Goodwood bosses delighted by big-race entries
Entries are being revealed for many of the big races at this year's Glorious Goodwood - and racecourse bosses are delighted with their quality and quantity.
Here is a full race-by-race rundown of entries so far:
Qatar Nassau Stakes
The £600,000 Qatar Nassau Stakes, the Group One highlight on the final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, Saturday, July 30, has attracted a high-class entry of 37 (up from 34 in 2015), details of which are revealed today.
Staged over just short of 10 furlongs, the Qatar Nassau Stakes is Europe’s richest race for fillies and mares, thanks to the 10-year Qatar sponsorship agreement which commenced last year.
A plethora of Group One winners feature among the 2016 entries, headed by Minding (Aidan O’Brien), who is already a dual top-level achiever this year after winning the mile British Classic, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, and scoring over half a mile further in the other British fillies’ Classic, the Investec Oaks, at Epsom Downs where she saw off the challenge of Architecture (Hugo Palmer).
Minding is one of 12 entries for Ireland’s champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien, with Breeders’ Cup Turf heroine Found, recent Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes scorer Even Song and Group One Prix Marcel Boussac scorer Ballydoyle also featuring prominently. O’Brien is chasing a third Qatar Nassau Stakes success following on from Peeping Fawn (2007) and Halfway To Heaven (2008).
Two entries hail from France, both owned by Al Shaqab Racing and trained by the in-form Jean Claude Rouget. They are Qemah, successful in the mile Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17, and Jemayel, who took the 10-furlong Group One Prix Saint-Alary at Deauville in May before suffering trouble in running when ninth in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) at Chantilly on June 19.
Newmarket-based John Gosden has made the Qatar Nassau Stakes his own in recent seasons, landing the valuable prize in three of the past four years with The Fugue (2012), Winsili (2013) and Sultanina (2014).
His eight entries this year include Furia Cruzada, a multiple Grade One winner in South America who was runner-up to Usherette in the Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, plus Journey, Jazzi Top and Nathra who have been placed at Group One level. Another possible Gosden representative is Persuasive, victorious in the Listed Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot last week.
Other entries include Arabian Queen (David Elsworth), who became the first of only two horses to defeat the mighty Golden Horn when successful in the Juddmonte International at York last season, and Godolphin’s Very Special (Saeed bin Suroor), a dual Group Two winner in Dubai.
There are 13 Irish-trained entries in total. In addition to the dozen from Ballydoyle, Jim Bolger has entered the Godolphin-owned Lucida, runner-up in last season’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
The 2015 Qatar Nassau Stakes winner Legatissimo ended the year as the second-highest rated European-trained three-year-old filly behind Found.
There is a scratchings deadline for the Qatar Nassau Stakes on July 5, with the five-day confirmation and £40,000 supplementary entry stage following on Monday, July 25.
The Qatar Nassau Stakes is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Qatar Lennox Stakes
Group One winners Air Force Blue, Dick Whittington, Lumiere, Charming Thought and Toormore feature among 41 entries (up from 39 in 2015) for the £300,000 Group Two Qatar Lennox Stakes on day one of the festival, Tuesday, July 26.
Air Force Blue, one of six Aidan O’Brien-trained contenders for the seven-furlong contest, was crowned Europe’s champion two-year-old last season following a hat-trick of Group One wins, while Lumiere (Mark Johnston) was the game winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in October.
Charming Thought (Charlie Appleby) also boasts Group One-winning form at Newmarket as a juvenile, having captured the Middle Park Stakes in 2014, while Dick Whittington (Aidan O’Brien) took the Phoenix Stakes earlier the same year.
Toormore (Richard Hannon), who was Europe’s top juvenile in 2013 following success in the Group One National Stakes, made all to win last year’s Qatar Lennox Stakes. The Godolphin-owned five-year-old could bid to emulate the only previous dual winner of the race, Nayyir, who recorded back-to-back victories in 2002 and 2003.
Nine Godolphin entries also include last year’s runner-up Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills), recent Jersey Stakes scorer Ribchester (Richard Fahey) and last season’s Coventry Stakes victor Buratino (Mark Johnston).
Nemoralia (Jeremy Noseda) was runner-up in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, while Limato (Henry Candy), who has twice been second at Group One level, and the 2015 Group Two Celebration Mile winner Kodi Bear (Clive Cox) have also been entered.
So Beloved enjoyed a superb first season under the care of Yorkshire handler David O’Meara last year, including a head success over Here Comes When (Andrew Balding) in the Group Three Doom Bar Supreme Stakes, run over the same course and distance as the Qatar Lennox Stakes, in August.
The six-year-old stormed to a facile win in a seven-furlong Listed contest on his seasonal return at Haydock Park on May 7 and met trouble in running when coming home third behind Home Of The Brave (Hugo Palmer) and Convey (Sir Michael Stoute) in a Group Three race over the same course and distance on May 28.
Other Qatar Lennox Stakes entries include Arod (Peter Chapple-Hyam), who was runner-up to Solow in last season’s Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes, Jersey Stakes second Thikriyaat (Sir Michael Stoute) and prolific sprinter Don’t Touch (Richard Fahey), who has won seven of his eight starts.
Qatar Goodwood Cup
The £300,000 Group Two Qatar Goodwood Cup is the highlight of the third day of the festival, Ladies’ Day, Thursday, July 28. Staged over two miles, there are 32 entries in 2016.
The first six horses home from the 2015 renewal are all entered again this time around - Big Orange (Michael Bell), Quest For More (Roger Charlton), Trip To Paris (Ed Dunlop), Pallasator (Sir Mark Prescott), Vive Ma Fille (Mark Johnston) and Sheikhzayedroad (David Simcock).
