Qatar Goodwood Festival Update – FridayPosted : August 4th, 2017
Three exceptional performances from Here Comes When, Blond Me and Beat The Bank have seen us enjoy a hugely successful week at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Here Comes When’s success in the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes was a rich reward both for an outstanding seven year old whose enthusiasm and ability remains undiminished and for his owners Jim and Fitri Hay, who have been wonderful supporters of ours and of racing in general for many years.
The son of Danehill Dancer had run a cracking race to finish fourth in the 2015 renewal of the Sussex Stakes on faster ground than ideal, and with every drop of rain that fell our confidence in his chances increased, as he has always been a very high-class individual on his favoured soft ground.
Given a wonderful ride by Jim Crowley, he was settled in behind the leading pair from the off until coming through with his challenge two furlongs out. From there, he showed all his grit, determination and class to hold off first the challenge of Lightning Spear and then the renewed effort of the favourite, Ribchester.
The Sussex Stakes is a hugely prestigious race, steeped in history and with £1,000,000 in prize-money. It is one of the highlights of my career to have won it and to have done so with such a tremendous servant to the yard is very special. Plans for Here Comes When are undecided, but Champions Day at Ascot could well be the target.
Though she was unable to get the better of the outstanding, dual 1,000 Guineas winner Winter, we were absolutely delighted to see Barbara Keller’s Blond Me finish strongly to claim second in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes under Oisin Murphy. Held up towards the rear of the six-strong field, she showed her customary wonderful attitude to chase home the winner, getting up for second in the final strides and claiming £129,000 in prize-money in the process.
A dual Group 2 winner, I am delighted that she has now reached the frame at the top level and we will look to the Grade 1 E P Taylor in Canada in October, while the Breeders’ Cup and a trip to Hong Kong in December will also come into consideration.
Today Beat The Bank continued what has been a fantastic week with a very taking win in the Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes. Running on soft ground for the first time in his career and on his first assignment in Group company, the Paco Boy gelding was momentarily short of room two furlongs out but, under a typically cool ride from Ryan Moore, showed an impressive turn of foot to quicken clear of his rivals and win decisively. With only four starts to his name, Beat The Bank is clearly a highly progressive individual and a tremendously exciting prospect for the months ahead for the yard and his owners King Power Racing.