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Victory Chimes is music to Beckett’s ears at Goodwood

Victory Chime charged home to notch his second victory at Goodwood in the Best Of British Events Foundation Stakes.

Three and a half years on from breaking his duck on the Sussex Downs, Ralph Beckett much-improved gelding returned to bid for Listed honours and his 11th career success overall under Hector Crouch.

With King Vega ensuring the gallop was strong, 12-1 chance victory Chime came under pressure from an early stage, but the picture changed quickly inside the final two furlongs.

As the pacesetters began to falter, Beckett’s charge finished with a flourish and passed the post with three-quarters of a length in hand over 33-1 shot and fellow closer Tyson Fury.

West End Charmer and Perotto were not far behind in third and fourth respectively.

Beckett said: “Turning tracks suit him really well, we’ve largely stuck to that and it’s a policy that’s served him well.

“He’s a great character who has been a terrific servant to his owner. He’s been a joy to train and I think he gives his owner a huge amount of pleasure.

“I’m almost astonished at what he’s achieved. He’s a real blue collar horse.”

Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the victory of Victory Chime
Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the victory of Victory Chime (John Walton/PA)

On future plans, the trainer added: “I’m kind of running out of options as I’m not sure Newmarket is his track, which doesn’t really help.

“He has only run at Newmarket the once, so I shouldn’t put a line through it, but the form book says he’s better on turning tracks.

“He might go travelling. There’s a few options abroad on the run up to Christmas, so we’ll find something.”

Migration hunting hat-trick in Foundation contest

Migration bids to continue his upward curve by completing a hat-trick in the Best Of British Race Day Foundation Stakes at Goodwood.

A close-up fourth on his seasonal reappearance at Salisbury in June, David Menuisier’s charge has since impressed over this course and distance and in a valuable handicap at York’s Ebor Festival last month.

The five-year-old tests the water in Listed company for the first time on his return to the Sussex Downs under William Buick.

Menuisier said: “He’s a course and distance winner and has been in good form, so hopefully he’ll run well.

“The way he’s won his races this year, it gives you the feeling that he can perform at this level.”

The highest-rated horse in the field is the Marcus Tregoning-trained Perotto, who has won twice in five visits to Goodwood.

The gelded son of New Bay was last seen finishing fifth in the Celebration Mile three and a half weeks ago and Tregoning is looking forward to seeing how he fares over a mile and a quarter on Wednesday.

“He’s stepping up in trip a bit, but he looks like he might get it all right,” said the Whitsbury handler.

“We like him, obviously – he’s been really good for us.

“We hope he’ll run a big race again, if not win.”

Recent Doncaster scorer Harrovian represents the formidable combination of John and Thady Gosden and Frankie Dettori, while Andrew Balding saddles the consistent Fox Tal and course and distance winner King Vega.

Victory Chime, trained by Ralph Beckett, also brings winning Goodwood form to the table in a competitive affair.

Four-star Murphy extends championship lead

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy was the toast of Goodwood with a near 105-1 four-timer on Tuesday.

Murphy is closing in on a third successive title after pulling further clear of his closest pursuer, William Buick – 126 winners to 109.

Piffle (13-2) opened Murphy’s account when following up her Windsor success with a neck verdict over Breezy Storm in the South Downs Water EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

Outside World (100-30), trained by Mark Johnston, gave Murphy a double when making all the running in the Farmer Butcher Chef Fillies’ Nursery Handicap.

Johnston provided Murphy with his treble on Themaxwecan (7-4 favourite) in the Royal Sussex Regiment Handicap.

Murphy brought up his four-timer with a facile triumph, by seven and a half lengths, on 2-11 favourite King Vega in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Novice Stakes.

It was a red-letter day for Johnston as well, with Toussarok (9-2), ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, giving the Middleham handler a third winner at Goodwood and Bowman (11-4) scoring at Leicester in the hands of Ben Curtis for an across-the-card four-timer.

Monday Musings: A True Goodwood Celebration

There was a lovely moment at Goodwood racecourse on Saturday afternoon, writes Tony Stafford. The Celebration Mile, initially the Wills Mile and a feature of the late summer fixture since 1967, was always a post-York and pre-St Leger highlight.

