Mark Johnston proved he's not always the bridesmaid at Glorious Goodwood with a double that gave him the joint best winning record among trainers at the festival.
On a day when Too Darn Hot made sue Frankie Dettori and John Gosden made the big race headlines, Johnston closed to within one of Sir Michael Stoute's record number of Glorious winners when Sir Ron Priestley won the Unibet Handicap. The three-year-old became Johnston's 79th winner at the famous meeting, and also his 49th success in July, extending the British record for winners in one month that he set on Monday at Ayr.
Sir Ron Priestley (6/1), the mount of Franny Norton, beat Durston (13/2) and Eminence (8/1) by a neck and three and a quarter lengths in the mile-and-a-half contest.
Johnston endured a rare blank day on Tuesday, and he said: "It was a very frustrating day, not just because it was without a win, but we had three seconds and two by very short margins. It's great to get back on the scoresheet. He [Sir Ron Priestley] is an ideal sort for this type of race - he's raced a fair bit, but is very much on the upgrade, so it's not a great surprise that he's won.
"The owner has just reminded me that he's in on Saturday [in the Qatar Summer Handicap over a mile and six furlongs], but I don't know where we will go next. We'll see how the horse is and what the handicapper does. Good horses racing over this type of trip need to be given a bit of time to make sure you are not going back to the well too often.
"He is in the St Leger, but it was a very borderline decision. We think he's almost that type of horse, and he's shown today that he was worth the entry, but he has a bit to go to prove he's up to that class. The trip and conditions [at Doncaster] would suit, but you need a Group One horse for that race.
"He hasn't proved he's that good yet."
Later Johnstondrew level with Stoute after registering his 80th success at the meeting courtesy of 3/1 chance Mrs Bouquet in the European Breeders Fund Alice Keppel EBF Fillies' Conditions Race.
Ridden by Joe Fanning, the two-year-old daughter of Toronado won the five-furlong event, a new contest in the racing calendar, by a length from 15/8 favourite Mighty Spirit, trained by Richard Fahey. Mrs Bouquet's success was Johnston's 50th victory of the month.
He said: "I didn't know that we had broken all these records, particularly not the Sir Michael Stoute record! It's also very special to win 50 races in a month.
"It is all about the horses. We don't miss any entries, we don't miss any races and we are just great believers in running our horses. When things are going well and the sun is shining, we are great believers in running them again.
"We do not mind running horses again soon after one race because they are in peak form."
Discussing the success of Mrs Bouquet, Johnston continued: "She had two runs in 48 hours a couple of weeks' ago and it probably highlights our mentality that she was in peak form and we decided to keep racing her. She won well at Catterick and York and those races did her no harm!"
It completed a 27/1 double on the day following Sir Ron Priestley's victory earlier.
The afternoon began with the longest race of the race, the two-and-a-half mile Unibet Goodwood Handicap, and it was won by the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Timoshenko (9/1) as Luke Morris got the better of William Knight-trained Seinesational by a neck. Timoshenko provided the legendary Newmarket trainer with a 14th victory in July following his gutsy success in the £50,000 Unibet Goodwood Handicap.
Timoshenko was registering his sixth victory in succession on his first start since August 2018. The gelding will now be targeted at the Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday, October 12.
Prescott said: "Timoshenko did not get here by accident, this race has been very much the plan. We stopped early with him last year and this was always going to be the race he would start his season in - it is nice when a plan comes off.
"The worse he is going, the better the result as it means they are going fast enough for him and he can stay! We were lucky that the gap on the rail opened up and there was enough room for him to squeeze through.
All eyes were on top US trainer Wesley Ward's first-ever Goodwood runner in the Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes, Maven. Goodwood are delighted to have attracted Ward to the festival and must have been hoping for a star-spangled victory.
But it was not to be as the John Quinn-trained Liberty Beach (11/8 favourite) recorded her fourth win from five starts with a smart success in the £75,000 G3 race. Ridden by Jason Hart, the two-year-old daughter of Cable Bay defied trouble in running to quicken up smartly to score by a length from the Joseph O'Brien-trained Alligator Alley (8/1) in second. Maven, in contention at one stage, faded and finished tenth.
Quinn has high hopes for the filly who could tackle the G1 Prix Morny or the G2 Lowther Stakes on her next start. The Settrington handler was recording his second victory of the week from three runners at the Qatar Goodwood Festival following Cobra Eye's win in yesterday's European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden.
Quinn said: "Liberty Beach did not get the best passage through the race as a few horses got in her way, but she showed once again a very special acceleration. She nearly ran her race to get to avoid all the trouble, but once Jason pulled her out and found the gap, off she went and he couldn't pull her up."
There was a victory for Goodwood racecourse ambassador Megan Nicholls when Mannaal took the British EBF Premier Fillies' Handicap at odds of 12/1 for trainer Simon Crisford.
It was the Newmarket trainer's first success at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in the £30,000 race - and a first one for Nicholls.
The three-year-old daughter of Dubawi scored by three-quarters of a length in the 10-furlong contest. Edward Crisford, representing his father, said: "Mannaal was given a great ride by Megan who has also been riding the horse at home. egan took her time and they didn't go much of a pace up front. Mannaal got a little bit unbalanced on the track, but when she came into the straight, she really locked on. Megan said she went for home a little bit early, but they did it well in the end."
Racing finished with Dirty Rascal (7/1) getting Richard Hannon off the mark for the week thanks to Tom Marquand's winning ride in the New & Lingwood Handicap.
Thursday's action begins with the annual ladies' charity race for the Magnolia Cup at 1.20pm and the main card includes the £600,000 Qatar Nassau Stakes, the third Group 1 contest in three days.