The middle day of the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival is when racegoers get dressed up to the nines and enjoy one of the great social occasions of the sporting summer.
The big race of the day was the Group 1 Nassau Stakes and it was won by jockey Kieran Shoemark, celebrating a first Group 1 triumph aboard Lady Bowthorpe. The 10/3 winner had been running well in prestigious contests all season and appeared to relish her first assignment over 10 furlongs. Like her jockey, the popular five-year-old mare was registering a first Group 1 success.
Trained by William Jarvis, Lady Bowthorpe sat fourth for much of the contest as 9/4 joint-favourite Joan Of Arc made the running. Shoemark challenged wide as the race developed in the home straight, quickening clear for a length and a half victory from Zeyaadah (7/1). Joan Of Arc held on for third, a half-length behind the runner-up, with the other 9/4 joint-favourite Audarya never threatening in fifth.
Shoemark said: “I'm pretty speechless to be honest. Lady Bowthorpe is such a special mare. I just feel lucky to be a part of her. It's fantastic for the whole team, Emma Banks, William Jarvis.
“I know this horse so well and I can tell what form she is in just by cantering to the start. She took a hold of me cantering down and I knew she was in good form. She likes a bit of give in the ground, the question mark was the 10 furlongs. In all her previous races, her last furlong has been her best furlong so it didn't concern me too much.
“Lady Bowthorpe bumped into an absolute champion in Palace Pier in the Lockinge. She was unlucky in the Falmouth where things didn't go her way as we hit traffic problems that day. It's all worthwhile now. I'm delighted that we're going to be able to celebrate tonight and really enjoy this. It’s a massive team effort.
“She's a special filly and has done nothing but improve with age. She is a credit to her owner Emma who is an incredible woman who fills me with absolute confidence. I'm just delighted.
“In the last day or so, I've been imagining crossing the line in front, but I think it will not sink in until later. Without sounding too confident, I always believed if I got myself clean and sober that I would get to where I wanted to be.
“My career is back on track now. I'm really enjoying the racing and to be involved in these huge days is what it's all about. I've won a Group One today, but I'm already looking forward to the next one.”
This was a first Group 1 success for Jarvis since Grand Lodge captured the St James’s Palace Stakes in 1994.
The trainer said: “We knew Lady Bowthorpe was smart when she won the Valiant Stakes at Ascot as a four-year-old. She was exceptional in the Dahlia Stakes and she's a very, very smart filly. I think after she won the Dahlia Stakes that was when I, personally, thought that she should have the Nassau Stakes on her radar and we sort of worked back a little bit.
“Having said that, she hasn't missed a beat, we went Dahlia, Lockinge, Royal Ascot, Newmarket, she's a very tough mare. I've been dying to run her over 10 furlongs for a long time but events transpired against us until today. Anyway, I think she has proved that she's even better over 10 than she is at a mile.
“I've never lost faith in myself as a trainer. Quite a lot of other people may well have done, which is why we've only got 28 or 29 horses in the yard. However, I've got a lovely bunch of staff working for me and they've never lost faith in the way that we operate and they give me everything.
“We are a family unit and there is a lot of loyalty involved, including with Kieran who I am delighted for. There was a lot of pressure from outside people saying should we do this or that or leave Oisin Murphy sitting in the weighing room, but it never really crossed out minds.
“I am thrilled for Kieran. He is a delightful young man who has impeccable manners. He obviously went through a bad place but he came out through the other end. He is a delight to work with.”
Lady Bowthorpe’s owner Emma Banks said: “Kieran gave Lady Bowthorpe an amazing ride. He deserves this, it is his first Group One - it's all of our first Group One apart from William who had one back when the dinosaurs were doing it. It's fantastic. I was sitting next to Luca Cumani who half a furlong out looked at me and said ‘you've got this’. If Luca Cumani says that then you know you've got it.
“I'm so proud of Lady Bowthorpe. I'm proud of Kieran who had a lot of pressure and he has had some bad luck on her and today we won. I pay the bills, that's all I do really. William is a fantastic trainer, he has lots of my horses. They are not all as good as this one unfortunately.”
There was a thrilling dead-heat between Thea Gosden-Hood and Candida Crawford in the Magnolia Cup presented by Markel. Now in its 10th year, the Magnolia Cup supports UK charity Smart Works, which assists unemployed women to harness their confidence ahead of a job interview. Since its inception, the Magnolia Cup has raised more than £1.6m.