In the early 1980’s no trainer did better than Guy Harwood with three wins in four years, via smart trio To-Agori-Mou (1981), Sandhurst Prince the following year and Rousillon in 1984.
At around that time, his Pulborough, West Sussex, stables, financed by the family motor sales business, was one of the top yards for big race wins in the UK. Stable jockey Greville Starkey, yet to be compromised by his poor ride on Dancing Brave in the 1986 Derby and then an overly extravagant celebration after the horse won his next race in the Eclipse, rode all three.

Owner Khalid Abdullah was never a man for extravagance of any kind – save in terms of having legions of high-class racehorses – and Pat Eddery took over from that point. Dancing Brave proved one of the greats and Eddery had a long time as the Saudi Prince’s principal jockey.

In the early 1980’s the race had a lot of prestige, not quite of the level from the earliest days when such as Habitat, the peerless Brigadier Gerard and Kris adorned the race’s Roll of Honour; but it was still a major event very much to win. It fell in 1999 to Cape Cross, later sire of Sea The Stars and Golden Horn, having been disqualified as a three-year-old two years earlier.

Anyway, I mentioned a lovely moment and that came with the strong finish and narrow victory of Lavender’s Blue, trained by Amanda Perrett, daughter of Guy Harwood. It is almost impossible to believe that Amanda, with the considerable help of husband Mark, previously a top-class jumps rider, has been holding the licence for a quarter of a century since her father’s retirement.
In that period she has initially “waxed” to a best score of 60 a decade or so ago to if not quite “waning”, she certainly has had to accept much smaller figures. In the regard that she is suffering from the familiar story of established trainers struggling to attract new owners.

The 2021 version of Horses in Training listed 24 horses in her care. The fact that she has won 19 races from the 23 that have run – two juveniles of her original trio are yet to appear – speaks volumes of the efficiency of her operation.

One owner who has stayed loyal over the years, especially since the retirement of the late John Dunlop, has been Benny Andersson, 25% of storied Swedish pop group Abba in terms of personnel and 50% of the writing team.

In the persona of Chess Racing - celebrating the musical he and Bjorn Ulveaus wrote with Tim Rice – he bred Lavender’s Blue, a daughter of Sea The Stars from a Danehill mare. The decision to keep her in training as a five-year-old, apart from getting her trainer back in the big time where she belongs, has brought handsome dividends with her future stud career in mind. One day at Newmarket two years ago in the owners’ room he sat quietly with the Perrett’s at the next table to me and Peter Ashmore, a pleasant, quiet and very humble man. The memory of that day alone makes me enjoy the mare’s success.

On Saturday she needed to peg back the multiple Group 1 world traveller Benbatl as Godolphin’s seven-year-old initiated another return after injury, and also overcome a previous winner of the Group 2 race in Duke Of Hazzard.

The Celebration success added to a Listed win at the start of her season and then she was a close third in the Dahlia Stakes, a nine-furlong Group 2 on 1,000 Guineas Day, behind top-class Lady Bowthorpe, whose subsequent heroics could have prepared us rather more than the 20-1 SP on Saturday suggested.

As the Amanda Perrett stable has rationalised itself, the famed Pulborough gallops do have another occupant and one who this year has had a much higher profile. French-born David Menuisier has always been regarded as a man who takes time with his horses and he too has a smart filly in his care.

Menuisier had worked initially in the UK with John Dunlop and, while he was there, he came under the scrutiny of Marcus Hosgood, the long-time right-hand man to Dunlop whose influence in finding suitable races for the Arundel inmates should not be under-estimated. I met Hosgood at Arundel when there just the once with Prince Ahmed Bin Salman to watch a few Thoroughbred Corporation-owned horses go through their paces.

Reputedly that was a luxury even the stable jockeys for Dunlop never experienced, that singular gentleman preferring to restrict galloping duties to the trusted home-based work riders. Since taking out a licence himself, horses like Thundering Blue have advertised Menuisier’s talent and this year Wonderful Tonight is only a 10-1 chance in betting on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe despite her disappointing run behind Snowfall in the Yorkshire Oaks when the fast ground was not in her favour.

A few years ago I bumped into Marcus Hosgood at a gathering of former Raceform employees – many of whom have gone on to bigger and better things - myself qualifying as the one-time part-time Editor of the late, much-lamented Racehorse weekly publication. The event was organised by my almost exact contemporary Will Lefebve and we met in a pub close to the former Raceform base in Battersea, South-West London. Chatting about Menuisier, the shrewd Hosgood declared him the most talented horseman he had ever met. Praise indeed!

