­tling in mid­field with the pace set by the out­sider Nup­tials with PARTITIA rac­ing promi­nently.

Partitia took the lead with two fur­longs to

go but was im­me­di­ately pressed by new­comer CON­SID­ERED OPIN­ION and CHICO DE LA NOCHE who ar­rived as a big dan­ger at 100/1.

It looked as if Chico De La Noche was go­ing to spring a huge sur­prise as she took the lead a fur­long from the fin­ish but her sad­dle slipped and Nicky Mackay was left with no op­tion other than to hit the turf. Partitia re­gained the lead and beat Con­sid­ered Opin­ion, who ran a fine de­but, by a neck with Promis­ing run­ning on to be third but never man­aged to chal­lenge.

Partitia wasn’t given a hard time on her de­but also at New­bury 29 days ear­lier and given her trainer Sir Michael Stoute has a much bet­ter strike rate sec­ond time out, 27%,com­pared to 8% first time out,those who took the 10/1 were gen­er­ously re­warded. There was a lot to like in the pad­dock about CON­TENT­MENT from the Wil­liam Hag­gas sta­ble, a good look­ing filly with scope and she stayed on nicely from the rear to grab fourth and will get a lot more in­volved next time.

The first of the two seven fur­long maid­ens at Good­wood was for fil­lies with well sup­ported favourite RHODO­DEN­DRON quick­en­ing well to give Ai­dan O’Brien a rare maiden win in the UK, beat­ing AMABILIS with ARGENTIERE run­ning a very promis­ing race in third for Mar­cus Trego- ning. BERENGARIA, who fin­ished fourth, eas­ily won her next start at Le­ices­ter on Au­gust 7.

There will be a few win­ners to come out of the colts seven fur­long maiden won by LOCK­HEED in the com­ing weeks. He didn’t have to im­prove on his de­but sec­ond to win for Wil­liam Hag­gas and has a good fu­ture ahead of him. He beat RAY’S THE MONEY by half a length with prom­ise from the third, BLACK TRILBY and an­other Tre­go­ning new­comer STAR STREAM in fourth. GHAYYAR, who weak­ened from mid­field and was well beaten in the Lock­heed maiden,won his next start,a mile maiden at New­mar­ket on Au­gust 12 un­der a fine front run­ning ride from Frankie Det­tori,dic­tat­ing a slow pace and quick­en­ing well to beat his four ri­vals com­fort­ably. GLENCADAM GLORY kept on well to be sec­ond but had no chance in the fi­nal fur­long.

This was the maiden Frankel made his de­but in in 2010 and while Ghayyer is un­likely to be get­ting close to the achieve­ments of Frankel, he is use­ful look­ing horse and has the po­ten­tial to progress into a Listed per­former.

Owen Bur­rows sad­dled his first de­but two-year-old win­ner at Sal­is­bury on Au­gust 10 when AKLAAQ over­came green­ness to lead near the fin­ish and beat SFU­MATO by a neck.

There was plenty to like about Aklaaq be­fore­hand, a strong well-made colt by New Ap­proach,he will have learnt plenty from this first ex­pe­ri­ence and is one to fol­low. UL­TI­MATE AV­ENUE had fin­ished well on his de­but at Yar­mouth when third be­hind Ron­ald R, and he put his ex­pe­ri­ence to good use when mak­ing all the run­ning at New­bury on Au­gust 12,beat­ing new­com­ers SYN­DI­CATE from the Ralph Beck­ett yard and MUHA­J­JAL trained by Owen Bur­rows.

While the time was noth­ing spe­cial,Ul­ti­mate Av­enue won well and this fine look­ing colt by first sea­son stal­lion Ex­cel­e­bra­tion has a very bright fu­ture.

He won’t be too highly tried this year ac­cord­ing to his trainer Ed Walker and should de­velop into a very smart three­year-old. The two-year-old hand­i­cap­per was left red faced af­ter let­ting MAJORIS have his first start in a hand­i­cap off a mark of 76 at New­mar­ket on Au­gust 6.

Lead­ing all the way,he drew clear from his four ri­vals to win by seven lengths in a good time (faster than the Group Three Sweet Sol­era Stakes won by Na­tions Alexan­der).

The hand­i­cap­per raised his mark to 95 which in ef­fect means Majoris will have to run in Listed or Group races next time,but such was the im­pres­sion he cre­ated in the fi­nal fur­long and a half, he won’t be out of place in such races.

Yalta wins the Mole­comb

Na­tions Alexan­der

Vin­tage Stakes

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