Day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Thursday is Ladies’ Day with the £312,100 Group Two Qatar Goodwood Cup (3.10pm, 16 confirmations plus one supplementary entry) taking centre stage.
The first two horses home in the 2015 Qatar Goodwood Cup were Big Orange (Michael Bell) and Quest For More (Roger Charlton), who both go forward for this year’s renewals, along with last year’s fourth Pallasator (Sir Mark Prescott), sixth Sheikhzayedroad (David Simcock) and seventh Oriental Fox (Mark Johnston).
Godolphin’s Antiquarium (Charlie Appleby) has been supplemented for the two-mile Qatar Goodwood Cup at a cost of £15,000 following his game victory under 9st 5lb in the ultra-competitive heritage handicap, the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on June 25.
There are four Irish-trained contenders going forward with Aidan O’Brien responsible for the two three-year-olds - Listed Queen’s Vase and G2 Curragh Cup scorer Sword Fighter plus Housesofparliament, winner of the G3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket earlier this month.
Willie Mullins has left in seven-year-old Wicklow Brave, successful in the 2015 County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and third in last year’s Irish St Leger.
Commissioned (Gordon Elliott) is the fourth Irish-trained acceptor. The six-year-old son of Authorized was a three-time winner over hurdles before being sold for £65,000 at the dispersal sale of his former trainer John Ferguson in April. He made the perfect start for his new owners Nick Bradley Racing when winning the marathon Queen Alexandra Stakes over an extended two miles and five furlongs at Royal Ascot on June 18, when he scored by a decisive two and a half lengths.
Nick Bradley said today: “Commissioned worked well on Wednesday and it is full steam ahead for the Qatar Goodwood Cup.
“The track should suit him at Goodwood and the ground should also suit - the faster the ground, the better for him.
“His last two furlongs in the Queen Alexandra Stakes were quicker than everything in the Wokingham and the race turned into a bit of sprint, so I wouldn’t be worried at all about dropping back to two miles at Goodwood. He travelled really well at Ascot.
“Adam Kirby will be on board again.”
Other contenders going forward include Astronereus (Amanda Perrett), trained locally to Goodwood at Pulborough and a G3 winner at Newbury in May, G2 Yorkshire Cup second Curbyourenthusiam (David Simcock) and Kinema (Ralph Beckett), who was successful in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Ladies’ Day also features the £200,000 G2 Qatar Richmond Stakes (2.35pm) and 15 entries for the six-furlong contest for two-year-olds include Newmarket’s G2 July Stakes winner Mehmas (Richard Hannon) and Prince Of Lir (Robert Cowell), successful in the G2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Ardad (John Gosden) faded to last behind Mehmas at Newmarket but had previously gained an impressive victory in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, while Blue Point (Charlie Appleby) scored by 11 lengths on his latest outing at Doncaster.
Four contenders from the stable of Aidan O’Brien include recent G3 Anglesey Stakes scorer Peace Envoy and Intelligence Cross, who was second to Mehmas in the July Stakes.
Ralph Beckett send out subsequent G1 Ladbrokes St Leger scorer Simple Verse to glory in the 14-furlong £100,000 Markel Insurance Fillies’ Stakes (3.45pm) 12 months ago and the trainer has three contenders in this year’s race including Pamona, a Listed winner at York on her latest start.
A total of 15 entries also feature Mill Springs (John Gosden) and Forever Popular (William Haggas) plus Irish-trained fillies Almela (Dermot Weld) and Glamorous Approach (Jim Bolger).
Dual G1 heroine Amazing Maria won the £25,000 Dove 100 Colours EBF British Stallion Studs Fillies’ Maiden (4.20pm) in 2013 and 27 entries for the seven-furlong race include Curragh maiden runner-up Rhododendron (Aidan O’Brien). Amabilis (Ralph Beckett), Voice Of Truth (Saeed bin Suroor) and Manama (Charlie Appleby), who have all finished second in Newmarket maidens, also hold entries.
A pair of fiercely competitive £20,000 handicaps complete the action - the seven-furlong Telegraph Nursery Handicap (4.55pm, 40 entries) and the Tatler Handicap (5.30pm, 24 entries) over five furlongs.
The sixth running of the charity ladies’ race, the Magnolia Cup, provides a fun and colourful start to the day, with riders sporting silks created by high profile fashion designers. The contest has already raised over £1 million for good causes and this year’s nominated charities are Best Beginnings and World Vision.
Latest going news
The going at Goodwood remains:
Good - Straight Course
Good to Firm, Good in places - Round Course
Goodwood Racecourse, by 3pm on Friday, had seen two short showers, one at around 5am and the other just before noon which delivered no measurable rain.
Clerk of the Course Seam Buckley commented: “We are continuing our watering programme to maintain the current going descriptions.
“I am pleased with what has been achieved so far. We watered the straight yesterday evening and will start watering the round course again from 5pm to 10pm. It takes about an hour to water a furlong.”
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