Friday at Glorious Goodwood: Orbaan and Khaadem win big races
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A regular in these events, Orbaan had not won since July 2020 but could hardly have broken his losing run in more impressive fashion. Given a patient ride around the inside, the seven-year-old shot clear in the blink of an eye, scoring by an emphatic three and a quarter lengths from stable-mate Blue For You (15/2). Revich (66/1) was third, with front runner Ouzo (20/1) holding on for fourth.
It proved an excellent outcome for winning jockey Jason Watson, who was initially set to partner non-runner Shelir.
O’Meara, who had five runners in the race, said: “Everybody knows this race is so draw dependent. We had three drawn wide and three drawn well. One of them we took out to save him for next week – he was a little bit off-colour this morning and drawn wide, a combination of a few things. But Orbaan – it’s been a long time since he last won. The last time he won he won like a Group horse in a handicap, but he hasn’t won since. He had a lovely run round and stayed on well.
“The longer this horse travels the better. He doesn’t breathe great. He wears a tongue tie and, if he is under pressure for a long time, he doesn’t sustain it. But running downhill and travelling behind with plenty of cover, it was the type of race that would suit him and it did.”
Watson said: “Orbaan has some ability. He hasn't won for a long time now, but his last win was off 100 at York. Normally he can get a bit sulky and carry it through the season, but every run this year has been brilliant and he came into today with a big chance.
“I was on David's other runner originally drawn in 22, but the draw was just too bad and with the ground we decided not to run. I had the pick of them and Dave wanted me to ride this fella. I am delighted he persuaded me to as this horse really deserved it.
“I haven't won at Glorious Goodwood since I was an apprentice. It is a hard track to ride and a tough place to have winners. I am very grateful to Dave and the team who have been very supportive to me the last 12 months. I'm just pleased I'm back on the big stage a little bit.”
Winning owner Jimmy Chua said: “That was unbelievable. I am in shock, I couldn't believe it. I was not going to run Orbaan because of the fast ground – he loves soft ground. However, the clerk put on a lot of water. He is a soft ground horse, but with fast ground we decided to take a chance.”
O’Meara’s assistant Jason Kelly said of the second: “Blue For You was all dressed up and had nowhere to go! When he has got space, he has knuckled down. He has been second on his last three starts now, but he can definitely get his head in front in a big race.
“He will probably go next to York for the Clipper Logistics Mile. He has run well at York on his last two runs. He is a horse with a lot of ability. He is still only a young horse, and that is only his fourth start for us.”
Khaadem took the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes under Ryan Moore for trainer Charlie Hills - who has recently enjoyed a golden run in the race with four-time winner Battaash, who retired after being beaten going for a fifth win last year.
The Lambourn trainer continued his exceptional record in the five-furlong feature with Khaadem, whose owner Fitri Hay was in the winner’s enclosure with Royal Scotsman on Thursday,. Khaadem saw his race out strongly to hold off the fast-finishing Raasel (3/1F) by a neck. Caturra (22/1) was three quarter a length a further back in third.
This was a second high-profile sprint success at the Qatar Goodwood Festival for Khaadem, following his Stewards’ Cup triumph in 2019, and a third winner of the week for jockey Ryan Moore.
Hills said: “It has always been the plan to come here. The track suits and he has won here before in the Stewards' Cup. He is getting faster with age, and today he was so relaxed, which is not like him.
"I said to Ryan that he was held up when he won the Stewards' Cup, so ride him how you want. He has won a couple of times making all, but he does not have to be ridden that way. Ryan gave him a peach. The way the race unfolded, they all came down the one side, and that opened everything up. He likes a bit of space in his races.
"He is a good horse, a very good horse with a lot of speed. Ryan was very positive after and we will look now for a Group One, the Nunthorpe or wherever.
"He is growing up. Sprinters can take their time. As a three-year-old he had a fantastic season, but it then did not quite work for him as a four-year-old. When Baattash won this day, Khaadem won the Stewards' Cup the next day and someone told me that he clocked a quicker sectional.
"We went then to a Haydock Sprint Cup and have always thought he could get to the top table. Maybe it’s age, maturity or being cut. He wears a red hood, blinkers – he is not tricky, just a bit quirky.”
Master Milliner (14/1) provided Emma Lavelle with her first Qatar Goodwood Festival winner when staying on stoutly to win the marathon Coral Goodwood Handicap over an extended two and a half miles.
The six-year-old, who has now won on two of his three visits to Goodwood, galloped home strongly under Sean Levey to repel well-backed 7/2 favourite Super Superjack, with Author’s Dream (33/1) filling third.
Lavelle said: “Master Milliner has form here and obviously that does count for plenty. It’s a different track and I think it really suited him for that reason, because the twists, the turns, it just keeps him interested. He travelled really well today. Sean gave him a peach and I have a lot of thanks to him, he was brilliant.
“It’s well documented that he was very sick as a two-year-old and had meningitis, so I think every year he is a year behind where he should be. He is a big horse and I think he is just strengthening up and getting better. Maybe we are getting better at training these Flat horses! they are great fun owners and we have enjoyed the ride together. It has been brilliant.”
Rocchigiani (11/2) was a rare German-trained winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival when he held off The Wizard Of Eye (40/1) and Sonny Liston (12/1) in the mile G3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes for three-year-olds.
Tom Marquand’s mount challenged for the lead inside the final two furlongs but edged right and impeded Norwegian raider Hotline Bling. Connections of the eventual fifth objected to the result but the appeal was dismissed.
The Peter Schiergen-trained winner gave a form boost to Maljoom, whom he chased home in the G2 German 2,000 Guineas, as well as that of the G3 Jersery Stakes at Royal Ascot, in which he finished fifth.
Schiergen said: “Rocchigiani is a nice horse. He travelled well in the race and the pace was good for him. The form in Germany was very good. The horse is a speed horse, and he likes leading horses.
“The owners [Stall Domstadt] like Goodwood and always come here. This is my first winner here today. We have not had many runners and it is not easy to do."