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Published 05 August 2011

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Glorious Goodwood 2011: Day 5 – Review Stewards' Sprint Handicap

Son Of The Cat blazed down the far rail in the Stewards’ Sprint Handicap, the dress rehearsal for the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup, to give increased hope to those horses drawn low in the six-furlong showpiece later in the day.

The five-year-old is owned and trained by Brian Gubby, for whom Goodwood holds many fond memories. The veteran handler, 77, raced around the famous Goodwood motor circuit in his days as a racing driver and has previously seen his colours carried to victory at the racecourse thanks to old favourites such as Omaha City.

Son Of The Cat burst from the three stall and was always prominent. Franny Norton took his mount to the far rail and the gelding quickened to lead inside the final quarter-mile before storming home for a length and three quarters triumph from Confessional, who had tacked across from his 16 draw under Silvestre De Sousa.

Gubby commented: “Franny and I felt they would come up the middle so that was the plan, to keep as straight as we could.


The connections of the second and third in the Stewards’ Sprint Handicap, confirmed that the plan for both horses (drawn 16 and 17) was to track over towards the far side rail, where the ground had been reported to be faster.

Terry Holdcroft, owner of Confessional, who carried top-weight into second spot from stall 16, said: “We are very pleased with that and the plan had been to go over to the far side.

“He was second over five furlongs at this meeting last year, Silvestre (De Sousa) said he got the six-furlong trip well here which helps to open options up for him. He just has to have fast ground and he has been unlucky on a number of occasions this year. We went to Ireland last time, and when he left to travel it was good to firm, by the time he raced the ground had turned to a bog.”

The Toyo Tires Summer Handicap


In a dramatic running of the Toyo Tires Summer Handicap, Petara Bay, trained by Robert Mills and part-owned by Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in whose colours he ran , won gamely by a neck.

“A two-mile trip really is his optimum,” said the winning trainer, “but I was more concerned about the ground here. It was perfect at the beginning of the week, but it was not changing in our favour.

“This horse is a half-brother to Nathaniel - he has the most fantastic pedigree, but he has been plagued by injury. He was injured in the Derby and he has taken a lot of nursing by the lads in the yard.

“We have to treat him with kid gloves, but there is no doubting he has an engine.

“He has to come with a late run like that, he has to be ridden through a race to gain confidence, to come past horses and find his rhythm. Jim (Crowley) gave him a beautiful ride - there is no one better at getting a horse into a rhythm as he does.

“I am just delighted for the owners. My late Dad [Terry] loved this horse and my Mum has a half share in him with Mr Ecclestone who is away and very busy with his Formula 1 commitments, but I am sure he will be delighted when we tell him.”

Captain John Nixon broke down when in the lead soon after entering the straight and dropped back, with horses behind taking avoiding action. Verdant, with Ryan Moore up, clipped the heels of Sharaayeen, fell and brought down the Jamie Spencer-ridden Activate.


Icon Dream continued his solid run in big-field handicaps when going down by a neck to Petara Bay.  David Simcock's four-year-old has been plying his trade in the most competitive of races this summer and put in one of his better performances to just be denied.

Simcock's pupil assistant Tom Clover said: "He has run a blinder and is a lovely horse to have.

"I am delighted for his owner Marwan Koukash and hopefully this horse has one of these races in him.

Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes


History was made on the final day of Glorious Goodwood 2011 as the Khalid Abdulla-owned Midday became the first filly or mare to win the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes for the third time.

Trained by Henry Cecil, who was winning the race for the eighth time, and ridden by Tom Queally, Midday had scored at the meeting for the last two years.

And she brought up the hat-trick as the 6/4 favourite by surging clear inside the final two furlongs to see off two-time Oaks winner Snow Fairy by two lengths.

Cecil said: "I am very pleased. Last year she became one of three to have won the race two times and now she has broken the record and won three.

"She has won six Group Ones in her career and been unlucky not win another two or three more. She is a marvellous mare.

"I didn't realise I had won this race eight times. The only thing I can tell you is that they weren't all in the last eight years!

