RICHARD Hughes might be retiring at the end of Glorious Goodwood but that thought could not be further away from Frankie Dettori’s mind as he racked up another Group-race success in the Qatar Vintage Stakes on Galileo Gold.
Having won the Derby, the Eclipse, the French Oaks and the Diamond Jubilee already this season, the Italian is enjoying a real Indian summer to his career.
This success will have meant more than most, though, as the Hugo Palmer-trained juvenile was running in the Al Shaqab silks of Dettori’s boss, Sheikh Joaan, for the first time.
Drawn widest of all, Dettori bided his time until a gap appeared and the Paco Boy colt quickened smartly to beat Ibn Malik by three-quarters of a length, earning a general quote of 33-1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
“I got a good run through on the inside, he was very brave and quickened up very well,” said Dettori after the 9-2 success. “It’s the first runner of the meeting for us [Al Shaqab Racing]. We’ve started off with a winner and my boss [Sheikh Joaan] is here today.”
The owner’s racing manager, Harry Herbert, said: “It’s so exciting. Sheikh Joaan has just arrived to see the race and see Goodwood in all its glory. He is sponsoring the meeting this year, it’s a dream start.
“I’m thrilled, too, for Hugo, who is on his honeymoon and can’t be here. I’ve just spoken to him and he’s watching from the beach in Turkey.”
On future plans, Herbert said: “I’ve only spoken briefly to Hugo, but looking at the horse we must preserve him for the future. He’s a horse that can only get better. We don’t want to be greedy and, hopefully, races likes the Jean-Luc Lagardere, on the Qatar weekend in Paris, the Dewhurst or Racing Post Trophy might be on the agenda.”
Favourite Birchwood went down as an unfortunate loser as he had no luck in running, so much so that RaceBets opted to cut his price for the Guineas to 25-1 from 33-1.
Another horse to win in new silks at the first attempt was Toormore in the Qatar Lennox Stakes.
Still with Richard Hannon but now running in Godolphin blue, he made all the running under James Doyle to make the most of a drop in class.
The year younger Dutch Connection came with a late flourish but there was three-quarters of a length between the 9-4 joint-favourites at the line.
Hannon was delighted to see Toormore gain his first victory since landing the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April of last year. “He did it the hard way. He was in front, they came to him one by one, and he proved his class,” said the champion trainer.
“These horses are hard to find, so it’s great he’s got his head in front and now that he’s done that and got his confidence, he might go for the Jacques le Marois.”
Hannon then saddled the first two from five runners in the Kish Armstrong Memorial EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes when Inland Sea (4-1 favourite) held off Hughes on Papa Luigi. Harry Bentley was on the winner.
“He’s got a beautiful pedigree being a full-brother to No Nay Never and down the line he’ll hopefully be winning nice races. He never looked like getting beaten to me and he might be one for the Mill Reef,” said Hannon.
Another man who thrives on the Sussex Downs is Mark Johnston, despite training from the other end of the country in Middleham, and his Blue Wave defied a 416-day absence to win the Summer Stakes.
It was Johnston’s 64th winner at Glorious Goodwood and a 44th for July, breaking his own record.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted with that. We thought it was coming too soon as he was a bit overweight and the racing manager [John Ferguson] didn’t want to run him over this trip as he hadn’t been over it before.
“It was a pretty serious injury, we’ve brought him along steadily, but I just thought he was a bit short [of work]. Clearly, he wasn’t.”