Cavalryman showed he was as good as ever, despite his advancing years, as he powered to victory in the Artemis Goodwood Cup at the Sussex track.
Godolphin’s eight-year-old became the first horse of that age to take this historic prize since Persian Punch as he warded off his Saeed bin Suroor-trained stable companion Ahzeemah. Last year’s winner Brown Panther was third, while The Queen’s Estimate faded tamely in the straight and was a big disappointment.
Kieren Fallon took Cavalryman (5-1) into the lead two furlongs out and he soon put the race to bed, but Ahzeemah put in a late surge and was only a neck down at the line, with Brown Panther taking the minor honours, four-and-a-half lengths away.
Fallon said: “He’s a tough horse. It’s a very difficult race to win but he’s gone from strength to strength. The pace wasn’t great, it was OK, but this horse has a fantastic turn of foot.
“I thought I was clear – I didn’t think there was another horse coming at me – but he had enough.”
Earlier, Lyn Valley and Rainbow Rock gave Mark Johnston a 1-2 in the Fairmont Handicap. Joe Fanning brought Lyn Valley (14-1) through to pass the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned pair of Madeed and Insaany inside the furlong to give Johnston a sixth winner in this race.
Missunited (3-1 favourite) put up a brave performance to see off all-comers and land the Sterling Insurance Lillie Langtry Stakes. Michael Winters’ admirable mare was rewarded for her fine third in the Ascot Gold Cup to land this Group 3 prize 12 months on from her triumph in the Galway Hurdle.
The 2012 St Leger winner Encke finally makes his return to action in the Coutts Glorious Stakes at Goodwood today. The five-year-old was the most high profile of the 22 Godolphin horses banned from racing last year as part of the Mahmood Al Zarooni drugs scandal.
Encke denied Camelot the Triple Crown at Doncaster in September 2012 and makes his comeback in this Group 3 contest in the care of Al Zarooni’s successor, Charlie Appleby.
Luca Cumani believes he has Velox in prime condition for the Betfred Mile. The four-year-old, with just eight career starts behind him, looked to be on the upgrade when storming to victory at Sandown four weeks ago and Cumani reports his preparation for this valuable handicap to have gone smoothly.
“He’s in good form, he’s got a workable draw (10) which will suit him and everything is in position for a good run,” said the Newmarket trainer. “He’s in excellent form, but obviously this is a very tough race and you need plenty of luck in running.”
Trainer Dean Ivory is keeping his fingers crossed for some ease in the ground as his July Cup runner-up Tropics bids to go one better in the Betfred King George Stakes. The six-year-old has always been a talented sprinter, but was enduring a poor campaign before bouncing back to form with arguably a career-best effort to chase home Slade Power at Group 1 level almost three weeks ago. He drops back to the minimum distance for the first time in his career on the Sussex Downs, but it is ground conditions rather than the drop in trip that is worrying Ivory.
Ivory said: “He’s going there in great form, but I have to be honest and say the ground is a little bit of a concern. I’ll walk the track in the morning and make a decision from there, but I don’t want to set him alight on fast ground.”
At Musselburth today, Dhaular Dhar faces seven rivals in the PMD Ltd Handicap on the 130th start of his long career.Jockey Gary Bartley said: “I know the old horse well as I’ve won over hurdles and on the Flat on him. He travels great in his races and he’s in the form of his life for a 12-year-old. We’ve only just got beat on our last two starts together and, if I get it right, he should he thereabouts again.”