"I am very happy and have had a great week. I have always liked Glorious Goodwood and get excited about staying down here for a night.

"If Midday is well then we will think about going to the Yorkshire Oaks and we will feel our way from there. All options are open including the Irish Champion Stakes and the Breeders' Cup again. The races are there for her and we will just feel our way and see how we go. She will tell me and I won't tell her - you don't tell women what to do.

"People keep saying that I am very good with fillies but I have been very lucky. Over the years I have trained for studs who have bred very nice fillies. Good colts and fillies make successful trainers and jockeys.

"If the horses are bad, I am a bad trainer whereas if you have good horses then everything is marvellous. It hurts but it is the truth - I know it myself."

Queally commented,"She is the Queen of Goodwood now. She loves it here and she travelled very well. We started to get racing early but I was able to get her back on the bridle and give her a breather. Hopefully, it will be a good tonic for Teddy (Khalid Abdulla's racing manager Lord Grimthorpe who broke his right arm in a paddock fall earlier in the week) who has obviously got a bit of an injury.

"She is very special to me, Shane, and everybody in the yard. She is an absolute sweetheart and what a week it has been."


Snow Fairy found Midday two lengths superior when runner-up in the Group One Blue Square Nassau Stakes over but trainer Ed Dunlop believes there is more to come from last year’s Oaks winner.

The four-year-old landed four Group/Grade One contests in 2010 and has clearly come on for finishing fourth on her seasonal debut behind So You Think in the Group One Eclipse Stakes earlier this month.

Snow Fairy tracked Midday under Frankie Dettori but was unable to close on the winner, who kicked for home over two furlongs out off a slow pace.

Dunlop’s charge could now head to York for the Group One Yorkshire Oaks over a mile and a half next month.

Fourth-placed Crystal Capella could also be heading to York for the same contest when the 12-furlong trip will be more to her liking. The six-year-old has a preference for ease in the ground and was caught for toe at the crucial juncture as Midday stormed for home.

Blue Square Stewards’ Cup


Hoof It became the first horse since the war to shoulder more than 9st 10lb to success in the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup and in doing so ended trainer Mick Easterby’s long quest for victory in the six-furlong showpiece.

Carrying top-weight of 10st, the 13/2 joint-favourite was drawn unfavourably in berth 18 of the 28 runners but was brilliantly ridden by Kieren Fallon to storm down the far rail for an impressive two and a half-length success.

Easterby said: “Everything went against him. He was badly drawn and we thought the ground was drying out too quick but he’s a very, very good horse. How did he do it? How did he get over there from that draw?

“I bought him as a foal for £6,000, put him back in at Doncaster Sale and nobody came, so I bought him back for £14,000 - unbelievable isn’t it? I’ve tried to win this one for years and had never won it until now, I’m delighted, over the moon.”

Easterby, along with fellow part-owners, golfer Lee Westwood and Chubby Chandler, are considering paying the £20,000 supplementary fee to ensure the strapping four-year-old Monsieur Bond gelding takes his place in the five-furlong Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month.

The North Yorkshire handler said: “I actually own a half share of him with Chubby and Lee, who have the other. I haven’t put him in the Nunthorpe.”

Asked where Hoof It rates in comparison to Lochnager, winner of the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes in 1976, the trainer stated: “He’s better than Lochnager. He wants another year on his back and he’ll be unbeatable.”

Fallon commented: “This horse travels for fun and stays well. I said to Mick, he’s a gentle giant and he’s unbelievable to ride.

“I have ridden a lot of good sprinters over the years and this lad at the moment ties in with them. He’s still a big baby and has a big future. He is going to get stronger and better as time goes on. He will be a Group One horse one day.”


The nine-year-old Tax Free belied his years to finish a two and a half length second in the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup. Mac’s Power, who was sent off the 13/2 joint-favourite with the race winner Hoof It, finished a head back in third.

“What can you say,” said Dandy Nicholls, the trainer of Tax Free and  nicknamed the “sprint king” for producing horses at their peak for races such as this. “He’s always the same this horse, him and the likes of Joseph Henry. He just keeps pulling it out. He is a nine-year-old and people say you should retire him, but when he goes and runs like that, how can you?!”