Amanda Perrett is no mean horsewoman either and where her yard contains, give or take a few mid-season arrivals, two dozen animals, Menuisier has three times as many in his care and stands on 31 wins, so the family firm is more than holding its own. I’m pleased to see that my friend Alan Spence maintains an interest with Amanda in a half-share with stable stalwart John Connolly in a progressive staying Gleneagles three-year-old called Eagle One, a winner and close second in his last two starts.

Jockeys have been restricted to riding at a single meeting from the resumption of racing after the Covid19 break last year and will again have to live with that rule for the whole of 2022, something I agree with. I see Jim Crowley has come out in favour of a continuing bar on racecourse saunas, which has been in place for the same period.

In the days of Guy Harwood’s pomp, most of the top jockeys would ride in the early races at Goodwood then after the Celebration Mile hightail it for the major races on the Windsor tea-time fixture which ended the year’s evening racing in those days.

Apart from the Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes, which is still going after around 40 years’ existence, there was and still is a Listed race and a valuable sprint handicap. I used to follow the jockeys’ route for what I now see is the 60-mile trip, largely because it was on my way home – sort of – and in those days I could never resist an opportunity to see top-class racing.

Twenty-one years ago, having seen Sir Michael Stoute win the Celebration Mile with Medicean, later sire of Dutch Art, I followed on to Windsor and Stoute again had the answer with the three-year-old Adilabad. Stoute may not have quite the firepower of old against the 200-plus teams that lead the sport these days, but the talent is clearly intact as he showed as his five-year-old Solid Stone picked up the 34k first prize of the Winter Hill Stakes on Saturday.

xxx

Last week I was getting rather hot under the collar when pointing out the apparent favourable treatment accorded to Irish stables in handicaps on the Flat and especially in the big UK races over jumps. I added for good measure that the French are not immune to allowing Irish horses into races with obvious chances and gave the illustration of a race due to be run at Deauville last Thursday.

Willie Mullins had orchestrated a very clever plan with his 2020 Triumph Hurdle winner Burning Victory who joined his stable after earning a 40-kilo rating (UK/Ire 88) following her three-year-old season in France.

Sparsely campaigned apart from over jumps, she had been sent for only one Flat run since her exportation to Ireland, and that two months ago when Mullins sent her across to Lyon Parilly for a minor conditions race and she had no trouble in winning it by five and a half lengths. To say I was surprised – I did have an interest in the race – that her rating remained firmly on 40 for a race with a €27,500 first prize plus 45% owner’s premium thus just about €40k to the winner is an understatement.

It was worth going for – indeed impossible to ignore - and Burning Victory duly won the race by almost two lengths. Too late for Thursday’s home opposition the handicapper closed the stable door after Mullins’ mare had bolted, giving her 5kg more (11lb). He should have done that before the race.

I was mentioning this situation three days before the race talking at Brighton to Owen Burrows, one of the trainers likely to be most affected by what could be a significant reduction in the Shadwell operation after the death of Sheikh Hamdan earlier in the year.

The twin subjects of our talk were handicappers – and, as he says, how long it takes (and costs) for a horse to come down the handicap in the UK before it is well enough treated to win a race – and the always testy subject of moderate prize money about which he feels people in racing do not complain enough.

Burrows reckons our system with the high administrative and ever-increasing feed costs encourages (or compels) smaller trainers especially to run horses deliberately below their true form to get one big chance to retrieve the high costs with a major bet.

As to prize money, reacting to my tale of the €40k for the equivalent of a 0-88 handicap he surprised me with the case of the Cambridgeshire, run next month and traditionally one of the prime handicaps of the season. This year it carries what I believe given its prestige is a derisory £61k first prize: in 2020 the understandable excuse for lower prizes was Covid and at just shy of £75,000 might have been acceptable in the circumstances.

In 2019 John Gosden’s Lord North, a Group 1 horse masquerading as a handicapper, romped home and collected to all intents and purposes £100,000. Owen wanted to know, where did the missing £40k go? I’d like to ask Jockey Club Racecourses the same thing. The prize is just about 50% more than Burning Victory won for an open goal in Deauville. Something is very wrong somewhere.

Dancing King clings on for March glory

Dancing King made every yard of the running to provide Mark Johnston with a third successive win in the tote March Stakes at Goodwood.

Following on from the half-brothers of Sir Ron Priestley and Subjectivist winning the Group Three, Dancing King added his name to the race run in memory of John Dunlop.

Despite Joe Fanning dropping his reins close home and the fact the odds-on favourite Nagano loomed up looking sure to go by, Dancing King (100-30) just kept on pulling out more and won by a head.

