Moore and Dettori shine again as Glorious Goodwood ends

Frankie Dettori won the Qatar Stewards' Cup for the second time in three years as the curtain came down on another fabulous five days of Glorious Goodwood action.

Saturday, 5th August 2017, 3:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:24 pm
Action in the Qatar Stewards' Sprint Handicap Stakes, which kicked off Saturday's action / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Action in the Qatar Stewards' Sprint Handicap Stakes, which kicked off Saturday's action / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Two years after breaking his duck in the traditional last-day six-furlong cavalry charge on Magical Memory, the Italian repeated the trick on battling seven-year-old Lancelot Du Lac, trained by Dean Ivory.

As ever after a big-race win, Dettori - for the second day in a row - delighted the masses around the winner's enclosure with a flying dismount to celebrate his 25/1 triumph in the £250,000 feature race of day five over six furlongs in which he beat 25 rivals.

"Dean Ivory was very sweet on the horse. Lancelot Du Lac had boiled over at Ascot so the trainer put the hood on today and it made a big difference, he was very calm today," reported Dettori. "And perhaps the wet conditions really suited him. I was there to be shot at, but in fairness he put his head down and galloped to the line. I didn't have to do much.

"Usually in this kind of handicap you are all out to the line, but I was able to have a look around and punch the air! They came close, but I could feel underneath he was giving me plenty, and never at any moment did I think they were going to get past. He was in a good rhythm; he had his head down and galloped to the line."

It was Dettori's second successive good day at Goodwood - and the same could be said for Ryan Moore, who moved to the top of the jockey standings for the week, where he stayed to pick up the Racing UK title that goes with top spot, with victory on 6/4 favourite Crystal Ocean in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes.

Crystal Ocean became the tenth winner of the famous race for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, who won it last year with Ulysses. A measure of the standard required to take the contest can be gleaned from the previous two winners, for Ulysses - who this year has won the G1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes and was second to brilliant Enable in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes - was preceded by multiple Group One winner Highland Reel in landing the Qatar Gordon Stakes.

Crystal Ocean, who is owned by Sir Evelyn Rothschild and was bred at his family's Southcourt Stud, has to go some to match their record, but he holds an entry in the G1 St Leger, and is clearly well-regarded by his trainer.

After the son of Cape Cross had beaten Khalidi (9/4) by three and a half lengths, with Mount Moriah (100/30) back in third, Sir Michael said: "We have loved this horse from early days - he's a lovely stamp of a horse with a good mind. He goes on soft ground - we know that because he did so in the Dante - but today's going was a big concern being among the worst you can get after such phenomenal rain.

"He handled it really well, but he's a good athlete, which helps. I said before the Dante that I didn't consider him to be a Derby horse because you have to be more mature than he was at that time. We will look at the St Leger, and I have mentioned it to Evelyn in the past, but I wouldn't say definitely. I very much think he's a 12-furlongs horse, but we might do a Conduit [who in 2008 won the Qatar Gordon Stakes and the St Leger for Sir Michael's stable] and have a one-off fling [at the St Leger] which could be nice for the man who pays the bills."

Crystal Ocean was cut to 6/1 from 14/1 for the Doncaster Classic by Paddy Power.

The day's racing began in bright sunshine with the race for the horses that didn't make the cut - the Qatar Stewards' Sprint Handicap Stakes.

That was a triumph for festival sponsors Qatar Racing, for whom Oisin Murphy rode Scorching Heat to an impressive victory - another, the third of the week, for trainer Andrew Balding.

The 9/2 favourite burst into the lead inside the final furlong and won by three-quarters of a length from Tommy G (14/1) and Son Of Africa (12/1). Royal Brave (25/1) was fourth.

The first four finished in the middle of the track, and Murphy said: "I didn't know where the best ground would be, but when I cantered to the start I noticed tyre tracks or something similar in the middle, as though Jeeps had been there, and I just thought any divots that would be there might have been knocked down.

"I've no idea if that's the best place to be, but that's where I went. It's great to ride a winner for Qatar Racing [he is retained as that organisation's first-choice rider] and also for Andrew Balding. It's a big team effort, and the staff put up with times when the horses are running good and bad - it's fantastic they are being rewarded with winners during this big meeting."

Balding said: "He's a decent horse, but I'm delighted we even got into the race - I didn't for a minute think we would. This is his sort of ground. He needs a strongly-run race, and it's difficult to believe we haven't been able to get cover for him before today. He won, and he needs things to fall right for him - the faster they go in front the better. Everything fell right for him today.

"These are difficult conditions on which to make up any ground, but if you are there with a chance with a furlong to go you are going to be difficult to get past."

Another trainer who has had a memorable week is Mark Johnston - ten times the top trainer at the festival about to land that title for the 11th time here - and he scored again when current No1 jockey Silvestre de Sousa guided Soldier In Action first past the post at 11/1 in the Qatar Summer Handicap Stakes. The horse got up on the line to beat Blakeney Point (12/1) by a head.

Johnston, who always likes to target this meeting with runners, said: "What a fantastic finish to have so many involved, it happens so often at this track. This race is over a mile and six, and you get a more exciting finish than you will see in a sprint.

"It is a bit sad that these middle-distance sires go off to the jumping game, there are so very few of them about. The [middle-distance bred] horses we've had have all been tough and consistent; I wish I could buy more of them!

"It wasn't planned to win a head, and I thought with a furlong and a half to go he's going to come and win this, and then I thought he isn't as the others in front of him seemed to be picking up again. He'll probably go for the Ebor next.

"I had no worries about the ground - someone said to me beforehand that he's best on firm ground, and I said I didn't think we thought that. We actually thought the ground was a plus."

Johnston and de Sousa completed a double with Dee Ex Bee takiing the Qatar EBF Stallions Maiden as 5/2 joint favourite and de Sousa made it three for the day on Battered (7/2) for William Haggas in the Qatar Handicap - a race that saw a rare, and impressive, ride by former top female rider Hayley Turner.

The final race of the week, the Qatar Apprentice Handicap, was won by Storm King, a 25/1 starter ridden by Ed reatrex for trainer David Griffiths.

With that, the sell-out crowd headed for the exits as Goodwood bosses reflected on a week that had been challenging because the weather - especially Wednesday's all-day downpour - but had served up a feast of great racing and memorable performances.

The turf now gets a much-needed break before the three-day August bank holiday festival, which begins on the evening of Friday, August 25.

See reflections on Glorious Goodwood 2017 in the Chichester Observer - out on Thursday