Goodwood: Premio Loco’s surprise Mile win is cause for celebration

Experience counted over youth in Goodwood’s Betfair Celebration Mile as Premio Loco added the eighth Group race of his invaluable contribution to trainer Chris Wall and owner Bernard Westley.

But the Group 2 feature of the day proved one of the few contests that didn’t bring success for Goodwood’s favourite son, Richard Hughes.

In the Celebration Mile, outranking each of his rivals by more than three years and soundly beaten on his two most recent starts, admittedly once by Frankel at Royal Ascot, the chestnut was disregarded in the betting at 20-1.

But looking further back in his form, Premio Loco had already snagged a pair of Group Threes earlier in the season and had been smart enough to finish third behind Canford Cliffs in the 2010 Sussex Stakes.

That was not taking into account his tenacity, as after losing his lead to Thistle Bird and 7-4 favourite Aljamaaheer at the furlong marker, he was galvanised along the far rail by George Baker to cross the line a neck and a head in front of the other two.

Wall said: “I was worried about the ground, but I thought the best of it was against the far rail, so George was under strict instructions to stick to the rail like a limpet.

“We don’t normally make the running with him, but I thought it might suit him in a race like this and we could let him pick up in his own time.

“I suppose the Joel Stakes at Newmarket would be the next possible race, but he’s had a long season and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if this was his last run of the year. He’s a wonderful old boy.”

Elsewhere it was another memorable day on the Downs for Hughes as he rode a treble.

His first success was on 2/1 favourite Botanica in the Bonhams Maiden Auction Stakes, a two-length win over Jontleman. Next Hughes guided another 2/1 shot, Quest for Peace, to the win in the Windflower March Stakes (Listed Race).

Then he made it three in a row with 6/4 favourite My Sharona in the Bonhams EBF Fillies’ Stakes (Handicap).

Hughes didn’t have it all his own way, though. He was on the 10/11 favourite Sky Lantern in the opener, the Group 3 Whiteley Clinic Prestige Stakes, but was beaten by Martin Harley on Mick Channon’s Ollie Olga.

Tom Queally is having a great season in the saddle - whether or not you count Frankel in that assessment - and he enjoyed another victory in the Betfair Summer Double Second Leg Heritage Handicap on 12/1 chance Imperial Guest.

The last, the Greene King Maiden Stakes, went to Silver Samba and Liam Keniry.

Goodwood’s August Festival concludes on Sunday with a family fun day. The highlight on the track is the Group 3 Supreme Stakes.

We’ll have tips here on Sunday morning and a report Sunday evening.