Johnston told ITV Racing: “It’s our style of running to allow them to roll along so we don’t complicate things.

“This lad is in the Cesarewitch but it’s a condition of all the Kingsley House partnerships (syndicate who own Dancing King) that the horses go to the October Sales.

“It’s a shame, but they have hit the jackpot with a few cheap purchases and this looks like being another.”

Fanning said: “I actually haven’t ridden this lad for a while but he’s very straightforward and was always doing enough.

“I was going well all the way, he was running around a bit so I knew I had plenty left and when the other one came to me, he kept galloping.”

David Egan had to settle for second on Nagano but had already won on the Clive Cox-trained Aratus, who continued his rapid progression when clinging on in the tote Quadpot Starts Here Handicap.

The three-year-old finished second on his debut last September but is now unbeaten in four races since.

He broke his maiden in good style at Kempton in November and returned with a victory at Doncaster in July. A winner off a mark of 94 at Newbury, he defied a 4lb rise on this occasion.

Having gone clear inside the final furlong the veteran Escobar did close to within a neck of the 2-1 favourite but the line came too soon.

The Charlie Hills-trained Willoughby Bay (100-30) was a clear-cut winner of the tote Placepot First Bet Of The Day EBF Fillies’ Restricted Novice Stakes while General Lee (9-4) claimed the tote.co.uk Handicap for Paul and Oliver Cole.

To top a great day for James Ferguson, who won his first Group race when Mise En Scene took the Prestige Stakes earlier, he also landed the closing Access Tomorrows Placepots Early At tote.co.uk Handicap with Snowalot (11-8 favourite) ridden by Daniel Muscutt.

Double Or Bubble up for Goodwood challenge

Chris Wall felt he had to “roll the dice” with Double Or Bubble while conditions still suit in the Weatherbys Hamilton Supreme Stakes at Goodwood on Sunday.

A Listed winner last time out at Pontefract over six furlongs, she steps up in distance this time and is taking on the boys, but Wall decided she would be better off running this weekend with the ground on the fast side.

“The small field certainly won’t be a hindrance. It just didn’t look the strongest Group Three ever run and while we could have waited for the Sceptre Stakes against the fillies at Doncaster, there’s a chance the ground will have gone by then,” said Wall.

“I wouldn’t have thought that would be any easier than this and while we have to improve a bit, on the best of her form she should be competitive, so we thought we’d roll the dice and give it a go.

“She won over six last time, but she has won over seven so the distance isn’t a problem and while we know she has to improve a bit, we’ll see if we can find her level. Hopefully she’s still improving.”

Three three-year-olds line up in Mehmento, Rhoscolyn and Tactical, with Richard Fahey’s Toro Strike also running, along with Onassis, who finished to good effect in second in the Oak Tree Stakes over course and distance last time out.

Onassis was a Royal Ascot winner last year
Onassis was a Royal Ascot winner last year (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

“She loves Goodwood,” said her trainer Charlie Fellowes. “She is very well balanced and she has a very good record at Goodwood where seven furlongs is perfect.

“She has been knocking on the door at winning a Group race and if things fall right and they go a good gallop, then she will go with a massive chance on Sunday.

“She is a very good filly with the kind of pedigree that I don’t often get a chance to train. She is as tough as anything. She is a pleasure to train with a wonderful attitude.

“She is a Royal Ascot and dual Listed winner and I am absolutely certain she can win a Group race.

“She will definitely be retired at the end of the year. She is worth a lot of money as a broodmare but we would love to win a Group race before then and we have our eyes on hopefully going out with a bang in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp.”

Lavender’s Blue pips Benbatl to spark Goodwood Celebration

Lavender’s Blue got up in the final strides to deny Benbatl in the tote Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

Trained locally by Amanda Perrett and ridden by Rob Hornby, the 20-1 chance was the lowest-rated of the nine runners.

Settled in the rear by Rob Hornby, she looked to have plenty to do as Benbatl hit the front with over a furlong to run.

The multiple Group One winner took a couple of lengths out of the field and looked sure to collect on his first run for almost a year, but the only mare in the field began to reel him in.

Lavender’s Blue was closing with every stride and in the shadow of the post she hit the front, prevailing by a short head from Benbatl.

Perrett last won the race 19 years ago with Tillerman in 2002.

“She’s really deserved that as we’ve set her some stiff tasks the last few times,” said Perrett.

