Snow Sky gave trainer Sir Michael Stoute his eighth Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes as the first of the significant Ladbrokes St Leger trials took place at Goodwood.
Only one of those, Conduit in 2008, went on to success in the Doncaster Classic and Khalid Abdullah’s colt was trimmed to 12-1 from 16s by the sponsors after holding on by a neck and a head from the closing Windshear and the determined front-runner Somewhat.
Snow Sky (9-2), who won the Lingfield Derby trial but missed Epsom due to a knock, struggled to run straight and true for James Doyle but did enough to hold on. Doyle and Abdullah were to enjoy an even bigger victory later in the afternoon through Kingman in the Qipco Sussex Stakes. There was also a striking winner of the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes in the Aidan O’Brien-trained juvenile Highland Reel.
Sent off the 10-11 favourite after winning by 12 lengths at Gowran on his latest outing over a mile, he was dropping a furlong in trip but showed lively speed to take two and a quarter lengths out of runner-up Tupi. It was jockey Joseph O’Brien’s first Glorious Goodwood winner.
Royal Razalma (10-1) had some experience on the board already but she took a big leap forward when bounding clear in the Markel Insurance Maiden Fillies’ Stakes. Teak and Silvestre De Sousa caused a 33-1 upset in the marathon Goodwood Stakes and trainer Ian Williams plans to have the sound stayer back hurdling in the autumn. Magique signed off on a fine note by causing a 25-1 surprise in the EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Fillies’ Handicap. The concluding Turf Club Handicap was won by 6-1 shot Related, trained by David Simcock and ridden by Richard Kingscote.
Today’s big race is the Artemis Goodwood Cup, with Estimate, Cavalryman and Brown Panther among the leading contenders in the two-mile marathon.
Meanwhile, Mister Nibbles is set for a career over fences after his success in the Weatherbys Private Banking Handicap Hurdle at Perth. Richard Johnson steered Stuart Crawford’s well-backed 13-8 favourite to a length and a quarter win over Satanic Beat. Crawford said: “He’s got the size and scope to make a nice novice chaser and I’m sure that’s what he’ll be doing soon. Ideally he should have been running at Galway this week but he’s had a couple of disappointing runs and this looked an easier race.
“We tried the tongue tie today but I’m not sure if it made any difference. He’s a good moving horse and he seemed to handle this quicker ground okay.”
Iain Jardine’s horses are in fine form and the Borders trainer saddled his sixth winner from his last ten runners when Push Me followed up Monday’s Flat win at Ayr in the Injured Jockeys Fund Celebration Handicap Hurdle. Ridden by Craig Nichol, the mare beat One For Hocky by three lengths and is one of only a dozen horses Jardine has in training. The former jockey, now based at Bonchester Bridge, near Hawick, said: “She’ll have a wee break before maybe heading to Ripon or Redcar next month.”
Rose Dobbin’s Robin’s Command made it three wins from four starts this season when completing a double for Craig Nichol in the Savills Summer Handicap Chase.