Celebration Mile winner is one for Goodwood race-goers to follow

Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon after Dubawi Gold's win in the Celebration Mile
Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon after Dubawi Gold's win in the Celebration Mile

Adam Waterworth watched a thrilling Celebration Mile – then said the race lived up to its billing as the course’s post-Glorious highlight of the season.

Despite Strong Suit pulling out of a bid to follow up his Lennox Stakes win at Glorious in last Saturday’s Betfair-sponsored race, a fantastic race ensued, won by Richard Hughes on 3/1 shot Dubawi Gold.

Racecourse MD Adam Waterworth enjoyed the spectacle, watched by another good crowd of around 10,000, and said: “It’s probably our biggest race of the season outside Glorious Goodwood and we were delighted with the way it went this year.

“When Strong Suit came out of the running I was a little worried and a bit disappointed but in Dubawi Gold, I think we had the right winner – a three-year-old who can improve and can probably be a Group 1 winner.

“Our crowd love to see a winner here that they can then follow as they go on to bigger races, and I certainly think that’s the case with Dubawi Gold.”

It was yet another victory for Hughes and Richard Hannon in a Goodwood season when they have again hammered their rivals. Strangely, though, this was the Hannon stable’s first win in the Celebration Mile.

It looked like there’d be a surprise winner in Set The Trend with a furlong remaining until Hughes produced another of his typical hold-up flourishes that Goodwood has seen so many of in recent seasons.

Hannon, on the brink of landing the Dick Hern Trophy for a fourth successive year for being Goodwood’s top trainer, said: “I enjoyed that – it’s what keeps you racing.”

One of banned trainer Howard Johnson’s former horses, Eton Rifles, scooped the Betfair Summer Double Second Leg Stakes. And 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 - days before she suffered a broken ankle in a fall.

Sunday’s family fun day drew an encouraging 8,000 crowd, who saw Hannon and Hughes triumph yet again with Libranno in the Supreme Stakes.

And there was a shock in store for race-goers at Tuesday’s lower-key card ... Hughes didn’t win a single race. But Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally’s excellent Goodwood season continued when they took the Buy A £10,000 Racing Post Bonus Yearling Maiden Stakes with 6/1 contender Late Telegraph.

Don’t miss Adam Waterworth’s final Diary From The Downs of 2011 – in the Observer next week (Sep 8).

There’s more racing at Goodwood next weekend, September 10 and 11.