Thea Gosden-Hood attempted to make all of the running on her mount She Got The Jockey, but she was gradually worn down by Candida Crawford on Mine Behind inside the final furlong, with the judge unable to split them crossing the line.
Gosden-Hood is the co-founder of Indigo & Ivy Events and daughter of leading trainer John Gosden while Crawford is an equestrian trainer and freelance rider. Gosden-Hood said: “I had quite a tricky time on the way down so, to be fair, it is all a bit of a blur. I don’t think we could get a better result unless all 10 of us finished in a line.
“Candida and I have been so close throughout whole process and the best part is to win it with her. You’ll see more of me a horse. I’m thrilled with the result, but I will be looking back thinking I rode so badly. I had a tricky time going down and I think the adrenaline just got to me. I never checked who was around and I didn’t change my hands like we practised."
Crawford said: “I have to thank Jamie Osborne [trainer], he has been incredible. He has let me ride out for him, it has all been worth everything, and he let me ride such a lovely horse, he kindly gave me Good Earth [named Mine Behind in the race] and I am honoured to be riding such a horse.
“It all went so fast. I couldn’t have done it without that horse, he knew exactly what he was doing, and I just sat there and piloted. I was holding him and we started quite fast, and I knew Good Earth is a very good horse and I had to hold him, but I pushed him as soon as I could.
“He had a second engine and he was just phenomenal. Saffie Osborne kindly gave me advice how to ride him, I am very lucky to have had such a good horse and trainer. Coming out, I thought I was going to be sick. I came out of the paddock and I thought ‘What am I doing?’ He behaved well, so it was perfect. I only got the call up about two months’ ago, then I sat on my first Flat horse, it is a dream come true."
Qaader appeared to appreciate the step up to 10 furlongs when winning the Unibet “15 To Go” Kincsem Handicap, the opening race on day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Trained by Mark Johnston, the three-year-old had raced exclusively at a mile so far this season, including a win at Goodwood in April, but relished the extra emphasis on stamina today.
Ridden by William Buick Qaader (8/1) found plenty and won by a commanding four lengths from Alfaadhel (5/1). Aerion Power (13/2) briefly challenged the winner before fading into third, a short-head behind the runner-up. It was a first win of the week for Johnston while Buick is now tied with Hollie Doyle at the top of the Leading Jockey standings on three winners.
Johnston said: “It has been a very frustrating week. Basically, we knew our fate over the weekend when the rain started to come. This horse is engaged again tomorrow because we initially thought the ground would be better then as it is drying out all the time, but the forecast is for more rain unfortunately.
“We were concerned about the trip, the ground and the combination of the two, but he’s obviously handled it well. He showed that he stayed the trip well and there is more to come from him going forward.”
Trainer Alan King enjoyed his second Group-race winner of the Qatar Goodwood Festival this year with Asymmetric in the G2 Unibet Richmond Stakes. Already on the board this week with Trueshan in the G1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup, King showed he can do it with speedy juveniles too, saddling 11/4 favourite Asymmetric to an impressive success in the six-furlong contest.
Jockey Martin Harley had to wait for the gaps to appear, but when they did Asymmetric quickened smartly to sprint ahead of his six rivals. Khunan (16/1) took second, beaten a half-length, with Gubbass (4/1) a nose further back in third. King said: “I think I burnt out most of the nerves on Tuesday with Trueshan. I hoped and thought Asymmetric would run very well today. I wasn’t thinking he had to win this whereas I thought Trueshan had to on Tuesday.
“Asymmetric has the most wonderful temperament. He’s almost horizontal he’s so laid back. He has a fairly good turn of foot when he does go too. We were always going to step back and take a lead on him. I was just hoping they wouldn’t get first run on him. He picked up very well. Martin was very happy with him and was going to have one crack at them. They went steady early which was something I wasn’t sure about.
“Asymmetric is not the biggest, but I think he is just sharper for the July Stakes. He does nothing at home, he eats and sleeps. You give him the odd nudge in the morning just to make sure all is good. Martin rode him on Tuesday morning and was very happy. Luckily, the ground has dried out a bit. He can go on soft, but we think he is a better horse on top of the ground. Martin said he gives him a much better feel on faster ground. I’ve no idea where he goes next. He’s in the Gimcrack, he’s entered in the Prix Morny in France. We’ll see what the team want to do.”
