Sussex runners to follow at Glorious Goodwood

The highest-rated horse in training in Sussex will take the short trip down the road to Goodwood this weekend as Wonderful Tonight chases more Group-race success in Saturday’s G2 Lillie Langtry Stakes (3.05pm).

Monday, 26th July 2021, 8:52 pm
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 8:54 pm
Wonderful Tonight wins at Royal Ascot / Picture: Getty

Trained in Pulborough by David Menuisier, Wonderful Tonight was originally set to run in last weekend’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes, but was declared a late non-runner on accout of the ground.

Connections have now decided to head to Goodwood in search of more success in what has already been a glittering career, with the long-term target the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

Owned by music promoter Christopher Wright, Wonderful Tonight is named after the Eric Clapton song of the same name and has become a superstar for the yard. Bought for €40,000 she recorded her first success as a two-year-old when scoring at Saint-Cloud and went on to enjoy a fantastic three-year-old campaign. A Group three winner at Deauville in August 2020, she went on to finish fifth fifth on her first start in Group One company in the Qatar Prix Vermeille at Longchamp in September.

However, the exciting prospect took her form to another level when recording a first top-level success in the Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp in October. She scored in determined fashion on that occasion by a length and a quarter, with the win coming on heavy ground.

Wonderful Tonight then took her form up a notch when taking out the Qipco Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day in October. She quickened away in fine style on that occasion under William Buick, again enjoying the soft ground.

Menuisier’s superstar returned to action at Royal Ascot last month in the G2 Hardwicke Stakes. Ridden again by Buick, she quickened clear in the home straight, making a decisive move as the field turned in and she was never going to be caught, defeating Broome by a length and a half. That performance highlighted her potent turn of foot, but also her talent and penchant for soft ground.

Wonderful Tonight is currently the 7/4 favourite for Saturday’s Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes live on ITV. Her main rivals look set to include Alpinista (7/2), a dual winner this term and impressive when scoring at Goodwood in April and Albaflora who was fifth to Wonderful Tonight in Hardwicke Stakes last time out.

Elsewhere at Goodwood this week, Menuisier is set to be represented by Belloccio in Thursday’s G3 Gordon Stakes (3.00pm) with the three-year-old chasing a first win of the season. Migration runs for the yard in Tuesday'’s opening race of the meeting, the Chesterfield Cup handicap (1.50pm), whilst Atalanta’s Bay is a 14/1 for the Stewards’ Cup on Saturday at 3.40pm.

Other Sussex representation comes in the form of runners from another Pulbrough trainer, Amanda Perrett. She has two runners on the opening day of the meeting, courtesy of Saaheq in the Back To Goodwood Handicap (4.10pm) and Level Up in the Maiden Stakes at 4.45pm.

Later in the week, Perrett could saddle stable star Lavender’s Blue in the Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes at 2.25pm on Wednesday. The five-year-old, owned by ABBA member Benny Andersson was eighth on her latest start in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket. Elsewhere, Perrett could also have three runners in the Stewards’ Cup at 3.40pm on Saturday with Tinto, Count Otto and Open Wide all possible contenders in the competitive handicap at the track.