She was a foal made for Goodwood.
Now three years since her birth, Mori – whose father is Frankel and whose mother is Midday – has done exactly what was written in the stars and won on the Downs.
Frankel wowed Goodwood’s crowds by becoming the only horse to win the Sussex Stakes twice, around the same time that star filly Midday was making her own history at the raceccourse, with three successive wins in the Nassau Stakes.
So when Frankel was sent to Midday to produce a foal, Goodwood bosses watched keenly. Mori was born in 2014 and now, as a three-year-old, her racing career is well under way.
She won well at Ascot earlier this month and last Thursday, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained prospect, ridden by Ryan Moore and going off the 15/8 favourite, surged to an impressive victory in the Markel Height Of Fashion Stakes – one of four listed races that were the highlights of Goodwood’s three-day May Festival – on the turf mum and dad made their own just a few years ago.
The winning margin of a length and three quarters was perhaps indicative of her superiority,
Goodwood’s managing director of sport, Adam Waterworth, said: “It was a brilliant three days and the obvious racing highlight for me was Mori in the fillies’ race.
“When Midday was retired and they said she was going to Frankel, that was the story about a foal made at Goodwood. So for that foal to turn up here three years later and win a listed race was great.
“Lord Grimthorpe, when he collected the prize, said to me that if ever a horse was bred to win at Goodwood, it was Mori. It was perfect.
“Mori now goes for the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and then you’d think she’d come back here for the Nassau. Mum won it three years in a row, but I don’t know whether she’d be a mile-and-four horse or a mile-and-two. But she could well go Ribblesdale, Nassau and then the Yorkshire Oaks.”
Similarly impressive on the second day of the festival was Khalidi, a 100/30 John Gosden-trained three-year-old who Frankie Dettori rode to victory in the listed EBF Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes.
Waterworth added: “I suspect Khalidi is a very good horse too. Personally I think he’s a St Leger horse, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he ran well at Royal Ascot, came back here for the Gordon Stakes at our Qatar Festival, and then have all roads lead to Doncaster for the Leger. It would be the same route as Masked Marvel took for John Gosden.
“So I think we’ve seen a couple of good horses at the May Festival. We had a dead heat on the first day too - you don’t see many of those. It’s just one of those rare things and it was a good race because the two dead heaters (Apphia and Hadeeqa) and the third-placed horse of Amanda Perrett’s (Sugardrop) is highly thought of.
“We’ve seen some highly-rated horses, and not just in the feature races. In the two-year-old races I certainly think there have been some horses we’ll see here again.”
Fab festival - now for Tinie and Co
Racecourse manager Alex Eade said: “The whole three days were fabulous. We were bathed in glorious sunshine for two days, then Saturday was fresher but thankfully dry.
“The quality of the racing was amazing and I think a couple of stars of the future may have emerged, which is always nice. In the Cocked Hat we saw Khalidi breaking the course record and looking to be easing down doing it as well.
“Saturday’s racing was great too.”
The festival’s other headline-grabbers were trainer Henry Candy and jockey Andrea Atzeni, who each celebrated trebles.
Candy’s treble came on Friday when Noble Peace (6/1), Queen of Time (11/2) and Rebecca Rocks (3/1 joint fav) did the business, while Italian rider Atzeni was unstoppable on Saturday with Madeline (7/2), Sutter County (9/1) and Top Tug (100/30 fav) all prevailing.
Candy and Atzeni, as a result, head the standings for trainers and jockeys at Goodwood this season after four meetings.
The action on the track was complemented by a food festival.
Eade said: “That proved really popular. We had some good local producers of fine foods and it was something extra for race-goers to do between races. We also showcased some of the produce on the estate, with a couple of chefs from the house doing demonstrations.
“We trialled the food festival on one day last season and it was so successful we decided to expand it to three this time. We’d certainly intend to do it again next year. People have been giving us really good feedback.
“Attendance-wise, Thursday and Friday were both up year on year and were around the 7,000 mark, which is good for weekdays. And the final day brought a bigger crowd, though the overcast weather may have put some off.”
Next up Goodwood’s series of Three Friday Nights swings into action.
Eade said: “The Three Fridays are looking big. I think all three will be sell-out nights. Pete Tong on June 9 has sold out, Tinie Tempah, who’s here this Friday (June 2), has nearly sold out, and Sigma (June 16) is selling very quickly. They’re really exciting acts this year.”
Tips for tonight: 6.10 Pink Ribbon, 6.40 Frostbite, 7.10 Auntie Pam, 7.40 Angel of Darkness, 8.10 Balancing Time, 8.40 Caravela.
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