Adam Waterworth watched a thrilling Celebration Mile – then said the race lived up to its billing as the course’s post-Glorious highlight of the season.
Despite Strong Suit pulling out of a bid to follow up his Lennox Stakes win at Glorious in last Saturday’s Betfair-sponsored race, a fantastic race ensued, won by Richard Hughes on 3/1 shot Dubawi Gold.
Racecourse MD Adam Waterworth enjoyed the spectacle, watched by another good crowd of around 10,000, and said: “It’s probably our biggest race of the season outside Glorious Goodwood and we were delighted with the way it went this year.
“When Strong Suit came out of the running I was a little worried and a bit disappointed but in Dubawi Gold, I think we had the right winner – a three-year-old who can improve and can probably be a Group 1 winner.
“Our crowd love to see a winner here that they can then follow as they go on to bigger races, and I certainly think that’s the case with Dubawi Gold.”
It was yet another victory for Hughes and Richard Hannon in a Goodwood season when they have again hammered their rivals. Strangely, though, this was the Hannon stable’s first win in the Celebration Mile.
It looked like there’d be a surprise winner in Set The Trend with a furlong remaining until Hughes produced another of his typical hold-up flourishes that Goodwood has seen so many of in recent seasons.
Hannon, on the brink of landing the Dick Hern Trophy for a fourth successive year for being Goodwood’s top trainer, said: “I enjoyed that – it’s what keeps you racing.”
One of banned trainer Howard Johnson’s former horses, Eton Rifles, scooped the Betfair Summer Double Second Leg Stakes. And 3/1 favourite Blanche Dubawi, cruised home in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Stakes – giving top female jockey Hayley Turner her third Goodwood success inside a month - days before she suffered a broken ankle in a fall.
Sunday’s family fun day drew an encouraging 8,000 crowd, who saw Hannon and Hughes triumph yet again with Libranno in the Supreme Stakes.
And there was a shock in store for race-goers at Tuesday’s lower-key card ... Hughes didn’t win a single race. But Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally’s excellent Goodwood season continued when they took the Buy A £10,000 Racing Post Bonus Yearling Maiden Stakes with 6/1 contender Late Telegraph.
Don’t miss Adam Waterworth’s final Diary From The Downs of 2011 – in the Observer next week (Sep 8).
There’s more racing at Goodwood next weekend, September 10 and 11.