Glorious Goodwood ready to take centre stage

by CELIA ROCHE AS July turns to August there is only one place to look as Glorious Goodwood stages one of British racing’s most iconic summer meetings. With five days of thrilling action on the turf at Goodwood just around the corner, we look back at some recent memories from the meeting and highlight the horses likely to have a big say this time around.

The Sussex Stakes

This race has been won by some iconic horses in recent years including Canford Cliffs, Frankel, Toronado and Kingman. It is a high class mile contest where only the strongest need apply and in recent times it has come to represent “The Duel on the Downs” with a regular sparring match between the top two in the market.

That moniker was born when reigning champ Canford Cliffs locked horns with Frankel in 2011 – before anyone was aware just how talented Sir Henry Cecil’s runner would prove to be.

Toronado eclipsed old rival Dawn Approach in 2013 while last year Kingman scored a third Group One of the summer after winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas at The Curragh and Royal Ascot’s St James’s Palace Stakes.

2015 Outlook

Another duel is in prospect this year. Aidan O’Brien’s Gleneagles won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and followed up by taking the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes. The Irish colt is well fancied with Betfair among other bookmakers, but will have to go some to lower the colours of the brilliant French raider Solow – three times a Group One winner this season already.

The Nassau Stakes

Getting in on the act in the one-mile contest for the fairer sex has proved exceedingly difficult in recent times.

This contest has been owned by three trainers since 2007 – Aidan O’Brien, the late Sir Henry Cecil and John Gosden maintaining a stranglehold for eight years. The Master of Ballydoyle trails with a mere two wins while Gosden has won the previous three renewals with The Fugue, Winsili and Sultanina.

Can anyone arrest the dominant forces this time around?

2015 Outlook

Legatissimo has been thoroughly consistent this season since winning the 1,000 Guineas in May. David Wachman’s filly has been narrowly denied in both subsequent runs. She would be a rock solid contender if lining up.

At a likely bigger price, the same could be said of Dermot Weld’s filly Carla Bianca. Eye-catching when taking a Group Three at Leopardstown recently, Weld has hinted Pat Smullen could be diverted to Goodwood from Galway to partner her in the Nassau.



Lennox Stakes

Es Que Love won this in record time 12 months ago for trainer Clive Cox and Adam Kirby when bravely holding off the late challenge of Richard Hannon’s odd-on favourite Toormore.

Garswood, Paco Boy and dual winner Nayyir are some of the names to have graced the winner’s enclosure in this 7f Group Two for three-year-olds and up since its inception in 2000.

2015 Outlook

Trainer Sabrina Harty has committed Ansgar to a return to Goodwood hoping to build on last year’s win in the Group Three Doom Bar Supreme Stakes over the same distance of seven furlongs.

Ansgar is proven at Group Two level having followed up last September at Doncaster over 7f. He has been highly tried over 6f in Group One company this term and could be a lively contender now stepped back up in trip.

Henry Candy’s Limato has been runner-up on his two most recent outings including when chasing home Muhaarar in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

With Charlie Hills’ runner since following up in the July Cup at Newmarket, Limato could be a big player at Goodwood.


One thought on “Glorious Goodwood ready to take centre stage”

  1. Graham Oliver says:

    Hi Celia,

    An interesting preview of next week’s fare at Goodwood.

    With a few exceptions I haven’t a clue about next week’s runners. (Jason would probably tell you that I haven’t a clue about anything to do with racing!)

    At the moment I like Gleneagles – a really brave choice, you will agree – to beat Solow in the Sussex Stakes. Of the other O’Brien runners, I think Painted Cliffs will win the Vintage. He may be the best two year old that we have seen so far.

    I am still keeping faith with Highland Reel if he turns up for the Gordon Stakes. Although he was “out with the washing” in the Irish Derby last time out, he had previously been a good second in the French version behind New Bay. Perhaps he can “reel” them in next week!

    Legatissimo may win the Nassau if she has retained her form,after some hard races, although I must confess that I haven’t seen what else is going to run. I am also very much looking forward to seeing the next appearance of Salvo. She looked a great classic prospect on her debut run.

    I shall prepare my list of losers (?) during the course of next week!!

    On other Goodwood matters, I see that the executive hope to turn at least one of their Group 2’s into a Group 1 (as do York). The question is, why? Certainly not the Lennox Stakes. I agree that there should be a Group 1 seven furlong race in the Calender, but not this one. It would attract some of the lesser lights away from the Sussex, and breeders would be claiming the same kudos for Lennox winners as they do, quite rightly, for Sussex winners. It’s just not on!

    If the powers that be want a Group 1 seven furlong race, it either has to be the Hungerford at Newbury, or the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket in October, with the Dewhurst, Cesarewitch, and of course, the Champion Stakes. A three furlong difference between the Challenge and the Champion would be better than the present idiotic idea of the QE2 and Champion being run in the Ascot bog in October.

    If there is to be one race upgraded it has to be the Goodwood Cup. I think this may be a good idea, and would help attract a better class of animal to the staying division. I am probably on my own here (this is normal) but I would love to see this race returned back to it’s old distance of two miles and six furlongs. It was reduced to it’s present distance in 1990, and, if I remember corrctly, mainly on the advice of John Dunlop. He thought that the shorter distance would attract the three year olds. He actually won the race twice with three year olds, Sergeyevich, and Lucky Moon in 1990. Since then however, not one three year old has triumphed, although I seem to remember New Jerusalem being placed behind the great Ardross. I have no idea how many have competed, but I do remember three year old Wrekin Rambler winning in the sixties over the old trip.

    In the distant past Derby winners Blue Gown, Gay Crusader, and Gainsborough all won the two and a half mile Gold Cup at Ascot during their second season.

    The excuse always trotted out now is that the breed is a lot softer now. Perhaps it needs toughening up.

    Do you have any thoughts on this?

    I hope you will be writing more next week, cheers.

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