“The fillies’ division is really strong this year and that is why we weren’t too worried about taking on the opposite sex today.”

She went on: “Her Group Two win has been long overdue, so I’m just really glad to get it done today.

“Her form is very strong. She’s very consistent, she loves top of the ground and if you look at her three-year-old form, she was mixing it with Oaks fillies, so she deserved a big one.

“We just need to finish it off now by winning the Sun Chariot, which is where she’ll go next at Newmarket and we’ll hope for fast ground.”

Lavender’s Blue was bred by her owner Benny Andersson of ABBA fame.

Perrett added: “I’m delighted for Mr Andersson, her owner/breeder. You couldn’t wish to train for a better man and it’s great for him, especially as he loves Goodwood.

“With ABBA releasing more music, it’s all happening for him.”

Mise En Scene edges Prestige prize

Mise En Scene maintained her unbeaten record and provided trainer James Ferguson with the first Group-race success of his career in the tote Prestige Stakes at Goodwood.

Impressive when winning by four lengths on her debut at Haydock, she was sent off a 7-1 chance in a strong-looking Group Three.

When the favourite Daneh took two lengths out of the field at the furlong marker, it appeared James Doyle had made a race-winning move as all her rivals looked in trouble.

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy had not quite asked his mount for everything, however, and Mise En Scene began to reel in the leader.

The Siyouni filly was gaining with every stride and she eventually got there by a neck, with Prosperous Voyage a length and a half away in third.

Coral were suitably impressed and introduced the winner into next year’s 1000 Guineas betting at 16-1, while Betfair make her an 8-1 chance (from 33s) for the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October.

“It feels brilliant. We’ve always really liked her at home and to get her from Sheikh Fahad (al Thani) was a real honour given her pedigree,” said Ferguson.

“She looks like she’ll make a really nice three/four-year-old but just came to hand ready for Haydock – and she was impressive there. ”

He went on: “That kept the dream alive for everyone at home and black type was then the route.

“I knew at home she’d taken a step forward for her first run and it was great to see her finish out.

“I’ll have to talk to the team – Sheikh Fahad, Oisin and David Redvers (racing manager) – before making a plan but the Fillies’ Mile looks an option.

“She’s obviously the best I’ve had.”

Benbatl will improve for Celebration reappearance – Bin Suroor

Saeed bin Suroor expects Benbatl to improve for his first run of the season in the tote Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

A Group One winner in Germany, Australia and Dubai, the seven-year-old has not been seen since being beaten into third by last year’s 2000 Guineas winner Kameko in the Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September.

That was also his first run for over 200 days, after he had finished a creditable third in the Saudi Cup on dirt behind the American specialists.

“Benbatl had a nice break earlier in the season and we decided not to take him out to Dubai because he had a hard season last year,” Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.

“This looks a good race for him over a trip that suits.

“He has been going well at home and is ready to get his campaign started, although we expect him to come on for his first run in almost a year.”

Benbatl will be reunited with Oisin Murphy who rode him to Royal Ascot success back in 2017.

“I love the horse and he seems in really good shape. He’s very healthy and very generous in his gallops,” said the champion jockey.

“I know he’s been off for a while and you’d expect him to improve for the run, but he’s a superstar and at his best he’ll take a lot of beating.

“I hope the weather is kind, he doesn’t want slow ground, fast ground is key to seeing him at his best.

“It’s exciting. I can’t tell you how much I adore the horse. He was my first Royal Ascot winner, I rode him in the Derby when he didn’t stay but some of his figures throughout his career have been outstanding.

“I’m very excited, I know it’s only a Group Two but I adore the horse,” he told Racing TV.

Happy Power has winning form at Goodwood
Happy Power has winning form at Goodwood (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Andrew Blading’s Happy Power is a Group Three winner at Goodwood over seven furlongs and while the trainer admits that is his preferred trip, he is more than capable of running well over a mile.

“Seven furlongs is his ideal distance, but he’s run very good races at this distance in the past and has been fourth in a Sussex Stakes. The most relevant thing is he likes Goodwood,” said Balding.

“He seems in good form and I hope he’d run well.”

Chindit won the Champagne Stakes last year and reappeared with victory in the Greenham Stakes this term.

He has been fifth in three Group Ones since – most recently the Prix Jacques le Marois – and Hannon is hoping a drop in class can see him return to winning ways.

