It’s been a memorable week on the Sussex Downs for this year’s Glorious Goodwood Festival. One of the most exciting weeks in the entire racing calendar, it certainly hasn’t disappointed. This past Saturday marked the last day of the festival, and the headline race of the day was the Qatar Lily Langtry Stakes. Here we recap the very best of the action as well as three Group races from Friday.
Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes
Grade 2, open to fillies and mares 3 and over. Total prize pool £300,000
Win – Sea La Rosa +225
Place – Urban Artist +1800
Show – Emily Dickinson +150
Heading into this year’s Lily Langtry Stakes it was suspected that the two favorites in the market, Sea La Rosa and Emily Dickinson would dominate this year’s race. However, there was one horse that had other ideas, and this was Urban Artist.
As soon as the starting stalls opened, the Hughie Morrison-trained horse bolted out of them and set off down the Goodwood track at breathtaking speed. Knowing that his mount didn’t have the class to fend off both Sea La Rosa and Emily Dickinson in a finish, Urban Artist’s jockey Jason Hart was determined to make this year’s renewal a proper stamina test.
With the gallop unrelenting, the field quickly began to string out and after just two furlongs, there must have been at least thirty lengths between the entire field.
Unsure of whether Urban Artist would last the pace, jockey Tom Marquand who was sitting upon Sea La Rosa decided to keep up with the speed alongside the Ralph Beckett-trained Yesyes. Ryan Moore, who rode the favorite Emily Dickinson had other ideas and was content to sit in the pack.
As the race unfolded it was still Urban Artist who held a comfortable 12-length lead, and it would be a lead she would maintain until she hit the two-marker pole.
With no signs of Urban Artist slowing, both Marquand and Moore had to make their moves and set off after the longtime leader.
With both getting more animated in the saddle, the gap slowly began to close and as the runners hit the furlong pole it looked like both would finally reel in the pacesetter.
Despite the pressure behind her, Urban Artist would not be for passing and made her rivals work for every inch. Eventually, the pressure told, and Sea La Rosa was able to sidle past.
Showing plenty of heart, Sea La Rosa powered towards the finishing line, ensuring that she couldn’t be caught. Her win capped off a great week for trainer William Haggas who had enjoyed success earlier in meeting with the brilliant Baaeed.
This race clearly wasn’t run to suit Emily Dickinson, and after having to expend so much energy to try and reel Urban Artist in, she didn’t have enough gas in the tank to challenge Sea La Rosa at the finish.
To Urban Artist’s credit, she battled all the way to the line to clinch a well-deserved second place. Connections of Emily Dickinson would have been disappointed that their charge would only finish third.
King George Qatar Stakes
Grade 2, five furlongs, open to horses aged three plus. Total prize pool £300,000
Win – Khaadem +800
Place – Raasel +300
Show – Caturra +2200
The highlight of Friday’s Goodwood card was the King George Qatar Stakes. In a five-furlong mad dash to the line, eleven horses took their chance in this year’s renewal.
Leading the betting was Raasel. A solid performer, Raasel was looking to win his fourth race of the season and his first at this level.
As we flagged in our preview, the danger to all was Khaadem. A classy horse, he could have been a sure-fire Group 1 competitor had it not been for several nagging injuries. Now six, Khaadem was the first to make his move a furlong and a half out.
Nudging clear of the rest of the field, it looked like Ryan Moore had got his fractions wrong as Raasel was closing fast. Instead, when asked for more, Khaadem found another gear and held on for another graded victory.
Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes
Grade 3, One mile, open to horses aged 3. Total prize pool £50,000
Win – Rocchigiani +550
Place – The Wizard of Eye +40000
Show – Sonny Liston +1200
Arguably the most competitive race of this year’s festival was the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes. A Group 3 contest raced over a mile, there was a mix of horses and abilities who cantered down to post.
Favorite for the race was the Andrew Balding-trained Berkshire Shadow, a winner of last year’s Coventry Stakes. Things have been tougher since then and back in calmer waters, the hope was that this race could revive him.
The tough spell for Berkshire Shadow will continue as it was German Raider Rocchigiani who took home the spoils. Under a canny ride from Tom Marquand, Rocchigiani made his move at the two-furlong pole and had just enough speed and stamina to last home. A runner-up in the German equivalent of the 2,000 Guineas this was the horses’ first win on foreign soil.
The Wizard of Eye ran a huge race at a big price and was only just denied after a gutsy run up the rail. He could be one to keep an eye on.
L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes
Grade 3, One mile and four furlongs, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool £50,000
Win – Rebel’s Romance -180
Place – Kemari +1200
Show – Fancy Man +750
Eight horses headed to post for this year’s Queen’s Plate. In a race where favorites usually struggle – this year the script was rewritten after Rebel’s Romance comfortable win.
A winner of four of his last six starts, he was always traveling strongly throughout the race. At the final furlong, Regal Reality who had dictated the early speed ran out of gas and it was Rebel’s Romance that swept past.
For a moment it looked like fellow Godolphin stablemate Kemari might burst out of the pack to challenge him but with just one hundred yards to go, Rebel’s Romance stretched clear to win going away.
Kemari finished a clear second, marking the second time in a week that Godolphin horses filled the top two spots in a feature race.
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