We’re not quite at the final furlong of Glorious Goodwood yet but we are on the downhill run towards it.
The first three days were breath-takingly good – and Friday proved the same.
Friday had many highlights – a Group 2 race, the King George; three Group 3 contests including the Thoroughbred Stakes, and the 20-horse spectacle of the Betfred Mile.
We have all the results and reaction here and you can see pictures from the day onthis Twitter feed
12noon. Quite a few non-runners today: 1.55pm Coutts Glorious Stakes 5 HILLSTAR (Going); 2.30pm Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes 6 WHAT ABOUT CARLO (FR) (Self Cert (Going)), 8 LIGHTNING THUNDER (Self Cert (Not Eaten Up)); 3.05pm Betfred Mile 14 RUSSIAN REALM (Going)
19 CHOSEN CHARACTER (IRE) (Vet’s Cert (Temperature)); 3.40pm Betfred King George Stakes 8 TROPICS (USA) (Self Cert (Going)), 4.15pm Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Nursery 12 LADY DESIRE (IRE) (Self Cert (Not Eaten Up)); 13 L’ADDITION (Vet’s Cert (Swelling)); 4.50pm L’Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes 4 EVITA PERON (Self Cert (Going)).
12.05 The going is still Good To Firm after a dry night and up to seven millimetres of overnight watering.
Seamus Buckley, Goodwood’s Clerk of the Course, said this morning: “We watered all the bends and the straight with up to seven millimetres overnight. I had originally intended to put on slightly less water on the course but a drying wind meant I went for seven millimetres.
“The watering took place between 7pm and 5.30am. It was dry overnight and is forecast to be dry today up to the end of racing. We had a few drops of rain this morning but nothing of note.
“The Going Stick reading of 8.1 at 9.15am is similar to the 8.0 yesterday morning. There is the possibility of some rain overnight and tomorrow morning.
“The course has stood up well to the racing over the first three days and we have taken down the pushed-out rail on the lower bend, between the six-furlong marker and the three-furlong pole, to provide fresh ground on the inside.
“The dolled-out rail on the top bend (by three yards) will come down after racing tonight so we will have fresh ground there for the Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes tomorrow.”
12.50. Lots of ladies in blue and white today - doubtless they fancy winning a best-dressed ladies’ competition being run in conjunction with race-six sponsors L’Ormarins, who are offering a racing holiday to South Africa as their prize. Nice.
1pm. Not too many jockeys or trainers with more than one win so far this week but one or two of the usual suspects are starting to make an impression.
Jockeys with more than one win so far are Richard Hughes, James Doyle, Joe Fanning, Richard Kingscote and William Buick. I’d say Hughes is still favourite to win the Racing UK title.
The only trainers with more than one success are Richard Hannon, Mark Johnston and Andrew Balding, each with two - though Hannon has also has six seconds and three thirds.
The leading current trainer at Glorious Goodwood is Sir Michael Stoute, with 70 winners, nine ahead of Johnston. Stoute’s sole success this week has been Snow Sky in the Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes; today he has just the one chance, with Festival Theatre in the Betfred Mobile Handicap.
1.10. Lovely news - a well-deserved honour for clerk of the course Seamus Buckley. His two decades of service here are being recognised tomorrow with the final race being renamed the Seamus Buckley 20th Glorious Handicap. After the job he and his team have done this week keeping the ground in great condition despite the lack of rain, it’s especially well-deserved.
1.40. Of jockeys currently riding, only Frankie Dettori has ridden more winners at Glorious Goodwood than Richard Hughes. Dettori, without a winner from two rides at the meeting this week and without a mount today, has 58 winners to Hughes’ 52. Could it soon be 58-54?
1.50 Adam Waterworth, racecourse MD, on that Seamus Buckley race: “It is the 20thyear that Seamus has been responsible for the track at Glorious Goodwood. We did not feel that the moment could go without mention - hence tomorrow’s new race title - and the plan is for the Duke of Richmond to make a presentation to him.