“He’s been running OK. He’s looked just slightly below that very top level, he’s finished fifth in three Group Ones in a row but he’s run with huge credit, the last race particularly. Maybe he didn’t stay that last half-furlong,” Hannon told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.

“An easy mile should be right up his street, there’s no Poetic Flare, there’s no Palace Pier. He’s been running in the very top mile races and this is a good chance for him.

“I think he was a little out of his ground in the Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes, but he had every chance in the Jacques le Marois and there were no excuses apart from not running fast enough.

“He’s in training next year, he’s a very good horse but he just looks 3lb short of the very top level. He might find that in the next month or the next year.”

Marcus Tregoning’s Perotto was a Royal Ascot winner in June and was not beaten far by Megallan in a Group Three at Salisbury last time out.

This represents another step up in grade but his profile suggests he is still improving.

“The handicapper thought his last run was his best so I think he deserves a crack at this,” said Tregoning.

“He’s very versatile, goes on any ground and the horses are running well so hopefully he should run well.”

Charlie Hills runs two in Pogo and the three-year-old Mutasaabeq, the 2019 winner Duke Of Hazzard represents Paul and Oliver Cole, Frankie Dettori rides Stormy Antarctic for Ed Walker with Lavender’s Blue representing Amanda Perrett.

Perotto aiming to spark Goodwood Celebration for Tregoning

Marcus Tregoning believes Perotto has earned the right to have a crack at the tote Celebration Mile at Goodwood on Saturday.

A Royal Ascot winner in June, Perotto was beaten just a length by Megallan last time out when third in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury.

Tregoning’s string are operating at a healthy strike-rate currently and he is hoping Perotto can can the good run going.

“He ran really well at Salisbury and obviously he’s got to raise him game again, but he seems to be in good form so that’s where he goes,” said Tregoning.

“The handicapper put him up another 4lb so he thought it was a career-best and he has to run in better races now and that’s where he is now.

“He won on quick ground at Ascot but I think he goes on any ground, he’s very versatile.

“The horses are going well at the moment so hopefully that continues into the autumn.”

Godolphin has a strong representation among the 14 contenders, with Charlie Appleby able to chose from Al Suhail and La Barrosa, while Saeed bin Suroor has left in his multiple Group One winner Benbatl, although he has indicated he is more likely to run in Windsor’s Winter Hill Stakes on the same day.

Richard Hughes will be hoping it rains for Brentford Hope while Richard Hannon is thinking of dropping Chindit down in class having run in three Group Ones this season.

Charlie Hills’ Mutasaabeq got back to winning ways last time out and could be joined by stablemate Pogo, with David O’Meara’s Rhoscolyn is another three-year-old possible.

Duke Of Hazzard, Escobar, Happy Power, Stormy Antarctic and Lavender’s Blue complete the list at the five-day stage.

Gemmell revelling in Goodwood Cup glory with Trueshan

Prominent owner Andrew Gemmell is still on cloud nine after Trueshan provided him with further big-race success in last week’s Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup.

Gemmell, who has been blind since birth, is best known as the sole owner of Emma Lavelle’s top-class jumper Paisley Park, who brought the house down at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival when landing the Stayers’ Hurdle.

But he has also has also been involved with several Flat horses, notably purchasing shares in Ed Dunlop’s Trip To Paris after he won the 2015 Ascot Gold Cup and subsequently travelling to Australia to witness him finishing second in the Caulfield Cup later that year.

Gemmell, who has experienced some of the world’s greatest sporting occasions having travelled the globe to follow England’s cricketers, attended the Australian Open and in racing the Melbourne Cup and Kentucky Derby, admits victory at Goodwood was pretty special.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it – it was brilliant.

“Stradivarius and Spanish Mission coming out ramped up the pressure massively, but it was a wonderful day.

“The Cheltenham Festival and Glorious Goodwood are both great festivals and to win a Goodwood Cup was just fantastic.

“I had a second in the Caulfield Cup with Trip To Paris, but this would be my biggest winner on the Flat.”

Gemmell and other members of the Singula Partnership that own the Alan King-trained five-year-old are now looking forward to bidding for further staying honours at either York or Doncaster.

“Onwards to either the Lonsdale Cup or the Doncaster Cup, hopefully,” Gemmell added.

“The ground will be important, of course. I think he can go on good ground, but if there’s any firm in the going then he won’t be running.

“It was great for him to win the other day after missing the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. The weather just conspired us against us, unfortunately – the rain came during the last race on the Thursday, which was no use to us.

