Goodwood bosses declared their May Festival a success despite poor weather – and said they were confident some of its winners would go on to make a name for themselves at Epsom, Royal Ascot or Glorious.
The three days of racing on the Downs included four listed races and a number of trainers who saw their runners prevail are talking of taking them to Epsom’s Oaks and Derby meeting, Royal Ascot or the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Racecourse manager Alex Eade said officials were delighted with the quality of the racing, but disappointed with indifferent weather – especially a very wet Saturday – which hit the crowd figures.
The festival still attracted more than 20,000 over the three days, roughly the same number as last year, but there was not the growth in crowd figures hoped for.
Eade said: “The racing was great but the weather was a disappointment. We assume that’s what kept some people away though we will need to make sure there’s not another reason.
“The big races over the three days were of high quality and it’s always nice to hear trainers talk about going on to top-class races after winning at Goodwood, and hopefully in some cases coming back here for the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July.”
Star turn of the whole festival came on day one when William Buick showed sensational form with four winners in the first five races - including the feature race for fillies, the Veolia Height of Fashion Stakes.
Buick left it late to guide Godolphin-owned Skiffle to a thrilling last-gasp win over Frankie Dettori on The Black Princess.
Skiffle beat eight rivals - including four who have entries in Epsom’s Oaks.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said Skiffle would now probably go to the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
The big races over the three days were of high quality and it’s always nice to hear trainers talk about going on to top-class races after winning at Goodwood, and hopefully in some cases coming back here for the Qatar Goodwood Festival in July.Alex Eade
Buick had started the day by leading the NJS Group EBF Novice Stakes all the way for a two-length win on 5/2 chance Yalta over Richard Hannon-trained Repton.
Johnston said a trip to Royal Ascot was a possibility for the two-year-old and Paddy Power immediately made Yalta 14/1 for the prestigious Coventry Stakes.
Buick made it a double in the Construction Day Stakes handicap on 16/1 contender Albahar, trained by Hampshire-based Chris Gordon.
And he was in the winner’s enclosure again after riding Bathos to victory in the Wright Joinery Company Stakes handicap at 17/2.
On Friday, Algometer laid down his claims for an attempt at a 2016 classic with an impressive victory in the EBF Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes.
Sussex jockey Jim Crowley did the business on the 13/8 shot to hold off the significant challenge of evens-favourite Prize Money.
See our video, above, of Algometer’s win
Algometer was cut to 33/1 for the Epsom Derby on June 4 but trainer David Simcock said the St Leger at Doncaster in September was a more likely target.
“Realistically the Leger is the right race for him later in the year. He’s a horse that gives everything, but today’s race was never going to be run to suit,” Simcock said
On Saturday, Richard Hannon – Goodwood’s top trainer in 2015 – secured his second winner of Goodwood’s May Festival when Oh This Is Us claimed the £100,000 Al Basti Equiworld Supporting Greatwood Stakes under racecourse ambassador Tom Marquand.
The son of Acclamation had already won this season at Chelmsford and Newmarket, and he made it three from three when going on to win by a comfortable half a length, picking up £64,690 in the process for delighted owners Team Wallop. The in-form Hannon/Marquand duo teamed up to good effect again when Out Of The Dark broke his maiden at the second time of asking in the Al Basti Equiworld EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies´ Stakes.
On his first appearance of the season, Mount Logan held off Sweeping Up in determined fashion to win the Listed Intrinsic New for 2016 at Hedgeholme Stud Tapster Stakes for Roger Varian, who nominated the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot as his next target.
The other listed contest on Saturday saw Decorated Knight take the Listed Al Basti Equiworld Festival Stakes on only his second start for new trainer Roger Charlton.
He was trimmed to 25/1 for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and remains a 50/1 shot for the Queen Anne Stakes, both at Royal Ascot.
Across the festival there were four winners and several places for horses tipped on the Observer website.
Next at Goodwood, it’s the Three Friday Nights racing-and-DJ nights, the first of which is a week tomorrow starring Faithless.
The third in the series, featuring Basement Jaxx on June 17, is sold out but tickets remain for the other two. See www.goodwood.com to book.
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