Glorious Goodwood - Saturday brings success for Johnston and Crowley

The Stewards' Sprint gets Saturday's racing under way / Picture: Getty Images
The Stewards' Sprint gets Saturday's racing under way / Picture: Getty Images

Mark Johnston ended the week as Glorious Goodwood's top trainer while PJ McDonald pipped Frankie Dettori to the jockey title - but Saturday was super for Jim Crowley too.

Apart from winning the big race of the day, the Stewards' Cup, on Khaadem, Crowley also took the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes on Enbihaar - winning both for Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Enbihaar looked ready for a Group 1 challenge after confirming herself one of the most improved older fillies in training with a runaway five-length win in the G2 Qatar Lilie Langtry Stakes, and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum's racing manager Angus Gold suggested that the G1 Irish St Leger at the Curragh on September 15 could come into calculations.

She would need supplementing in order to run there, but her rate of improvement has been such that it could be money well spent. The G2 DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster the same week is among the alternatives for her.

The Redoute's Choice filly, who started 7/2 co-favourite with both the second and third, was John Gosden's fourth winner of the Qatar Goodwood Festival from only eight runners. The Newmarket handler has now saddled 40 winners at the Qatar Goodwood Festival during his career.

Gold said: "I was really impressed with her. I'm a real fan of this filly. She was quite hot and fizzy as a two-year-old but she has absolutely settled down now and loves her work. She stays surprising well for a Redoute's Choice, and she handles this fast ground. It was a really good performance with a penalty.

"She's got a magnificent stride on her, and she must be about 16.3hh, but she was light framed when we bought her and has just really developed. I'm delighted for Sheikh Hamdan, who kept her in training."

Pulborough-based jockey Crowley suggested the Irish St Leger to Gold, who added that the Park Hill was another possibility but admitted he had not wanted to tempt fate by thinking beyond this race.

Ruth Carr and James Sullivan both enjoyed a first ever Goodwood winner when nine-year-old Poyle Vinnie (20/1) made up for Tuesday's narrow defeat by getting up near the finish of the £75,000 Qatar Stewards' Sprint Handicap to beat Venturous (16/1) by a neck, with last year's winner Tommy G (8/1) third in a finish in which the first five were all trained in the North of England or in Scotland.

Carr could not be present as she had runners to saddle at Thirsk, but the significance of her success will not be lost on her as her grandfather David Chapman excelled with sprinters and won the Stewards' Cup with Soba in 1982. For Sullivan success was especially sweet after Tuesday's defeat, and after what has been an exceptionally busy week on the road, even by jockey standards.

Sullivan said: "I think it was his first time over six furlongs this year. He was unlucky here the first day over five, when he travelled, looked like the winner everywhere and just got nabbed late on by PJ McDonald.

"Ruth has done a great job getting this lad ready. She took the blinkers off and put cheekpieces on, which gave me a chance to settle him early on.

"You are riding your own race out there. All I wanted to do was settle early on and I got him settled. When you start finding, you are looking for something to race with. I saw the far side was a bit ahead of but I was using Mr Barron's horse (Venturous) to get me to the line. The two of us went on together and this lad has battled down and did it well."

Reflecting on his week, Yorkshire-based Sullivan revealed: "I was at Ayr last Sunday, then I drove down here for Tuesday and then back up to Redcar the next day. Then I went from Redcar to Epsom, and then from Epsom back up to Scotland for Musselburgh yesterday before coming back here. I don't know how many miles that is, but a winner at the end of the week makes it all worthwhile. He's a legend of a horse and he's very consistent."

The very admirable King's Advice collected his eighth win of 2019 for trainer Johnston when putting up a brave performance for victory in the one mile, six-furlong, £100,000 Qatar Summer Handicap.

Ridden by Joe Fanning, King's Advice - a son of Frankel out of G1 winner Queen's Logic - was the 7/2 favourite and, in seeing off Outbox by a neck, gave his trainer a sixth winner of the 2019 Qatar Goodwood Festival. Johnston is one winner away from his previous highest total at this meeting - seven, which he achieved in 2012.

Five-year-old King's Advice is the winning-most British-trained horse of 2019.

A proud Johnston said: "It's quite incredible. I never really believe that horses know whether they are winning or have their head in front, but if ever there was a horse who wants to put his head back in front, it's him. I thought he was beaten so many times today, even inside the final furlong it looked like the second horse was going to get the better of him, and perhaps did even get its head to the front, but he just comes back again.

"Just absolutely incredible. He's gone from a rating of 71 to winning off 108 today, and he's only lost one race for us. That was the Northumberland Plate and he was unlucky there - and he didn't have Joe Fanning. Joe Fanning is unbeaten on him.

"It's got to be the Ebor next. That's going to be very, very difficult because they'll be queuing up for a go at him, but we've got to go there, and the owner has been suggesting a step into Pattern company for several runs now, and we've talked him out of it, but he'll get his shot quite soon. Possibly the Irish St Leger."

Persuasion earned a favourable comparison with dual Goodwood Group-race winner Dutch Connection after making an impressive debut in the same maiden that the latter won for trainer Charlie Hills and owner Susan Roy five years ago. The G3 Acomb Stakes, which Dutch Connection also won, is next on the agenda.

After the 16/1 chance had overcome a slow start to win by half a length from Celtic Art (14/1) and complete a 21.5/1 double for the stable, which has now had four winners at the meeting, Hills said: "He's a lovely horse and I think he was only 16/1 because he was making his debut and most of the others had had a run or two, which is a big advantage.

"He'll be better than 'Dutch' and I think he'll go the same route now. Dutch Connection went on to York to win the Acomb Stakes, and this one is qualified there, so that's where he'll go. He's got other entries, but the Acomb fits well I think."

Hills added: "He's been very professional in everything he's done and his work has been good. I thought seven furlongs around here might catch him out first time out but he's done it really well despite showing a bit of inexperience. He's a very nice horse with a touch of class. He's got scope and a great mind too."

Land Of Legends' win in the seven-furlong, £30,000 Qatar Handicap was a first at the Qatar Goodwood Festival for jockey Callum Shepherd, who was brought up locally.

Land Of Legends, a three-year-old son on Iffraaj, was trained by Saeed Bin Suroor for owner Godolphin and beat Jack's Point by a length and three-quarters at odds of 9/2.

Shepherd said: "I was slow away and you could tell instantly they had gone very quick. I was handy on him last time so this was certainly plan B, but I thought I'd try and come with one good run, which is exactly what he did. He picked up really nicely and hit the line well.

"He's a progressive horse and I'm very fortunate to be able to ride him.

"It's my first win at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. My family is from round here and I went to school down the road in Lancing, so it has been my favourite meeting since I was six or seven years old. I'm really pleased."

Racing finished with the Qatar Apprentice Handicap, won by Cieren Fallon on the 9/4 favourite Gifts of Gold.

McDonald, meanwhile, was presented with the Racing TV prize for being the week's top jockey after Dettori failed to find a fourth win the week - the number McDonald had enjoyed. Dettori put his hands round his rivals neck - all in joking spirit, we should add - as he was interviewed on TV about his win.