First race: The Goodwood Handicap
DESERVED VICTORY FOR VERSATILE HOLLINS
‘Duel on the Downs’ day at Glorious Goodwood got off to an exciting start with a duel between two hardy stayers in the marathon Goodwood Handicap. Hollins and Seaside Sizzler pulled clear of their rivals in the final furlong, but the former held sway to record victory by three-quarters of a length, with third-placed Exemplary another five lengths in arrears.
The Micky Hammond-trained Hollins was contesting the Goodwood Handicap for the second year running and came out on top this time, beating Seaside Sizzler by three-quarters of a length in the marathon event.
His delighted trainer, who was recording his first ever winner at Goodwood, paid tribute to the versatile stayer, saying: “He ran well last year and has done well over hurdles this season. He’s been very unlucky in this kind of race on the Flat. He ran well at Pontefract when he was second but the next time he went there it was only 13 days later, and it was trainer error really. I went back too soon with him.
“We brought him back after that and gave him two weeks off in the field and basically just trained him for this race.
“We’re on a decent mark and he’s outstayed them. But he’s not winning a decent race out of turn: he’s been to two Cheltenham Festivals, two Royal Ascots, two York Dante meetings and two Glorious Goodwoods. He’s given his owner tremendous fun and he’s just a tough, honest horse.
“Everything has fallen right for us today and Paul Hanagan has given me a great ride - he rode him for his strength, which is staying.”
Hollins is now likely to be given an entry for the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October but a return to jumping is his long-term aim.
“Really we’re thinking about going novice chasing,” said Hammond. “He’s a decent hurdler and was third to Peddlers Cross at Kelso. He’s always mixing it with the best and what he’s done today he deserves.”
Paul Hanagan said: “He is very tough and genuine. He got into a bit of a battle out there but he just kept sticking his head out. He has done it well.”
A SIZZLER, BUT SEASIDE GIVES BEST TO HOLLINS
Ralph Beckett, trainer of Seaside Sizzler, was pleased with the four-year-old’s performance, but admitted he now has a quandary in deciding whether to follow the advice of jockey Jim Crowley. Beckett said: “Jim just said ‘Cesarewitch’, but I’m not convinced Newmarket is the place for the horse. He likes it here with all the bends, and he travelled much better today than he normally does - at one point I thought we had it won, but the other horse found more. It was a proper horse race, with the first two five lengths clear of the third.
Second race: Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes
VICTOR CHANDLERY HEADS HANNON ONE-TWO
Richard Hannon saddled the first and second in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes when 5/2 favourite Chandlery beat 5/1 chance Rockinante, with Red Duke third.
The winner, who gained a quote of 50/1 for next year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas with StanJames.com while Victor Chandler go 25/1, became Richard Hughes’ third winner of the week, extending his lead in the Racing UK top jockey award.
Hannon, looking calm ahead of saddling Canford Cliffs for the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, said of Chandlery’s front-running win: “He’s a good moving, good galloping horse, and that’s why we decided to ride him from the front - nothing else wanted to go on, so Hughesie didn’t mess around and let him bowl on.
“The third horse was definitely unlucky, but he got himself into that spot. He tried to move Dobbsy out [Pat Dobbs on Hannon’s Red Seventy], and Dobbsy was entitled to hold his line.
“There’s big money in a sales race at York in three weeks, and he [Chandlery] could run in that. He’s a big, strong boy and will be a hard horse to get by.”
Hughes said of Chandlery: “He was a bit ‘toey’ down at the start so I sent him to the front straight away so he could have a good look at what he was doing.
“He’s improved today, but I wouldn’t want to rush into any plans yet because that was his big race for now. He will get a mile this year.
“It’s been a good start to the week and these are nice races too, which is most important.”
UNLUCKY DUKE FINISHES THIRD
Red Duke had to settle for third place in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes after being boxed in on the rail for much of the race’s final stages.
“He got boxed in and we can’t change the result but he ran a great race,” said the two-year-old’s trainer John Quinn. “Kieren (Fallon) said he just couldn’t get a run when he needed to.
“I’ll speak to his owner Peter Clay but it’s possible we might not run him again now until later in the year when we’d either go for the Dewhurst or the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November. He’ll then be trained for the English Guineas next season.”
Third race- QIPCO Sussex Stakes
THE WINNER - FRANKEL by five lengths from Canford Cliffs in 1m 37.47s.
Trainer Henry Cecil declared Frankel not just the most outstanding horse he had trained but the best he had seen as he galloped five lengths clear to take the Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes in one of the highest-class performances ever seen in Goodwood’s long history.
Tom Queally always had his mount at the front of the four-runner field and gradually extended his advantage in the home straight.
