Ian Heitman reports on the action from Goodwood and beyond
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