“If the Gold Cup had been run on the Friday we’d have been there with a big shout.”

Andrew Gemmell with Paisley Park at Cheltenham
Andrew Gemmell with Paisley Park at Cheltenham (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Gemmell also provided an upbeat report on Paisley Park, who finished third when bidding to regain his crown in the Stayers’ Hurdle in March before being pulled up at Aintree.

He said: “Paisley is back (in training) and I’m looking forward to the jumps season as well. I always think with the jumpers, it’s like seeing a lot of your old mates coming back again.

“I think Aintree just came a bit too soon after Cheltenham and the course didn’t really suit him.

“Everything is grand with the horse. We’ll see this season what we do. I would think we’ll head down the same route.”

Menuisier has high hopes for Migration

Impressive Goodwood winner Migration may have Pattern races as well as more top handicaps on his agenda this season – but is likely to stick to his best trip of 10 furlongs.

Trainer David Menuisier reports the five-year-old to have emerged from his Chesterfield Cup victory on day one of the Goodwood Festival as if he did not even have a race.

After that eyecatching success, the attention is drawn to a published entry in the Clipper Logistics Handicap at York’s Ebor meeting – but that would mean dropping back to a mile, a move Menuisier is not keen on.

He said: “I would prefer to keep him over one mile two – that’s his favourite trip.

“I wouldn’t necessarily drop him back to a mile. It was an early-closing race at York, and I left him in because I wanted to see what happened at Goodwood and keep all the options open.

“But by choice I wouldn’t really drop him back. I’m pretty sure there’s a mile-two handicap at York, but I can’t remember the handicap bracket.”

Migration seems sure to take a hike in the ratings, from his current 95.

Menuisier hopes top handicaps will still be feasible but may also contemplate a rise in class.

He added: “Historically, you’ve got the Kalaglow at Sandown as well – he ran second in the race two years ago, beaten narrowly.

“So those are the sort of races you have in mind, and the Duty Free at Newbury – and maybe also some black-type races to consider.”

Migration was off the track for two years before making a highly-promising return at Salisbury last month, and then decisively realising that potential at Goodwood.

Menuisier said: “He is fine – he came out of the race like nothing happened, and obviously I was delighted with the performance.

“We’ll give ourselves a few days and see how the handicapper reassesses him – I assume he will go up two or three pounds for that maybe, and take it from there.

“We’ll have a look at all options, but obviously the next big meeting would fit in nicely at York – and we’ll also look beyond, because he won’t be far from being a black-type horse.”

Goodwood officials thrilled with return of crowds

Officials at Goodwood were delighted with the return to normality brought about by an enthusiastic crowd over five days of the Qatar Festival.

Twelve months on from racing taking place behind closed doors, managing director Adam Waterworth felt the stories on the track helped compensate for fan favourite Stradivarius not running in the Goodwood Cup and Battaash’s defeat on Friday.

“It’s been fantastic. I’ve never before said I wanted a ‘normal’ year, but this year I wanted it to feel just that – it almost felt like it had never been away,” said Waterworth.

Lady Bowthorpe lit up the Nassau Stakes
Lady Bowthorpe lit up the Nassau Stakes (John Walton/PA)

“All the stories through the week were brilliant. Andrew Gemmell and Alan King winning with Trueshan, through to Jeff Smith winning the Sussex on day two with Alcohol Free – and I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the house when Lady Bowthorpe won for Emma Banks and William Jarvis.

“We came here with all the talk of Stradivarius and Battaash going for their fifth wins – neither happened, yet I’m less disappointed than I thought I’d be because of all the other stories.

“Racing has a great way of finding these stories. It has a great way of creating a new story and that seemed to happen all week.

“The crowds have been healthy, not quite the levels of a normal Goodwood but Thursday, Friday and Saturday were about were you’d want them to be, and while Tuesday and Wednesday were slightly down on previous years I couldn’t be happier.”

There was, though, one negative story when one racegoer was arrested following an incident on Friday.

“There was just one person who spoiled it and he was arrested. You don’t want to see that and I don’t want to make light of it, but the vast majority have been brilliantly well behaved and I wouldn’t want one incident to tarnish what has been an excellent week,” said Waterworth.

Baaeed looks a superstar in the making
Baaeed looks a superstar in the making (John Walton/PA)

All eyes turn to the Celebration Mile meeting at the end of August now, when racing’s potential new star Baaeed may return.

