Dubawi Gold swept to success in the Betfair Celebration Mile at Goodwood for Richard Hannon’s first success in the showpiece race.
Hannon’s gang of milers is hardly threadbare with Strong Suit and Dick Turpin still on the scene, but the retirement through injury of Canford Cliffs is still keenly felt, so this was a timely boost for the yard.
It looked like there’d be a surprise winner in Set The Trend with a furlong remaining until Richard Hughes dealt another of his typical hold-up flourishes that Goodwood has seen so many of in recent seasons.
Like Canford Cliffs, Dubawi Gold (3-1) had also fallen victim to Frankel, when a distant second to the supreme colt in the 2000 Guineas, and Hannon felt Hughes’ exaggerated waiting tactics had cost him a compensatory Classic victory in the Irish version.
He was disappointing on his comeback in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, but there was no need for Hannon to worry this time as the pair scampered past nearly every rival in the final furlong, keeping half a length up their sleeves.
Dubawi Gold became the fourth three-year-old in a row to claim the honours, while last year’s winner and 15-8 favourite Poet’s Voice was last of the seven, disgracing himself further by attempting to bite Beacon Lodge in the final stages.
Hughes - for whom the Celebration Mile was one of two victories in the first part of Goodwood’s weekend double header - and Hannon have been racing clear since May in the battle to be the track’s leading jockey and trainer again this season.
“He ran too free at Newbury and didn’t settle,” said Hannon of Dubawi Gold.
“I enjoyed that - it’s what keeps you racing. He should really have won an Irish Guineas, and he ran a hell of a race in the English.
“I suppose we might look at the QEII (Ascot) but he’ll probably go for the Prix du Moulin for his next race.”
Regal Realm will follow another route to Group One company after her escapology act in the Whiteley Clinic Prestige Stakes.
The 2-1 favourite, second in the Princess Margaret last time, and jockey Jimmy Fortune were held up several times when attempting to weave through rivals, but grabbed their final opportunity and slipped past Rakasa and Questing almost on the line.
Motrice gained due reward for her diligent service to trainer Sir Mark Prescott and owner Kirsten Rausing by coming home nicely clear in the Listed Windflower March Stakes.
A winner of three handicaps in succession last year, the grey (85-40) had placed at Pattern level, but looked very much on top of her game as she passed Akmal at the top of the straight and never looked back.
One of banned trainers Howard Johnson’s former horses, Eton Rifles, scooped the Betfair Summer Double Second Leg Stakes.
Last seen running well in a Group race at Newcastle in June, the 5-1 favourite took off for Kieren Fallon once into the clear.
Hughie Morrison rates Chil The Kite who was spooked by a flag when going down to the start, bolted and knocked over stable lad Andy Dare when he attempted to catch him, but was still good enough to collect the Revival Maiden Auction Stakes.
Another of the big-race winner’s relatives, 3-1 favourite Blanche Dubawi, cruised home in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Stakes - giving top female jockey Hayley Turner her third Goodwood success inside a month.
They go again at Goodwood on Sunday for the track’s second family fun day of the season.