Ottoman Emperor gave Johnny Murtagh a first Qatar Goodwood Festival success as a trainer in the G3 John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes over 12 furlongs, a leading trial for the G1 St Leger at Doncaster in September. Ottoman Emperor (11/1) hit the front early in the straight under Ben Coen but had plenty in reserve to hold off all challengers. The rapidly improving three-year-old was registering a fourth-straight success this season, in a race his trainer won as a rider on Yellowstone in 2007.
Sir Lucan (9/1) finished well to claim second, beaten a half-length, with 5/2 favourite Third Realm a further length and a quarter back in third. Murtagh, who won all the major races at this meeting as a jockey, said: “Ottoman Emperor did it the hard way. Ben says he’s raced lazily all the way, but he’s like that, he’s a little bit babyish. You don’t know how good he is or how good he can be.
“He got to the top of the hill where he lost his balance a little bit and then he grabbed him and he came strong. Ben said he got to the front a bit too soon, but he wasn’t stopping when the others came to him. One thing about him is that he’s very genuine, very tough and he doesn’t stop trying. We came here to find out is he a mile-and-a-half horse? can he stay a mile and six? I think he answered a lot of questions today. We’d love to give him a shot at the St Leger next because it’s a very nice race and we’d love to have a live chance in it.”
Aswan survived a rough race to take the Goodwood Racecourse Patrons Nursery Handicap over seven furlongs for Simon & Ed Crisford. In a typically competitive contest for two-year-olds, there were plenty of hard-luck stories, but the James Doyle-ridden Aswan proved best on the day to score at odds of 13/2.
In what was a thrilling finish, Aswan had half a length to spare over the closing Blue Collar Lad (66/1), with Bastogne (50/1) a short head back in third.
Simon Crisford said: “James Doyle had no idea what pressure he was under. These colours, I used to come here in the late 1970s and these silks were carried by some great horses like Jellaby and champion sprinter Ahonoora. Some of the great names in the history of horseracing wore these famous racing silks.
“Sheikh Duaij [Al Khalifa, owner] was allowed by his uncle to take on the colours and here we are back at Goodwood in the footprints of those great horses from the 1970s. It is history, it is legacy. Sheikh Duaij will be so excited watching back in Bahrain. It means a huge amount.
“I didn't know whether the handicapper had been mean to Aswan. I thought we were 1lb wrong. I thought he had an each-way chance but wasn't sure if he would win. Aswan came from the Doncaster Sales and I'm very happy with him. He wants to get his toe in the ground a little bit, but he will go on any ground as long as it is not extremes.”
The Andrew Balding-trained Wilderness Girl improved from her debut fourth at Newmarket to win the Tatler EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes over seven furlongs. The two-year-old was ridden by William Buick – who was notching a day three double and a fourth win in total at this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Sent off the 7/4 favourite, Wilderness Girl faced a persistent challenge from runner-up Brazillian Beach (12/1) in the final furlong but held firm to record a length and a quarter victory. Silverdale (16/1) was a further two and a half lengths back in third.
Balding said: “Wilderness Girl shaped really nicely at Newmarket and she's a filly that we have always liked. She is owned by David Howden who runs the Wilderness Festival at Cornbury Park, hence her name. The festival is next weekend, so this was a nice bit of timing. I wasn't worried about the ground, I thought she would enjoy a bit of give. I haven't really thought about a plan going forward but I would hope that she would be Stakes class at some stage."
Whenthedealinsdone (8/1) quickened best to win the World Pool Handicap over five furlongs, bringing up a 222/1 treble for William Buick on day three. The Roger Teal-trained three-year-old sat in behind the early pace before bursting through to fend off runner-up Pint Of Bear (7/1) by a length and a half. Digital (14/1) finished third, a length further behind.
Buick has now registered five winners at this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival and has a clear lead in the Leading Jockey standings. Teal said: “Whenthedealinsdone is a lovely horse and the gelding operation has been the making of him. I've always held him in high regard. We thought he was a Commonwealth Cup horse but he was just a little bit too coltish. We decided to geld him and he hasn't looked back.
“He ran a blinder at Newmarket the last day despite over-racing a little bit, but William [Buick] switched him off nicely today. I would like to go to the Portland with him but I'm not in any rush and we'll just see how he comes out of this. If there is one more run before the Portland then fine, if not then we'll go straight there. He has so much speed. He won over six furlongs last year and Harry has always liked him. He is pretty breathtaking in his work at home.”
More from today to follow...
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