Big Orange went on to enjoy an international campaign after his victory in 2015, running a fine race to finish fifth in Australia’s Melbourne Cup. He made a pleasing seasonal reappearance when third over a mile and a half in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on April 30.
The last horse to win back-to-back renewals of the Qatar Goodwood Cup was Double Trigger in 1997 and 1998.
Sheikhzayedroad most recently finished third in the Group One Gold Cup at Royal Ascot behind Order Of St George, while Trip To Paris enjoyed his finest hour when winning the Gold Cup in 2015 and, after his Qatar Goodwood Cup third, went on to finish second in the Group One Caulfield Cup and fourth in the Melbourne Cup.
John Gosden has a pair of entries, with Flying Officer, who won the Group Two QIPCO British Champions Long Distance in 20015 and Mr Singh, a lightly-raced four-year-old who was successful in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket last year.
Five entries are trained in Ireland. Aidan O’Brien has entered a trio of three-year-olds headed by Sword Fighter, winner of the Listed Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. Cole Porter and Housesofparliament are the others from Ireland’s champion Flat trainer.
The remaining Irish-trained contenders are recent Queen Alexandra Stakes victor Commissioned (Gordon Elliott) and Wicklow Brave (Willie Mullins), who has been placed in Group/Grade One company both on the Flat and over hurdles.
Other possible starters in the Qatar Goodwood Cup include this season’s Group Two Yorkshire Cup victor Clever Cookie (Peter Niven) and Kinema (Ralph Beckett), who could step up in trip having won the 12-furlong Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot last time out.
Qatar King George Stakes
Royal Ascot scorer Profitable headlines 39 (up from 36 in 2015) entries for the £300,000 Group Two Qatar King George Stakes over five furlongs on Thursday, July 29.
Trained by Clive Cox, the four-year-old extended this year’s unbeaten streak to three in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes last week. That victory came on the back of triumphs in the Group Three Palace House Stakes at Newmarket and the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock Park.
Easton Angel has looked a top-class sprinter in the making this season. The three-year-old daughter of Dark Angel captured a five-furlong Listed contest at York in May before an eye-catching success in the Listed Scurry Stakes over five furlongs at Sandown Park on June 11.
Robert Cowell lived up to his title as the sprint king by winning two races at Royal Ascot 2016, headed by Outback Traveller’s victory in the Wokingham Handicap. The Newmarket handler has seven entries in total, notably dual Group One winner Goldream and popular 11-year-old Kingsgate Native, who won this race in 2009.
Charlie Hills has a strong team of sprinters and has entered last year’s Qatar Stewards’ Cup victor Magical Memory and Group One King’s Stand Stakes runner-up Cotai Glory.
The very strong Qatar King George Stakes entries also feature Muthmir (William Haggas) and Take Cover (David Griffiths), who were first and second last year, plus Group One Commonwealth Cup runner-up Kachy (Tom Dascombe).
Qatar Stewards’ Cup
Outback Traveller and Brando headline 115 entries for the Qatar Stewards’ Cup on the fifth and final day of the festival, Saturday, July 30.
The historic six-furlong heritage handicap carries prize money of £250,000, making it one of the richest handicaps in Europe.
Outback Traveller (Robert Cowell) and Brando (Kevin Ryan) clashed in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot, with the former coming out on top by a head. The last horse to capture the Wokingham and Qatar Stewards’ Cup in the same season was Knight Of Mercy in 1990.
‘Sprint king’ Robert Cowell has five entries in total, including Group Two scorer Green Door, Toofi, who was runner-up last year when trained by Roger Varian, and lightly-raced French recruit Exceed The Limit.
Golden Steps (Marco Botti) narrowly missed the cut for last year’s race but made no mistake in the consolation race, the Qatar Stewards’ Sprint, when staying on strongly to win by a length and a half.
The five-year-old has had a light campaign so far this year and was last seen out finishing third in a handicap over an extended seven furlongs at Chester on May 28.
Other notable entries include Royal Ascot disappointment Log Out Island (Richard Hannon), progressive mare Ridge Ranger (Eric Alston), who annexed a Listed contest at Nottingham in May, and rejuvenated seven-year-old Duke Of Firenze (David Griffiths).
There are 89 entries for the Betfred Mile, up two on last year’s figure.
Belgian Bill (George Baker) and Basem (Saeed bin Suroor), who are both 16/1 with Betfred, finished first and third respectively in 2015 and are entered again, while another previous winner engaged is the 2014 scorer Red Avenger (66/1, Gary Moore).
Basem is owned by Godolphin, which has six entries in total. The Godolphin half-dozen also includes this season’s Lincoln Handicap winner Secret Brief (16/1, Charlie Appleby) and Best Of Times (14/1, Saeed bin Suroor), who was runner-up in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood last year.
One horse with the Betfred Mile firmly on his agenda is Ice Slice (James Eustace). The five-year-old, a 25/1 chance with the race sponsor, has been a revelation this season, rising 17lb in the ratings.
After finishing fourth on his seasonal debut, the Dark Angel gelding has rattled off a sequence of four victories, the first two at Brighton, followed by Nottingham and Haydock Park.
Sandown Park handicap scorer Mutamakkin (Sir Michael Stoute) heads Betfred’s market at 12/1, closely followed by 14/1 chances Best Of Times, Jailawi (Ismail Mohammed) and Haalick (Roger Varian).
Other entries include high-class Here Comes When (20/1, Andrew Balding), a dual Group Two scorer, and Bronze Angel (20/1, Marcus Tregoning), twice successful in the Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.
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