Sunday, August 1, 2010

Richard Hughes, with nine wins, is leading Glorious Goodwood rider: Mid Day defends her Nassau title

Three jockeys, Lester Piggott, Kieren Fallon and John Murtagh, have ridden eight winners at Glorious Goodwood and that mark stood until Saturday at the Chicester course. The most number of wins in the training department was held by Sir Michael Stoute. It was six. When the 2010 campaign ended on Saturday, both marks were bettered. Trainer Richard Hannon had saddled nine winners. All the nine were ridden by Richard Hughes, Hannon’s retained jockey and son in law.

The 37 year-old Hughes is the tallest jockey in the United Kingdom at five feet 10 inches. He rides at 53 kgs. The ninth win for Hughes came in the penultimate contest. The 100-30 Eucharist was bumped and ran on after the interference to win by a neck.

Jockey Hughes said, “I have to thank everybody at Richard Hannon’s yard for making it all possible. It has been a fabulous week. Things have been going from strength to strength. There was a lot of pressure before Canford Cliffs ran in the Sussex Stakes but after that, I was able to enjoy the rest of the racing. Someone said that it has been the Richard Hughes week and I like the sound of that.”

The Racing UK award for top jockey at Glorious Goodwood went to Richard Hughes. This is what Hughes was honored with. He received a lifetime subscription to the Racing UK channel. A thousand-pound donation was made to Racing Welfare in his name. A thousand pounds will be given to the charity picked by Hughes. Finally, he gets a Goodwood hamper.

Richard Hannon is going through a splendid spell. Royal Ascot and Newmarket have given him winners and Goodwood was the icing on the cake. “Goodwood was unbelievable. The one that mattered was Canford Cliffs. Everything else was a bonus. Hughesie (Hughes) is riding out of his skin. He gets them balanced and they run for him. The days he took off to avoid suspension have been worthwhile,” Hannon exulted.

Let us begin with Friday’s action at Goodwood. Libranno, the 5-4 favorite in the Tanqueray Richmond Stakes, justified the public confidence. The freshman colt ran 1200 metres in 1 11.48 seconds. A Librettist colt, Libranno has been very effective on the front end and at this point, there are doubts if he will get a mile. Libranno has won three races in a row.

The seventh winner for Hughes came with Royal Exchange, the 3-1 favorite in the RSA Nursery, a 1400-metre race. Royal Exchange closed willingly to edge ahead close home. As the name would suggest, Royal Exchange, by Royal Applause, is owned by royalty. Queen Elizabeth is the owner. Royal Exchange, incidentally, was giving Hughes his 100th winner of the English racing season.

Hughes went to Newmarket for the Friday twilight meeting. Kieren Fallon rode three winners. Frankie Dettori had two winners. In the 8 35 PM finale, Richard Hughes steered the Jar Toller-trained Pirate’s Song, the 5-4 favorite, to victory.

Pausanias, a 3-1 chance, won a maiden race on Saturday to give Hughes his eighth Goodwood winner. Winner number nine came with Eucharist who was successful in the 1200-metre Nursery Stakes.

On Sunday, jockey Hughes was at Deauville (outside Paris) and was second to Goldikova in the Prix Rothschild while aboard Music Show. He takes Monday afternoon off and will be in action at picturesque Windsor for the twilight card.

Joe O’Brien, Aidan O’Brien’s son, clicked with Rajik, 14-1, on Friday at Galway. Pat Smullen clicked with Rafaello Santi, a 9-4 favorite. The boyish-looking Fran Berry, favorite to win the jockeys’ race in Ireland this year, rode Pop Rock, a Japanese-bred, to a win in the 2800-metre Guinness Race. Takashi Kodama, now based in Ireland, trains Pop Rock.

The Saturday afternoon card at Doncaster saw William Buick ride three winners. Indigo Bay, trained by Bernie Meehan, was Buick’s first winner. The second was the Richard Fahey-trained Tepmokea. Zuider Zee was Buick’s third winner and is trained by John Gosden for whom Buick is retained rider in 2010.

The Bangalore trip has done Danny Grant a lot of good. At Galway on Saturday, jockey Grant connected with Isabellareine, a 20-1 chance, in a 3200-metre race. There were 20 runners.

On Sunday, at Cork, Danny Grant had two winners. Foolproof, a 11-2 chance won with Grant. The second came in a 2400-metre Group event. She’s Our Mark was held up and proved the fastest when it mattered. I am thrilled that Grant has struck form.

Here is good news about Silvestre de Sousa. We are looking at Saturday’s action at Thirsk where De Sousa lives. The hard-working De Sousa, who has endeared himself to fans in India, had three winners. He won with Nimue, a 7-4 chance. Signor Verdi, at 9-2, came through with the Brazilian-born reinsman. Simple Jim, a 11-4 chance, was the third winner for Silvestre.

The feature at Goodwood on Saturday was the Group I Nassau Stakes for fillies and mares. Seven ran in the (grass) 2000-metre race. Mid Day, a Sir Henry Cecil pupil, was defending her Nassau title. Tom Queally was aboard the 15-8 favorite.

Mid Day raced prominently and struck the front and opened up with 400 metres left. The race, many thought, had been put to bed. Stacelita, Christophe Soumillon up, found another gear to challenge Mid Day and got to within a neck. Mid Day, responding to Queally’s call, found extra to win by a length and a quarter. The result stood after a stewards’ inquiry.

Jockey Queally said, “Mr Soumillon’s filly was not keeping a straight course and my filly, as a consequence, went at an angle. However, Mid Day responded better and I won quite clearly.”

The race was worth 122,169 pounds to the winner. Mid Day, now four, has 1,195,393 pounds in earnings. The Nassau Stakes was run in 2 7.25 seconds. Oasis Dream is Mid Day’s father. Midsummer is the mother and she is by Kingmambo. Mid Day, after winning the 2009 Nassau on a soft course, was third in the Prix de L’Opera at Longchamp over the Arc weekend. She then won the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. Last time out, she was beaten by Sariska at York. A BC repeat is on the agenda.

In my next blog, we will look at what Goldikova did in the Rothschild at Deauville on Sunday. There was a Group I race for girls at Dusseldorf. There was a lot of Pattern race action in America.

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