“He’s the best I’ve ever seen,” said Cecil, who was greeted by three cheers from the large crowd surrounding the winner’s enclosure. “I’ve great respect for Blushing Groom, who was a great miler on his day and Shergar was a brilliant horse and I can’t go back to Tudor Minstrel and the days of match races but he’s the best in my lifetime. I’m just very lucky to train him.
“I don’t want to sound facetious but I did think he’d win. We really do think the world of him and I’m not surprised at how he won, although it’s an awful thing to say.
“We had two options today, either settle him behind or if there was no pace on then settle him in front, he’s very relaxed through his races. I told Tom to relax as well and this horse has most fantastic turn of foot. When he quickens, he quickens very fast.
“He’s growing up all the time and relaxing more. When he hears horses coming behind then he just wants to please. He’s a much better horse now than earlier in the year, he’s still improving. He’s not as big as Canford Cliffs but he’s getting stronger. That horse is very good so to beat him like that, hats off to Frankel!
“I was fairly relaxed, my job was done and it was a bit like going to the dentist’s beforehand, just waiting for it to be over.
“I think he’ll get a mile and a quarter and whether he has one more run or two we’ll have to see. He is in the Juddmonte International at York and he’s 50/50 to go there and all being well he’ll go to Ascot at the end of the year for either the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes or Champion Stakes. We’ll see what the Prince wants to do, it’s his horse - I just train him.
“We all need a champion in any sport, the publicity it creates goes through the country, I’m just glad everyone has been able to see a really good horse.
Owner Khalid Abdulla added: “I was hearing what Henry was saying about the horse and I thought that he was the best I had and I followed what he said. I was hoping that he’d win today and it’s nice when it happens.
“I haven’t thought further than today for the horse and if Henry wants him next season then he can stay with him.”
QUEALLY: ‘THE BIGGEST PROBLEM I HAD WAS PULLING HIM UP’
Tom Queally has partnered Frankel in each of his eight victories and unsurprisingly he was full of praise for the star colt, saying: “That was amazing, unbelievable. He put everything to bed there today. He settled well in front and kept galloping to the line. That’s a nice position for a jockey to be in.
“He is absolutely amazing. I have said it before but he is a freak - he has got that turbo. He settled well today and gradually picked himself up furlong by furlong. He was rolling before I wanted him to but that is often the case with him but he was amazing. I am just very fortunate to be playing a small part in it.
“I wanted him to settle and plan A would have been to get him relaxed in behind but we had to resort to different things. I decided to use my initiative and thankfully things worked out.
“I was trying to get a glimpse at the big screen but something was blocking it - I kept squeezing away and he kept finding. He made the other horses look ordinary and they are very, very good horses. It’s just a fantastic day. He does everything - he quickens, he stays. I can’t find a flaw. Can anybody?”
Asked whether he thought Frankel would stay further than a mile, the jockey said: “The biggest problem I had was pulling him up. It was lucky the barrier was at the end to help me. He stays the mile very well but I’ll leave it up to Henry and the Prince. I just ride him.
“Shane (Featherstonehaugh, Frankel’s work rider) has been very influential, he’s done a great job with him at home, creating the horse that everybody sees on the racecourse. So much goes on behind the scenes. There’s a great team at Warren Place and I could be here all day thanking them all.”
Queally admitted that he felt the pressure in the build-up to Frankel’s races. He added: “It’s the price you pay for riding a horse like this. They scrutinise your every move, everything you do, everything you say - but I’ll take that on happily.”
FRANKEL IS BEST IN THE WORLD
Frankel's awesome performance in winning today's QIPCO Sussex Stakes will make him the best horse in the world this year when his revised official rating is revealed next week.
Rated joint top with crack Australian sprinter Black Caviar going into the race, he is likely to be rated a minimum of 132 as a result of today's five-length demolition of his big rival, Canford Cliffs, which extended his unbeaten career record to eight races.
Dominic Gardiner-Hill, the BHA's senior mile handicapper, said: "My initial reaction is that this performance will undoubtedly put him top of the world rankings. He's proven today that he's a 130+ horse.
“In my opinion he is worth at least 132 and very possibly more, but this will have to be discussed with our international colleagues before his position in the World Thoroughbred Rankings is confirmed."
Winning trainer Sir Henry Cecil confirmed that his star colt's big end-of-season target will be one of the two big races on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot - either the £1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, by far the richest mile race ever run in Europe, or the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes over 1 ¼ miles, which will be the most valuable race ever run in Britain.
Cecil also confirmed that the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on Wednesday 17 August, the next race in the QIPCO British Champions Series Middle Distance category, remains a possible target en route to Ascot.
