October 23, 2021

Weekend Review

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Royal Ascot runner-up Summerghand went one better in the Unibet Stewards’ Cup on a low-key final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The fixture was due to be a pilot event for the return of crowds to a racecourse for the first time since March, with around 5,000 people expected on the Sussex Downs.

Sadly, those plans were scrapped following the latest Government advice on Friday, meaning the meeting took place behind closed doors.

The Stewards’ Cup is the centrepiece of the final afternoon these days – and it was the David O’Meara-trained Summerghand who emerged triumphant in the hands of Danny Tudhope.

The 22-1 shot was lumbered with top-weight and running off a mark 7lb higher than when beaten just a nose by Hey Jonesy in the Wokingham Stakes in June, but proved his class with a head verdict over Kimifive.

O’Meara, who saddled Prompting to win the Golden Mile 24 hours earlier, said of Summerghand: “I didn’t think he could win off top-weight. We got beat a nose in the Wokingham when we felt we could have won.

“He’s class and he’s hit the woodwork in so many big races – he deserved to win one.

“I’d love to try to win the Ayr Gold Cup with him.”

The other big winner at Goodwood on Saturday was John Gosden’s high-class mare Enbihaar, who successfully defended her crown in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes with a polished display under Jim Crowley.

The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned five-year-old has now won four times at Group Two level and has been kept in training this year with the chief aim of breaking her Group One duck.

Gosden’s son and assistant, Thady, said: “She’s got that lovely long stride and picked up beautifully in the straight.

“It will be a pretty similar path to last year. We’ll probably go to the Park Hill at Doncaster and then on to the Prix de Royallieu. The ground was a bit soft for her last year.”

Harry Bentley enjoyed a double on the card, landing the Unibet Stewards’ Sprint aboard the Ed de Giles-trained Treacherous (7-1) before steering Mark Johnston’s Hochfeld (15-2) to success in the Unibet Summer Handicap.

Oisin Murphy played a starring role at Newmarket on Saturday as he bagged both Listed prizes on offer.

The champion jockey first struck gold on Sir Michael Stoute’s 6-5 favourite Katara in the Chalice Stakes – and quickly doubled up aboard Roger Charlton’s stable stalwart Withhold (5-4 favourite) in the Further Flight Stakes.

The latter might not be the force he once was, but the former Northumberland Plate and Cesarewitch winner proved he retains plenty of ability in landing the mile-and-three-quarter feature usually staged at Nottingham.

Assistant trainer Harry Charlton said: “A mile and six is probably short of his best, but he was given a nice ride in that he made it as strong a test as he could, as I think in his old age he is a bit idle now.

“It was a slight drop in grade and that will have got his confidence back up. He has really been a star and is one of the good stories in racing.

“We could go and have a look at the Lonsdale Cup at York, but the race at Doncaster which is over two and a quarter miles (Doncaster Cup) might be more suitable.

“We will have a discussion with the owner as he may want to go to Australia again afterwards.”

William Buick enhanced his prospects of a first champion jockey title with a 130-1 four-timer on the July Course, which included his 50th winner of the season.

Tony Mullins has big plans for Princess Zoe after she claimed her second win at this week’s Galway Festival at Ballybrit on Saturday.

He said: “We’re thinking of the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, but we’re also now going to have to consider the Prix du Cadran.

“She won’t run in the meantime and of course Paddy (Kehoe, owner) has her backed for the (mares’) novice hurdle in Cheltenham.”

Francis-Henri Graffard’s Watch Me doubled her Group One tally in Sunday’s Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

On the undercard, Mick Channon’s Cairn Gorm maintained his unbeaten record in the Group Three Darley Prix de Cabourg – teeing up a potential tilt at the Prix Morny over the course and distance later in the month.

There was also Sunday success on foreign soil for the formidable combination of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, with Miss Yoda providing both trainer and jockey with a first win in the German Oaks at Dusseldorf.