Gosdens still weighing up Goodwood Cup team

By Sports Desk July 26, 2023

Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami and his Queen’s Vase-winning stablemate Gregory both remain in contention for the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup on Tuesday.

Courage Mon Ami provided jockey Frankie Dettori with a fairytale final victory in last month’s Royal Ascot showpiece, 24 hours after the Italian had steered Gregory to success in the same colours of owners Wathnan Racing.

Both horses were left in the Group One feature on the opening day of next week’s Qatar Goodwood Festival at the confirmation stage and John Gosden, who trains the pair in partnership with son Thady, is not ruling out the possibility of them locking horns.

He said: “At present, both horses will be left in the race and then we will make a decision nearer the time whether one of them runs or they both run.

“Gregory saw the mile and six furlongs out the other day and I think he will see the two miles out, too. I think he is very much a progressive sort. He is a three-year-old getting the weight in the race, which is a very big edge. We have done it before with Stradivarius.

“Goodwood has its own demands, you swing left right, up, down. It demands a lot of agility from a horse.

“Interestingly enough both horses have won there, though I have to say they looked a bit up in the air galloping at some stages, but they would have learnt a lot from those experiences previously at Goodwood.”

Courage Mon Ami and Gregory were both purchased by the Emir of Qatar’s Wathnan Racing before Royal Ascot, with Gosden keen to underline the significance to the owners of having big runners at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

He added: “It is extremely important, as the owners put a great deal into the meeting. To me it has lifted the whole event, particularly with the sponsorship and presence there. To that extent I think it’s key and let’s hope we can at least be running well for them.

“Goodwood is a great meeting. Let’s face it, you have Royal Ascot, then the July Meeting, and then Goodwood followed by York. They are the huge summer meetings.

“They are very important to the whole fabric of British racing and, in a sense, the British sporting summer, which turned a little soggy in Lancashire with the cricket and the golf in pouring rain. We can’t put a roof on it like centre court at Wimbledon – we’ve just got to get on with it.”

The Gosden team will be well represented across the week at Goodwood, with top-class fillies Inspiral and Nashwa also set to be in action.

Inspiral, who was beaten a neck by Triple Time in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, is set to take on the brilliant colt Paddington in the Qatar Sussex Stakes on Wednesday.

Nashwa, meanwhile, will bid for back-to-back wins in the Qatar Nassau Stakes on Thursday week after notching her third Group One win in the Falmouth at Newmarket.

“Inspiral ran a great race on her return in the Queen Anne. She has come on for that and been in great form since,” said Thady Gosden.

“Paddington is a horse who has made rapid progression. He is a horse with plenty of speed and plenty of ability. He won the St James’s Palace and then went on to the Eclipse. That is quite an unusual route but it demonstrates how brilliant he is. It will be tough taking him on but a championship race like the Sussex Stakes is never going to be an easy race.

“Inspiral has a low action and plenty of speed. She is a very strong filly and hopefully the track will prove no problem to her at all.

“Emily Upjohn was taking on Paddington two furlongs below her optimum trip (in the Eclipse), whereas Inspiral will be taking him on at her ideal trip. Paddington is a three-year-old stepping into older miler company for the first time, which is always an interesting one.”

Of Nashwa, he added: “She has taken a bit of time to come to herself this year as can often happen with fillies who are going from three to four.

“You could tell in the couple of weeks after the Hoppings Stakes that she really had taken a step forward. She looked very well in herself before the Falmouth, relaxed during the race and quickened up past some smart fillies.

“She is going to a track that she knows, having won the Nassau last year. She seems in good order and stepping back up to a mile and a quarter shouldn’t be an issue. It is a fast mile and a quarter, which should hopefully play to her strengths.

“Blue Rose Cen is a brilliant filly and this year she has shown what she can do, having won both fillies’ French classics. It will be a different test for her coming over here and taking on some different fillies, but she is certainly a brilliant filly.

“We have to give her 8lb in the race, so we’ll have to see how things go.”

Related items

  • Light seeking to shine again at Sandown Light seeking to shine again at Sandown

    Kitty’s Light is taking aim at his usual season finisher in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

    The gelding has been a star for trainer Christian Williams, winning big handicap events like the Eider Chase and the Scottish Grand National and going close in the Charlie Hall and the Coral Trophy.

    He has particularly good record in the bet365 Gold Cup on the final day of the season, missing out only due to interference when second in 2021 and coming home third in 2022.

    Last year he was completed the set of podium finishes when winning by two and a half lengths under usual jockey Jack Tudor.

    The two are well acquainted and teamed up for Kitty’s Light’s Grand National bid at Aintree earlier in the month, where he ran a valiant race to finish fifth behind four Grade-One winning Irish chasers.

    Williams was incredibly proud of his stable star and is now hoping the gelding can shine again in the Sandown contest he has found to be lucrative in the past.

    “It was wonderful, we trained him to win the race and we thought he could, but you couldn’t be disappointed with what he did,” Williams said of the National performance.

    “We were thrilled, the horse tried his best and we were very, very proud of horse and jockey.

    “He’s come out of it very well, if the race was run today even then he’d be running, he’s in good form.

    “He loves it at Sandown with the big fences, his jumping has come on now but even as a five-year-old he nearly won the race.

    “He was third the year after that, it really seems to suit him.

    “I think he likes going right-handed, he hangs a little bit right at home and he seems to really enjoy it there.

    “We’re taking our chance anyway, he seems well and we’ll hope for the best.”