“This week has again proved that Seamus invariably gets the ground right and Goodwood Racecourse is difficult to deal with because of its situation on top of the Downs. What a star Seamus is and, if you spoke to trainers and jockeys, I think you would find that they agree.”
1.55 The Group 3 Coutts Glorious Stakes is won by 11/10 favourite Pether’s Moon (Hughes/Hannon). It’s their third win of the week and puts them in the lead in the respective trainer/jockey tables. Did someone say they were struggling?
Encke (Buick/C Appleby) was a length and a quarter back in second.
“He didn’t seem to come down the hill that well,” said trainer Hannon, “and I wasn’t that happy watching it. Hughsie had to get after him and it looked like he was beaten but then he came on the bridle. But the horse deserved that, it was nothing more than his due and, without sounding arrogant, he’s better than he looked there. We like him a lot and he’s very much one we’d like to keep as he’s still growing into his frame.
“This was nothing more than he was due. He ran very well at Ascot and Newmarket, all the big meetings, and he deserved this. He always looks like he will quicken more than he actually does and I don’t think this track really suits him.
“There are plenty of options for him abroad and the Caulfield Cup is one we’re considering. We dont have many that go on this sort of trip but this is a fine horse and he’s got the constitution for that sort of venture.”
Hughes added: “I haven’t enjoyed being beaten on him this season and I was beginning to wonder if he maybe wasn’t genuine. But it’s not that, it’s just he’s still a bit of a baby. Maybe he needs a bit of help with some headgear. If he’s going to go to Australia, he’ll have to be sharp there, there won’t be time for any looking around.”
2.30. The Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes is won by Wannabe Yours (Buick/Gosden) (7/1) in a photo finish from Hors De Combat. He took it by a neck from Frederik Tylicki’s mount.
Gosden said: “It’s tough breeding them and then, when you own and breed, it’s special to have a Group winner at Goodwood and you live locally.
“Wannabe Yours is a very smart horse. His last run last year didn’t go right but he has won and won and won this year - he won by nine lengths last time in a competitive handicap. This is the last one mile, three-year-old Group race of the year in Europe, so we have been waiting for this race since Derby Day and it has been the right thing.
“Mile races are going to be his game and obvious race now would be the Celebration Mile back here.
“He is a much improved horse and I would have been very disappointed if he hadn’t have won today. We will talk about where to go but it will probably be the Sussex Stakes next year! We will see - he’s a nice horse.”
Buick added: “It was a very classy performance. I even managed to drop my whip and he still won, so I owe him a favour. He’s a very nice horse. I just got trapped on the inside, had to take back and come round, which you see horses do here, but only good horses do it.
“It was a very good performance and he is learning quickly. This horse has got a bright future. He’s quite a professional little guy but he did it the hard way and nothing was easy for him.”
3.05. A thrilling Betfred Mile goes to Jimmy Fortune on the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Avenger, who went off at 12/1.
After he snatched the Betfred Mile by a short-head, two necks and a head from Heavy Metal, Magic City, Steeler and Belgian Bill, trainer Dunlop revealed that he pinched a trick from Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien. Red Avenger, a lazy type like others by his sire War Front, was wearing, and responded to, first-time blinkers to score his first victory for more than a year.
“I’d seen Aidan had put blinkers on top horses by the sire like Declaration Of War and War Command,” he said. “This horse has always had talent, but wouldn’t always express it. That was quite obvious in the John Smith’s Cup at York last time out. And no real offence to his apprentice rider that day, but the horse was taking the piss.
