THERE was no fairytale return to the scene of a former glory for Brown Panther and Michael Owen at Goodwood’s penultimate fixture of the season – but the horse is still Melbourne Cup-bound.
The winner of the Goodwood Cup – part-owned by the former Liverpool and England striker – was back on the Downs for the Greene King Foundation Stakes but he couldn’t complete a Goodwood double.
Brown Panther led for some time but faded into fifth over a trip six furlongs shorter than the Glorious Group 2 contest as a late surge earned the 6/4 favourite Grandeur – ridden by Ryan Moore for trainer Jeremy Noseda – his seventh career success.
Richard Kingscote made much of the running on Brown Panther, who went off 3/1 second favourite, and his performance did not unduly worry trainer Tom Dascombe, present alongside Owen, for the horse’s first run in six weeks.
Dascombe said: “I’m pleased with that. Grandeur is a good horse in his own right and we had to give him 5lb.
“In hindsight, we’ve probably gone off too fast and not got home and I’m sure he’ll be fine and we’ll go to Melbourne.”
Bookmakers rate Brown Panther around 20/1 for the Melbourne Cup in November.
Owen said: “We didn’t get to go to our intended target of the Irish St Leger but wanted a race before the Melbourne Cup.
“As much as you always want to win he’s run a good race, giving weight all around over an inadequate trip, so you’ve got to be pleased.
“He needs a lot further than that to be shown at his best, but he’s run a decent race and hopefully will come out sound and we can go to Melbourne. If he runs, I’ll be there.”
Grandeur’s trainer Noseda will discuss with owner Yvonne Jacques whether to take on The Fugue and others in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita next month. Noseda said: “A return to America has been planned all year... I’ll sit down with the owner and work out a plan.”
The Foundation Stakes win was one of two successes at the midweek fixture for both Noseda and Moore.
Immediately after the listed feature race, Noseda sent the winner to post in the Hildon Natural Mineral Water Stakes as Sweet Deal (4/1 joint fav) was guided home by William Buick – one of three winners tipped that morning on the Observer website www.chichester.co.uk
For Moore, Grandeur’s win was his second in a row after he gave Sir Michael Stoute victory in the Santa Maria Foodservice Stakes on 2/1 favourite Gospel Choir.
The meeting began with back-to-back victories for our website’s tips.
Fracking (9/2 fav) took the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes under Mickael Barzalona for trainer Olly Stevens.
And 13/8 favourite Double Bluff won the Bibendum EBF Maiden Stakes for the impressive Joe Fanning-Mark Johnston double act.
Later, the 3663 Inspired By You Stakes went to 5/1 favourite Joey’s Destiny for George Baker, and there was a rare Goodwood win for handler Violet Jordan as 4/1 market leader Threave took the Merbury Catering Consultants Apprentice Stakes.