  • Olivier Peslier announces imminent retirement Olivier Peslier announces imminent retirement

    Olivier Peslier will retire from riding at La Teste on Thursday.

    The 51-year-old has enjoyed an exemplary career in the saddle, being crowned French champion on four occasions and claiming a string of big-race successes across the world.

    Peslier counts four victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on his CV, as well as Derby success aboard High-Rise in 1998 and a 2000 Guineas triumph with Cockney Rebel in 2007.

    He enjoyed a long association with star miler Goldikova, riding the mare to win 17 of her 27 career starts which included a famous Breeders’ Cup Mile hat-trick in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

    Peslier also chalked up two Japan Cup wins and victories the Hong Kong Cup, Mile and Vase plus big-races successes in the likes of Germany, Italy, Ireland and Dubai during a truly international career.

    He was retained rider for owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer between 2003 and 2014 with the aforementioned Goldikova and 2012 Arc winner Solemia two of the headline acts of their lengthy relationship.

    Peslier will sign off after two rides at La Teste in the south-west of France, bowing out with over 3,700 wins to his name.

    “My health is fine, but you need the horses and need the practice and if you don’t have so many horses, it is the time to decide to stop because it is very tricky to ride only a few horses,” Peslier told the PA news agency.

    “After a very long career I have had plenty of success. I have had more than 3,700 winners and over 500 Group race wins. I have won with both Arabians and thoroughbreds and 165 Group Ones, so it is amazing when I look at my career.

    “I have won everywhere in the world and had great success and great moments. I’ve met so many good people and I’m very happy to stop my career and watch what has happened before.

    “I won all the good races in England – the Epsom Derby, the King George and at Royal Ascot. In Japan, I won 12 Group Ones and won the Japan Cup and all the big races over there and also the Breeders’ Cup and all the Derbies in Europe.

    “So now is the time and I’m in good form and everything is fine. It’s sad to take the decision but this morning I rode six horses and tomorrow I will ride some horses in training and for sure I will keep riding some horses because everybody loves horses and also I ride for my passion.”

    Peslier is unsure what the future holds, intending to spend the summer months enjoying time with family and friends before finalising plans for the next stage of life, while he highlighted the talents of both Goldikova and Prix du Jockey Club and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Peintre Celebre as notable memories from his decorated career.

    “I will take a little break and see some friends and see what happens over the next few months,” continued Peslier.

    “After a holiday, September will be a new life, and I think I need a little bit of time to see what will happen in the future. I’m going to spend some time with my kids and enjoy life, then it will be a new life.

    “Normally when I go to say Hong Kong and England it is for work, now I can go and visit people I know and take the time to enjoy it.

    “Goldikova won 14 Group Ones and Peintre Celebre won the French Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and were both really, really good.”

  • Bellum Justum stakes Derby claim with Epsom victory Bellum Justum stakes Derby claim with Epsom victory

    Bellum Justum halved in price for the Derby after Andrew Balding’s colt won the Betfred Blue Riband Trial at Epsom.

    While he took four attempts to get off the mark as a juvenile, the form of his win over Kevin Ryan’s Inisherin now looks much stronger than it did at the time and he took another leap forward here.

    Ridden by Oisin Murphy, he was content to take a lead off Ryan Moore on Aidan O’Brien’s Chief Little Rock and with those in behind struggling to get on terms, it soon developed into a battle.

    Bellum Justum held a narrow advantage for much of the final furlong but while he was well on top of the Ballydoyle runner close home, Roger Varian’s Defiance began to stay on strongly.

    Without looking like winning, he closed to within three-quarters of a length of the 9-1 winner, looking promising for the future on just his third outing.

    Bellum Justum was cut to 25-1 from 50s for the Derby by both Coral and Paddy Power.

    “He had a setback about a month ago and he missed 10 days, so he’s entitled to come on for that today,” Balding told Racing TV.

    “His form looked pretty strong and he improved a lot with racing last year and he’s entitled to improve from two to three, so we were fairly sure he’d be there or thereabouts but we’re expecting him to come on for it.

    “He’s in the Dante and if he was going to run again that would be the likely target, we’ll just see how the Guineas goes and the other trials and we might end up coming back here.

    “He’s out of an Oasis Dream mare but he’s closely related to Fox Tal who stayed a mile and a half.

    “He’s up there with our best three-year-olds but unfortunately the one we were really excited about, Anzac Day, has had a setback.”

    Crystal Delight (5-2) made a winning debut for Harry Eustace when leading home stablemate Ziggy in the Lilley Plummer Risks City & Suburban Handicap.

    Previously trained by the now-retired William Jarvis, he was sent straight to the front by Jim Crowley and controlled matters from the outset.

    He kicked clear over two furlongs out and came home five and a half lengths ahead of Ziggy, who stayed on without ever looking a danger.

    “William came as he’s good friends with dad (James Eustace) and we ended up with a couple off him, this one and Duke Of Verona and it’s going well so far,” said Eustace.

    “I thought he’d run well as he’s been training well at home. It was a small field and he likes making the running, so I thought we’d be able to set our own fractions and that’s what Jim did, it worked out well.

    “I had a mile-and-a-half handicap at York in mind so we’ll see how we go.”

    Eustace had to settle for third with Duke Of Verona in the Weatherbys Global Stallions App Great Metropolitan Handicap as Champagne Piaff (5-2 favourite) ran out an easy winner for Gary and Ryan Moore.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.