“If you’d told me at the start of the week the most impressive performance would come in the Thoroughbred Stakes I’d have thought you were barking mad, but it looks like we’ve unearthed a superstar and it would be great if he comes back here,” said Waterworth.

Buick proves best man at Goodwood

William Buick will surely remember the Qatar Goodwood Festival of 2020 for many years.

Not only was he crowned leading jockey for the week in Sussex with seven winners, he is about to get married on Sunday.

Buick landed feature prizes on Suesa in the King George Qatar Stakes and the Qatar Lillie Langtry on Wonderful Tonight – having the top rider prize sewn up halfway through the final afternoon.

“I’m delighted to be leading jockey at Glorious Goodwood,” said Buick.

William Buick celebrates with Suesa
William Buick celebrates with Suesa (John Walton/PA)

“Obviously it is over five days and you can’t win them all. It’s intense and there are some you look back on and wish had gone differently.

“It has been a good week, we all know that it is tough week. I knew I had some good rides coming into the week, and it is always a week you look back on and think there is one or two races you would like to have a go at again, but all in all it has been a great week.

“I am really pleased, Suesa and Wonderful Tonight being the highlights.”

He added: “Now I have got to get my head into my speech – all week I have been focusing on my job, now I am going to focus on tomorrow! It should be a great day. James Doyle is my best man.

“I’m a bit nervous now, but it should be a brilliant day and we’re getting married at a church opposite where we live.”

Oisin Murphy starred aboard Alcohol Free
Oisin Murphy starred aboard Alcohol Free (John Walton/PA)

Andrew Balding, who won the Sussex Stakes with Alcohol Free, was crowned leading trainer with five winners.

On being informed of the fact, the Kingsclere handler said: “That’s great. I thought we had a chance coming into today and we’ve had a couple of winners.

“We’ve targeted this meeting with the right horses. The ground suited most of them – it’s been a good week.

“It was a special moment for us with Alcohol Free (in the Sussex Stakes). She is a special filly and we really enjoyed it.”

Commache Falls is Stewards’ Cup hero

Commanche Falls continued his impressive progression through the ranks when winning the Unibet Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.

Trained by Michael Dods, who excels with sprinters, the four-year-old has made giant strides this season.

A winner at Ayr in April off a mark of just 84, he has also won at Ripon before taking the Scottish Stewards’ Cup last time out.

That win earned him a 6lb penalty – but as the handicapper only saw fit to raise him 5lb for that narrow win, he was effectively racing from 1lb wrong at the weights.

Usually in such a competitive race that could be crucial, but Commanche Falls (10-1) is clearly improving at a rate of knots still.

He initially looked to be on the wrong side of the track as Major Jumbo carried the far side into an early advantage.

With a furlong to run both groups appeared neck and neck, but Connor Beasley had only been biding his time and Commanche Falls burst clear to win by a neck from the fast-finishing Gulliver. Great Ambassador was third, with Total Commitment in fourth.

Dods did not make the long journey to Goodwood from his Darlington base, but said: “It was some performance as we were a bit worried about the ground. He has won on soft, but at that level we thought he needed better ground.

“To do that with a penalty was unbelievable, he would have got in without it but you don’t know that at the time and the Hamilton race was a nice one to win.

“It’s great for the owners, it’s great for Connor and great for everyone, these are the races you want to be involved in.

“He’s a half-brother to Dakota Gold, but the two do things completely differently as he would prefer to go forward while this lad likes to be off the bridle at halfway and come through horses. For them both to be at the level they are is unbelievable.

Connor Beasley returns on Commanche Falls
Connor Beasley returns on Commanche Falls (John Walton/PA)

“He seems to be improving with every run this season, it’s incredible what he’s done so we’ll see where we go. He’s won a very competitive race nicely today so we can look forward to the future with him.

“He’ll be entered for the Ayr Gold Cup, but he’s surprised us a bit today really – we thought if he was in the first six or seven we’d be delighted in those conditions. I’ll have a chat with Connor, but Ayr would be the obvious target depending on his weight.

“He’s an exciting horse who hasn’t had a lot of racing so we can look forward to the future with him.”

David O’Meara said of Gulliver: “Gulliver has run really well. The ground was absolutely perfect for him, he loves it slow.

“He was getting there all the time late on. Slow ground really played to his strengths and Adam Kirby gave him a great run.

“He has run a blinder and there was no hard-luck stories. I just thought he was running out of time late on.

“The Ayr Gold Cup could be something we think about.”