You can always rely on Frankie Dettori to produce a memorable moment at Glorious Goodwood – and he came up with a fitting one on the first day of Qatar’s new sponsorship deal for the festival.
Trainer Hugo Palmer may have been absent from Goodwood on honeymoon but his purple patch continued when Galileo Gold, a 9/2 chance, triumphed in the Qatar Vintage Stakes by three-quarters of a length under Dettori.
It was a popular result as the winner carries the colours of Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s Al Shaqab Racing. Sheikh Joaan’s family are involved in the sponsorships of this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival.
“It was an eventful race and I got the splits at the right time. He dug deep and won well. There is a strong wind and everybody was trying to get cover and they are two-year-olds, so they are bound to run around a bit in the straight,” said Dettori, who can be seen in our video, above, performing ther type of flying dismount for which he has become famous.
“He showed a good attitude and I was very impressed. I got a good run through on the inside. He was very brave and quickened up really well. It’s the first race of the meeting for us and we have started off with a winner. My boss is here today and they have put a hell of a lot of money in this week and it’s nice for them to get a little bit of a reward back.
“He’s a scopey horse and wasn’t stopping. He’s beaten the best around today and he beat them well so we’ve got to aim high. This fellow likes to get his toe in and the ground suited him, he likes it on the easy side of good. He’s quirky but he’s learning and has got a good engine.”
Al Shaqab’s racing manager, Harry Herbert, added: “Sheikh Joaan has just arrived to see the race and see Goodwood in all its glory. He is obviously sponsoring this year and it is a dream start. I am thrilled too for Hugo who is on his honeymoon and can’t be here but I have just spoken to him watching from the beach in Turkey.
“The sheikh has always said that he wants to support the younger trainers as well and if we are lucky enough to buy a horse like this, we always keep the horse with the trainer. If that is a young trainer and someone whose career is just beginning to blossom and flourish, it’s a bonus.
“Frankie is such an entertainer and I don’t think that he has ever ridden better. He is on top of his form and that was a masterful piece of riding. He makes it fun - it’s fun anyway but, if you are lucky enough to have a Frankie with you, it’s even more fun.
“I love this horse. He has got size and scope and is a wonderful mix between his sire Paco Boy and a lot of Galileo coming in to give him a bit more size. He is an exciting prospect and the best is hopefully yet to come.”
Frankie is such an entertainer and I don’t think that he has ever ridden better. He is on top of his form and that was a masterful piece of riding.
Mount Logan, winner of the opening Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap, continued a fine run of form of Luca Cumani. On Saturday, the Newmarket trainer took the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) with Postponed. Both horses are owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.
The difference was the rider; Adam Kirby, jocked off Postponed for the Ascot contest in favour of Andrea Atzeni, was back in the yellow colours on Mount Logan. “I have never lost faith in Adam,” said the Sheikh. “It is only that he could not have luck on Postponed. I had the King George as my main race for Postponed since we left him in training. It was only one horse - that’s all - because all of my horses will be ridden by Adam. If I had something against Adam, you would have seen me taking the job off him. I have nothing against Adam and he knows this.
“My biggest day was the King George for two reasons. First, I have the winner and, second, I have the sire. Dubawi is mine and people don’t know - he was running in Godolphin colours but they don’t own Dubawi. I was really happy for Dubawi and Postponed together and that’s what made the King George more important.”
Mount Logan, who took today’s near 10-furlong contest by a length and a quarter from Elhaame after a strong final-furlong surge, is a progressive handicapper who will ply his trade in similar contests in the future.
“He is a lovely horse who has been running in all the big ones,” said Kirby, “and just needed things to go right. There was a strong gallop on today and I couldn’t go early but it was nice to get him out into a bit of daylight and let him gallop away down the straight.”
Trainer Mark Johnston loves nothing more than a winner at the festival and the Middleham handler struck for the first time this week with 20/1 chance Blue Wave in the Summer Handicap over a mile and six furlongs.
“He has come back from a fairly serious injury and I thought he was maybe a bit short of work,” said Johnston. “I thought we might be coming here a bit soon and the yard manager thought that a mile and a half may be far enough on his comeback. But I said that it was Goodwood so we should go for it.
“I thought with a furlong and a half to go he might blow up and that Notarised might get there but luckily when they all came he responded. Perhaps this trip is just too far for Notarised.
“I haven’t made any plans for him, he’ been off for a long time and he’s not in the Ebor.”
Winning rider William Buick added: “I have to hand it to Mark - this horse has been off for such a long time and I actually won on him two years ago at Kempton. It’s a very good effort to bring him back after such a long lay-off.
“Mark’s horses are flying at the moment as well, which is a huge help. This horse has saved what has been a bit of a frustrating day for me.
“He’s game and tough. He has enjoyed the ride and deserved to win. They were coming at him from a couple of furlongs out and he fought them all off one by one. It’s a huge credit to the horse and trainer.”
For Neil Farley, Ridge Ranger was a first win from his first ride at Goodwood (at any meeting) when she took the Weatherbys Private Banking Handicap. The filly, a 14/1 shot trained by Eric Alston near Preston, made just about every yard of the five furlongs to take the prize by a length and a half from the 5/2 favourite Double Up.
“I suppose that was as easy as anything here can be,” said Farley, a 3lb claimer based with Andy Crook at Middleham. “She was travelling so easy I was able to hold onto her and dictate her speed, and then she quickened as soon as I asked. She’s very fast and I’m sure there’s better to come from her.”
Alston did not make the long journey south but Ridge Ranger’s owner-breeder Con Harrington was there to lead in his Bushranger four-year-old, who has now won three of her five starts this year. “She was impressive at Chester and Wetherby,” he said, “but she broke badly at York last time. We’ll be looking for black type with her now - there’s a Listed race back here at the next meeting.”
Harrington raced Ridge Ranger’s dam Dani Ridge (also a winner when trained by Alston), who is by Indian Ridge, the best horse with whom Harrington has been involved. The mare has a 100 per cent record with her seven runners.
Blue-blooded Inland Sea looked a juvenile to follow when winning the Kish Armstrong Memorial EBF Stallions Maiden for trainer Richard Hannon.
The US-bred is a full-brother to No Nay Never and Hannon said: “I was a bit disappointed with his first run but I thought he would come on a lot from that. He’s got a good pedigree and he deserved to at least win a maiden like that.
“He could go over six or seven furlongs now and he’s obviously got a fair bit of ability. We could look at something like the Mill Reef at Newbury later in the year.”
A wind operation has helped Mister Music get his career back on track as the six-year-old came with a strong run through the final furlong to take the Turf Club Handicap in the final strides, beating Dana’s Present, Strong Steps and Third Time Lucky three heads.
The gelding’s 20/1 success, under Andrea Atzeni, was a first at the Qatar Goodwood Festival for his trainer Robert Eddery, and his third winner from as many runners at the track this year. It was the horse’s fifth run for the Newmarket handler; he started his career with Richard Hannon and was with Brian Meehan last year.
“He ran well enough for us first time,” said Eddery. “He had a wind operation after his third race with us, and then when he came back it was a messy race. What he needs is to come off a fast pace, which is what he got here, and he showed what he can do now we’ve helped him breathe.
“He’s always been very straightforward at home but hasn’t quite shown it on the racecourse and I hope he can build back on this. He was rated 100 when he was with Richard, and he’s down to 80-odd now.”
Mister Music had seven rivals in front of him with a furlong to run, but once he hit top gear his late surge was impressive. “He’s got a real good turn of foot,” said Atzeni, “and once he got going I was always going to get there.”
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