“So I worked him in blinkers earlier in the week and he took off like a Ferrari. He’s got an excellent temperament, though, and I can well see why Mr Magnier and his friends like to buy these War Fronts. I thought we were beaten today but, finally, it went well. He loves fast ground and I think it’s the same with all War Fronts. We bought him as a breeze-up horse and we always thought he was a good but he flattered to deceive a little bit. “
Fortune admitted his win owed a little to luck as well as some good judgement. “Ed was confident - he’d worked the horse in blinkers during the week and he’d gone very well,” he said. “I was drawn five, but I had to give my draw away a little. He didn’t jump too good and it was getting a bit tight so I eased out so I wouldn’t get stopped in my run. They go plenty quick enough here and if the ones in front had started dropping back there was always the danger of not getting a clear shot at it.”
3.40 The Group 2 Betfred King George Stakes is another thrilling and it’s a surprise result as Take Cover wins for trainer David Griffiths and jockey Andrea Atzeni. Ryan Moore was second on Extortionist.
For trainer Griffiths, that’s a first Goodwood winner with only his second runner here, and a first Group-race victory.
Well done to one of our tipsters - Dave Stevens from Coral - who picked that out. See all our panel’s tips below, just don’t look too closely at mine.
Yorkshire handler Griffiths, who has 22 horses in training, said: “I am delighted - unbelievable, unbelievable. We have always said that he was good and he is that quick that he just burns them off and just keeps going. It’s phenomenal to have a first Group winner.
“He likes York and, as long as we get him back and everything is fine, then hopefully we will hopefully go for the Nunthorpe.
“Andrew from Norcroft Park Stud (the owner) likes to give them a lot of time and the family have all improved with age. I think, arguably, he might be getting better. It sounds daft to say it at seven but he might be.”
4.15. The Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Nursery Stakes handicap is won by Son of Africa - a third win of the festival for James Doyle, this time riding for Henry Candy. Doyle joins Richard Hughes and William Buick in having had three wins at the festival.
“The plan had been to get cover early and get him relaxed,” said Doyle. “But he shot from the stalls like a bullet. Then when I tried to restrain him he grabbed hold of the bit again and rather than disappoint him I let him stride on.
“It’s a hard place for a two-year-old to lead all the way and he got a bit lonely in front and I could have done with the others coming at me a bit sooner to help him along. But when they did come he picked up and toughed it out good.”
4.50. The L’Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes (aka the Oak Tree Stakes) goes to J Wonder, making it a double for Jimmy Fortune, which will cheer him up after he picked up an eight-day ban and a big fine for over-use of the whip on Red Avenger earlier. J Wonder is a first winner of the week for trainer Brian Meehan.
Meehan said: “J Wonder was wonderful today. Jimmy gave her a beautiful ride and knows her inside out - he rides her nearly every week.
“She was very good in the Fred Darling but things did not work out in the French Guineas or in the Coronation. She got a little fired up going to gate and things like that but she was wonderful today.
“I’m really pleased because she is such a gorgeous filly. I think a mile will be OK now she is settling. She was very keen in the Coronation but we have corrected that and she will have enjoyed that today.
5.25. We end day four with a touch of Sussex success as trainer Gary Moore, better known for his runners over the jumps, lands the Betfred Mobile Stakes with Tall Ship, a 10/1 shot superbly ridden by David Probert.
Tall Ship, bought by Moore at the Tattersalls July Sales three weeks ago, was not long in starting to recoup his 32,000 guineas purchase price. The three-year-old failed to score in five runs for Sir Michael Stoute, but justified his new trainer’s judgement by getting off the mark with some authority in the Betfred Mobile Handicap, and earning £10,983 in the process.
Tall Ship swept through along the far rail under Probert to beat Artful Rogue a length and a half on his first try at as long as a mile and three furlongs. He had caught Moore’s eye when he had finished a fast-closing second over 10 furlongs at Epsom the day before he went through the Newmarket auction ring.
“I’m sure the step up in distance helped,” said Moore. “He was unlucky at Epsom, and this is a more conventional track, even if only slightly.”
That’s it for day four - just one day and seven races to go but the final day is always a special one.
We will have a report on today’s highlights plus video from the Betfred Mile later on this website, then more tips, previews and live updates tomorrow.