The victory took Cecil to the top of the QIPCO British Champions Series trainers' table, while it enabled Frankel's rider, Tom Queally, to move two winners clear of his rivals at the top of the jockeys' table.
Fourth race: UBS Handicap
WILLIE HOLDS THE WHIP HAND
Whiplash Willie gained a 50/1 quote from the sponsors for the Ladbrokes St Leger after a battling victory in the UBS Handicap.
Yet trainer Andrew Balding was not keen to commit to the final Classic of the season, and said York’s Melrose Stakes might be a better option.
On the Ladbrokes St Leger, Balding said: “That’s just a long shot. Jeremy [Hitchins, the owner] bred him and entered him just for a bit of fun. We thought he might be entitled to run if the ground was right and we might pick up a bit of place money. Obviously, he’s got a long way to go to be good enough for that.”
“He’ll get the extra two furlongs no problem. The blinkers definitely helped, it made him an easier ride.
“He’s not a main player [for the St Leger] but you never know how it might cut up and he stays well and if it turns up soft he may run into third or fourth... but he’s got a long way to go to play a part in it.”
Winning jockey David Probert said: “He was a bit keen the first time he wore a visor at Salisbury, but he was good today. He was always going nicely enough and I probably hit the front too soon - I was always holding the runner-up.
“He’ll definitely stay a mile and six furlongs and, while he prefers a bit of give in the ground, he will go on faster.”
Fifth race - The Markel International Maiden Fillies’ Stakes
HIGHLY PROMISING DEBUT FOR GODOLPHIN’S RAKASA
The exquisitely-bred Rakasa made a debut very much in keeping with her pedigree when battling home to take the Markel International Fillies’ Stakes for Godolphin by a head after making much of the running.
By the elite Australian sire Redoute’s Choice, Rakasa was bred by Darley out of Danse Arabe, whose half-sister Valentine Waltz won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches in 1999.
Simon Crisford, racing manager for Godolphin said: “They went off pretty quickly and she was switched off out the back. But from the furlong pole to the finish line she never looked like being beaten.
“One hopes she can definitely go on from that and be a nice filly for future. She’s not entered in anything at the moment but we’ll be making some entries for her.
“Sheikh Mohammed felt she’d be good enough to come here to Goodwood and do herself justice on the Downs.
“We didn’t come here thinking she was a good thing to win but we wanted to see her run a nice race and she’s done that. We’ll take a step up the ladder with her next time.”
LULLA JUST PIPPED
Trainer Marcus Tregoning was philospohical after Lulla was touched off by a head in the Markel International Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.
“I’m thrilled that’s she’s run so well, that’s what we expected, but we were just unlucky to get done. My filly was given a beautiful ride and that was a huge improvement on what she has done before.
“She’s always been a nice filly and we’ll try and win a maiden and then take it from there.”
Sixth race: Harwoods EBF “Hellvelyn” Classified Stakes
WEBBOW PROVIDES CAMPION WITH FIRST GLORIOUS WINNER
Yorkshire-based trainer Mark Campion enjoyed his first Glorious Goodwood winner when Webbow took the Harwoods EBF “Hellvelyn” Classified Stakes.
After Kieren Fallon had dismounted from the winner, Campion, whose yard is in Malton, said: “He’s the best flat horse we have ever trained. This was Plan A, to get a winner at Glorious Goodwood and it’s a great feeling.
“He’s an old horse (9) so since we got him we just tried to keep him sweet by playing with him.
“There was no pace on today, so Kieren just let him roll on and that was the thing to do. You never know how the race is going to unfold, but Kieren took it.
“Last year this horse ran well over a mile here in the totesport Mile [when third for trainer Nigel Tinkler], but he has run well over seven furlongs on his two most recent outings and it made sense to go for this race.”
Seventh race - The EBF Nayef Fillies’ and Mares’ Handicap
ASKAUD DELIGHTS OWNER AND NAMESAKE
The Dandy Nicholls-trained Askaud took the honours in the closing race of the day, the EBF Nayef Fillies’ and Mares’ Handicap, for owner Paul Dixon, the chairman of the Horsemen’s Group.
He said: “That was absolutely great. She’s quite a nice filly - she won at two and then was placed first time out here this year behind Beatrice Aurore, who has gone on to win a Listed race. She ran a bit disappointingly after that so we put the cheekpieces on her and that seemed to work.”
Dixon was quick to praise Tom Queally, who was enjoying a double on the day after landing the feature race, the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, on Frankel.
He said: “It was a great ride from the jockey. He said he had plenty of horse underneath him and she tried to duck out but he just kept her going.
“The horse is named after a really good friend of ours who just arrived ten minutes before the race so she’s delighted. Every time I ring my friend Mr Hobson, he says, ‘Ask Aud’ and that’s why we gave her the name.”