James Fanshawe, trainer of Mac’s Power, said: “He’s run very well. Whatever passage we have had through the race, I don’t think we could have beaten the winner.”

The Overtones EBF ‘Schiaparelli’ Maiden


Despite meeting trouble in running wherever he went through the field, Nawwaar got up to win the Overtones EBF ‘Schiaparelli’ Maiden over seven furlongs for trainer John Dunlop and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

“Richard [Hills] got off and said that Nawwaar met everything that Goodwood has to throw at him and he still prevailed,” said Dunlop after the race. “He did get badly hampered on the inside and stopped again so he has done very well to win it.

“But he is a very nice horse, he is a good looker and very straightforward at home - a charmer.

“He ran very well at Ascot first time, was just drawn very wide, and I thought it would be nice to come and see if he could win at Goodwood.

“I don’t have any plans for him, but I will be stepping him up in class to Pattern company next time. On pedigree and on his looks, he looks like a sprinter but he got the seven furlongs well, otherwise he wouldn’t have won.


Jeremy Noseda's Grandeur made an eye-catching debut when finishing a game second to Nawaar.

Chris Catlin replaced the injured Ryan Moore and his mount flew from the rear to just fail by a head to score at the first time of asking.

The grey son of Verglas is owned by Yvonne Jacques who has eight horses in training with Noseda in addition to others with Sir Henry Cecil, Richard Hannon and Marco Botti.

Miss Jacques said: "That was very good for his first time out and I am thrilled.

"I think he will be better over a longer distance than this seven furlongs and he will also be a better horse next year."

Best Western Horses Help Heroes Nursery


Bayleyf struck first time in handicap company as John Best saddled him to victory in the Best Western Horses Help Heroes Nursery.

The colt had enjoyed four previous starts and followed up his seventh-placed effort at Royal Ascot by winning in maiden company at Epsom last time out.

The youngster, sent off at 10/1, followed up that effort under George Baker as he dug deep in the closing stages to deny a gamble on 5/1 favourite Es Que Love by two lengths.

Best said: "He wasn't at his best at Royal Ascot but I was impressed with him today as he looked like he was going to be caught but picked up when George got after him and he was pulling clear again at the finish.

"He is better on quick ground and I am thrilled with that performance.

"I don't think he will be with us for that long as I am sure offers will come in for him. If someone wants to buy him then we will sell.

Mark Johnston, trainer of the runner-up, Es Que Love, said: "He has run a solid race."

Safari Storm took third under Martin Dwyer, who said: "I'm pleased with him. He's a nice horse and he ran a solid race."

Telegraph Apprentice Handicap


PJ O’Gorman and Kieran O’Neill each landed their first taste of Glorious Goodwood success when Albaqaa came from last to first to clinch the concluding Telegraph Apprentice Handicap.

Albaqaa was dropped to the rear from his unfavourable 16 draw and gradually crept up on the outside of the field as the front-runners began to wilt with three furlongs to race, having set a searching gallop. O’Neill, one of the apprentice finds of the season, urged his mount to the lead inside the final quarter-mile and, after edging across towards the far rail, pushed the six-year-old out for a two-length verdict over 14/1 shot Night Lily.

O’Gorman, who is in his fifth season with a trainers’ licence, said: “I had a few horses previously, mainly working with problem horses and others that people didn’t want or wouldn’t train. I was lucky enough to have Max (part owner) here and a friend of mine called Andy Cheshire who put together a syndicate of friends and got half a dozen horses, and that set me up; generally with older horses that have done well previously but had dropped down the handicap, and we have rejuvenated them.

“I think the way the race went suited him down to the ground. I have only had one runner here before and I was surprised how downhill it is all the way.”

O’Gorman praised O’Neill, apprenticed to Richard Hannon, for whom this was his 29th win of the campaign.

The trainer commented: “He gave him a great ride. Harry Bentley was meant to ride the horse but was required to ride his boss’s horse and Kieran was a great substitute.”

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