Glorious Goodwood: Festival ends on a high as Johnston and Buick win honours

It was another absorbing day's racing at Goodwood Picture by Malcolm Wells 142227
It was another absorbing day's racing at Goodwood Picture by Malcolm Wells 142227

THE FINAL day of Glorious Goodwood might not have quite had the sunshine the previous four days had seen – but ther was no drop in standards on the track as a sell-out crowd lapped up a thrilling afternoon’s racing.

There was a second Group 1 win of the week for trainer John Gosden when he won the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes for the third year in a row. And there was a great reception for Goodwood specialist Richard Hughes as he won the 32Red Cup (Stewards’ Cup) on highly-fancied Instrinsic.

William Buick ended the week as top jockey for the festival while Mark Johnston was leading trainer.

The action began with the 32RedSport.com Stakes handicap - the consolation race for those who didfn’t get into the 32Red Cup (Stewards’ Cup) and the large crowd were delighted to see stalwart trainer Dandy Nicholls in the winner’s enclosure after Cam Hardie guided Barnet Fair - tipped by Observer sports editor Steve Bone - first home as the 7/1 second favourite. He was a short head in front of Shane Kelly on Mission Approved (20/1).

It was Nicholls’ second victory of the week, after Inxile on the meeting’s opening day. Barnet Fair also gave his apprentice rider Hardie a first Glorious Goodwood success.

“I haven’t had him long but he’s done well for everyone who’s had him,” said Nicholls. “He ran well at Ascot, just got pushed out in the open a bit when he needed cover, but the boy [Hardie] gave him a marvellous ride today.”

Barnet Fair was due to run on the first day of Glorious Goodwood but lost a shoe when being loaded on the lorry at the trainer’s Yorkshire stables and was a non-runner in the final race on Tuesday, the Casino At bet365 Handicap over five furlongs. Nicholls came down in the horsebox with Barnet Fair later this week to make sure everything was all right.

Hardie, 18, has been with the Richard Hannon yard for two seasons.

“It’s my first Glorious Goodwood winner and it is a great feeling. This will be my second season riding with Richard Hannon and I have had a lot of support everywhere I have been and I would like to thank them all.”

Trainer Johnston was celebrating his third win of the week, as was jockey Joe Fanning, as Double Bluff - owned by Ron Huggins, who also owned Goodwood Cup legens Double Trigger - took the Jaguar Stakes, a 7/1 winner beating 3/1 favourite Kings Fete.

The three-year-old, who broke his maiden at the course in September, finished second in a 12-furlong handicap at Ascot last weekend but had clearly recovered from those exertions as he powered to a three-length victory.

Johnston said: “I think it’s clearly the best race that he has run. We have had a bit of a debate about what trip to go with him. After the Lingfield race, both Ron and I agreed that we would try this horse back over a mile and a quarter. It didn’t work, so we went back up to a mile and a half.”

Double Bluff is from the family of three-time Goodwood Cup hero Double Trigger and, like that great stayer, is owned by Ron Huggins, who said: “He certainly loves the track and he is a good galloping horse. He won here as a two-year-old as well and it’s so wonderful here.”

Fanning, also riding his third winner of the meeting, said: “He’s a tough little horse. He’s had three quick runs now and he’s hard. I just worried about this

run coming a bit quick but he’s tough and genuine - he has done it easy there.”

Sultanina gave trainer Gosden and jockey Buick a third successive success in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes, the pair having taken the Group One contest last year with Winsili and in 2012 with The Fugue. It was a fourth Nassau Stakes victory in all for the trainer, as he also sent out Ryafan to success in 1997.

The Fugue had been favourite until injury ruled her out last month. “It is nice to find a supersub,” said Gosden of Sultanina, “who can come off the bench like Messi.”

The four-year-old filly is owned and bred by Philippa Cooper at her Normandie Stud, some 11 miles from Goodwood. A late developer, the four-year-old daughter of New Approach did not race until this year, winning a Salisbury maiden on debut in May. She has now won three out of four.

Gosden has now won three Group Ones in a row within a week, after last Saturday’s Taghrooda’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Kingman’s QIPCO Sussex Stakes on Wednesday on the second day of Glorious Goodwood. “It’s the sort of thing you don’t forget when you’re an old guy in your rocking chair,” he said.

Buick commented: “I am absolutely delighted. I am over the moon for everybody - for the owner/breeder, John and the whole team back home at Clarehaven. It’s fantastic. We have had a good week and this filly has really stepped up to the plate.”

Intrinsic justified his trainer’s confidence and strong market support when a decisive winner of the 32Red Cup (Stewards’ Cup).

The four-year-old had been prominent in the betting for the six-furlong contest since the entries were revealed, following eye-catching victories over the course and distance and at Ascot in May.

The 6/1 chance enjoyed a clear run through the race and, despite jinking markedly left 100 yards from the winning line, came home a length in front under Hughes. The Richard Hannon-trained Ninjago was second, with a neck to Alben Star in third and three quarters of a length to the fourth, Ruwaiyan.

It was a second Glorious Goodwood triumph for Cowell, who said: “We knew that Intrinsic was good. It’s easy to say afterwards that I was confident but I was never confident - I was very hopeful that he would run a huge race. He is very good and we think that he is Stakes class. Hughsie said it in his Racing Post column that he thought he would be Stakes class and we did too.”

Hughes added: “I am riding a Group horse in a handicap. Intrinsic idled in front but he’s a very good horse. I thought that he was a certainty over the past couple of days and somebody said “what about the big field” and I said the bigger the field, the bigger the certainty because he has so much quality.”

There wee lovely scenes in the winner’s enclosure after this race when clerk of the course Seamus Buckley was rewarded for 20 years at the racecourse. He has had so many plaudits over the years for the way he has kept the ground in top condition.

The Duke of Richmond presented him with a magnum of champagne and a group of jockeys came out to congratulate him on his milestone.

Dutch Connection, winner of the Natwest Ahead For Business Maiden, will be campaigned for the rest of the season with his three-year-old career in mind. “He’s a big scopey horse,” said trainer Charlie Hills, “and will be a lovely one to go to war with next year, and we’ll keep that in our heads. We won’t be rushing him this year.”

In beating Rotherwick two and a half lengths, the son of Dutch Art got off the mark at the third time of asking, after third and second places at Salisbury and Haydock. “We quite fancied him at Haydock,” added Hills of the two-year-old, “but he ran into what is probably a very good horse [John Gosden-trained Faydhan, one of the early 2,000 Guineas favourites].

There was another Mark Johnston-Joe Fanning triumph when Grigolo took the Telegraph Nursery Stakes while the last, the Seamus Buckley’s 20th Glorious Handicap, went to Online Alexander, ridden by Amy Ryan for trainer Kevin Ryan.

STEVE BONE

See reflections on Glorious in the Observer on Thursday.

Here’s results and Saturday’s racecard

These were our top tipsters’ Saturday selections

Here’s Friday’s action as it unfolded

This is how Red Avenger and Jimmy Fortune won the Betfred Mile