GLORIOUS GOODWOOD: Moore, Moore, Moore ... Crowing again... Frankie flies
Ryan Moore, Jim Crowley and Frankie Dettori shared the limelight as the weather finally lived up to expectations on the fourth day at Glorious Goodwood.
Moore won each of the first three races - then Crowley followed up his Sussex Stakes win with a similar triumph in the King George Stakes. And Dettori delighted the sun-drenched crowd after winning for the festival's Qatari sponsors.
The action was thrilling - and once again fairly unpredictable - as the sun came out properly after a couple of days of dodgy weather and the large crowd just had to marvel at Moore's talents in the saddle in the early part of the day.
Moore's big afternoon began with him winning the first two, both Group 3 contests, both on 7/4 favourites.
In the Betfred Glorious Stakes he guided home Poet's Word for a second win in two days after his Nassau Stakes victory, this time riding for Sir Michael Stoute. The four-year-old was a length and a half in front of Second Step.
He said afterwards: "Poet's Word jumped out very smoothly and was very relaxed, but it was one of those races that didn't exactly go how I would have really liked. This horse has a lot of ability and a great attitude. He has handled that ground well today. Sir Michael has had to be patient with him and I think he has the makings of a proper horse."
Bruce Raymond, racing manager for winning owner Saeed Suhail, said: "I expected him to run like that, Sir Michael and Ryan were a little bit apprehensive about the ground. He is out of a Nashwan mare and I thought he'd handle it. He seemed to labour a bit in the last two furlongs, but I felt if Ryan had given him a whack he'd have picked up."
Straight after that Moore did it again on Beat The Bank for Sussex Stakes-winning trainer Andrew Balding, beating Make Time by a healthy three lengths.
Balding said: "He's looked very smart at home, and he looked very good at Newmarket. I was worried about the ground today, but he got a fantastic ride. We will have ambitions for him in time, he's just won a Group Three so we'll look for a Group Two or something else. It's exciting because the owners are really enthusiastic and I am pleased we have a good horse for them."
And it was Moore, Moore, Moore - just as Andrea True Connection sang in the 1970s - as he joined forces with David Elsworth to take the Â£150,000 Betfred Mile with Master The World (6/1) - with 5/1 favourite Blair House flopping and coming in 11th. See a full report from the Betfred Mile in a separate story on this website.
If Moore was the man of the day, Sussex-based champion jockey is one of the heroes of the week - he added the Group 2 King George Stakes to his win in Wednesday's Group 1 Sussex Stakes, both races being Qatar-sponsored.
Sucess in this five-furlong dash came on 9/2 contender Battaaash, trained by Charlie Hills for the Hamdan Al Maktoum. Two-time King Geroge winner Take Cover, with David Allan on board, led early on and came a creditable fourth.
Battaash took himself into the leading ranks of sprinters with a convincing two and a quarter length success after being sent off a 9/2 chance.
Trainer Charlie Hills said: "I was delighted with his performance today. It is drying ground but he seemed to handle it no problem at all. I was really impressed with him. Battaash is a three-year-old who is improving now and going through the ranks. It was a Group Two today, A Group Three last time and a Listed race the time before. He is progressing certainly the right way and was up against some proper sprinters there. He just travelled with such ease."
Three-year-old Battaash, the Dark Angel gelding, who beat the 9/4 market leader Profitable and Pulborough-based Crowley said: "I don't think I have ridden a better sprinter. I rode Battaash work at Charlie's (Hills) 10 days ago and it was like riding a motorbike up the gallops. He is very fast and, although you have to keep a lid on him in the race, he does everything and takes you into it lovely.
"I was a little bit [worried about the ground] but Charlie wasn't to be fair. He was quite adamant that he would go on the ground. A few horses in his pedigree have gone with a bit of cut. He will probably be even better on better ground. He jumped very well from the stalls. Take Cover is a very fast horse, a seasoned campaigner, I was just taking a toe off him. In the end, I got dragged into the race, he got there very easily at the two-pole.
"I could not believe how well I was going and I was just hoping on that going that he'd keep going. I never felt like I was in trouble at any stage, he has just so much natural speed."
It was quickfire double for Hills 35 minutes later when fomer Goodwood ambassador Harry Bentley steered Red Roman to the win in the Betfred Mobile Nursery Handicap after going off 11/2 - although 66/1 outsider New Empire was only a length and a quarter behind in second.
"It's been a pretty good five minutes!" joked Hills. "Red Roman had a pretty soft lead there, which was handy, but he handles that soft ground. We've always thought a bit of him - we ran him in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and he was only beaten five lengths. I think we can build off this now. We'll see what the handicapper does with him this week. He is still pretty lightly raced so he'll come on from today and we'll draw up a plan, but he does enjoy this ground."
There were wonderful scenes in the winner's enclosure after the Group 3 L'Ormarins Queens Plate Oak Tree Stakes when Dettori won in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing for the festival's Qatari sponsors. Dettori obliged with one of his flying dismounts then hugged and joked with connections and Lord March.
Detorri has had a torrid time with a shoulder injury and a stop start return to riding, but his season after victory at the weekend in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Enable followed by this success, has hit full stride.
"I would like to dedicate this race to Sheikh Joaan." said the Italian. "Al Jazi won easy, travelled well, quickened and is uncomplicated. She has got a stride on her and for Goodwood that is ideal. She has a good cruising speed and a good kick. She put the race to bed straightaway.
"Friday and I have finally got on the score sheet. Qatar have sponsored the meeting and it is nice to get a winner on the board for my boss - I am happy now. It has been six weeks since my shoulder injury and I have been working hard at it - it is back to where it was now."
The day's closing race, the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Stakes, was taken by William Buick on Godolphin's Walton Street, trained by Charlie Appleby and starting at odds of 7/2.
There's one day to go now ... and Saturday's card includes the Qatar Stewards' Cup and and Group 3 Gordon Stakes.