Explore our favourite moments and the spectactular drama from this year's Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Billed as a race for the ages, the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup certainly didn’t disappoint. Kyprios confirmed himself as the new king of the staying division when edging out Stradivarius in a magnificent renewal of the Group 1 feature race on day one of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Kyprios, sent off a 6-4 favourite, the Aiden O’Brien trained chestnut travelled in pole position gamely holding off valiant four-time victor Stradivarius by a neck in a thrilling finish, with last year’s winner Trueshan a just over a length further back in third.
On a stellar supporting card, Marbaan gave Charlie Fellowes the biggest domestic winner of his training career when getting up late to land the Group 2 Japan Racing Association Vintage Stakes for two-year-olds, while Sandrine bounced back to winning form for Andrew Balding with a gutsy success in the World Pool Lennox Stakes.
Baaeed cemented his position as the world's highest-rated racehorse with a dominant length and three-quarter success in the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, handing trainer William Haggas a first win in the £1 million mile highlight. Not only did the day celebrate the best thoroughbred in the world, the highest-rated Arabian racemare, Lady Princess scored back-to-back Qatar International Stakes successes when partnered by Jim Crowley.
A duo of competitive two-year-old contests undoubtedly produced some stars of the future. Trillium showed a sparkling turn of foot in the Markel Molecomb Stakes. The only filly in the eight-strong line-up, she provided success for trainer Richard Hannon, while Platinum Queen produced visually the most impressive victory of the day, blitzing clear of her rivals in the British EBF Alice Keppel Fillies' Conditions Stakes for jubilant syndicate Middleham Park Racing.
The Markel Magnolia Cup fittingly got proceedings underway on Ladies Day, with Ashleigh Wicheard, crowned the winner with a fine front running ride aboard Dark Shot. Outside of racing, Wicheard has worked in specialist schools supporting children with autism, SEMH, and various other behavioural issues, and as a case worker and equine coordinator for a charity supporting young offenders – there couldn’t have been a more appropriate winner for the annual women’s charity race which this year was raising funds for the Brilliant Breakfast initiative, part of the Princes’ Trust.
The well-supported market leader Royal Scotsman looks a colt destined for the top after setting a juvenile course record in the six-furlong Group 2 Richmond Stakes. Further talent spotting could be witnessed in the Group 3 John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes with New London shooting to the head of the ante-post market for the St Leger later in the season with a decisive display. In the feature, Qatar Nassau Stakes, it was Hollie Doyle who patiently produced Classic winning filly Nashwa, stretching clear of her rivals in impressive fashion.
The marathon Coral Goodwood Handicap over two and a half miles got proceedings underway on day four, where it was unsurprising to see trainer Emma Lavelle, better known for national hunt success in the winners enclosure with Master Milliner.
Orbaan settled the Coral Golden Mile with a devastating turn of foot, leading home a one-two for North Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara in the prestigious mile handicap. A regular in these events, Orbaan had not won since July 2020 but could hardly have broken his losing run in more impressive fashion.
Fortunes favoured the brave in the feature King George Qatar Stakes, with Khaadem showing a game attitude under Ryan Moore to repel late challenges in a wide open race. It was a second Glorious Goodwood win for Khaadem in his career, having won the Stewards' Cup in 2019. Racing returns for a fifth and final day tomorrow - the culmination of a tremendous few days of world-class racing on the South Downs.
Five days of high-octane action came to a close with a fantastic afternoon of racing. The maidens were first to post in the seven-furlong contest sponsored by the British European Breeders’ Fund, where it was The Foxes who emerged the winner when running down 4/5 favourite Classic in the closing stages. Owners Godolphin, have enjoyed a fine festival, and Trawlerman added to their tally, providing leading apprentice jockey Benoit De La Sayette with his second success of this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Arguably, the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes provided the finish of the week with Sea La Rosa getting up to deny runaway front-runner Urban Artist in a pulsating finish. In an action-packed hour on the South Downs, Commanche Falls became the first back-to-back winner of the Coral Stewards' Cup since 1968 for the same trainer-rider combination of Michael Dods and Conor Beasley.
We now look forward to our August Bank Holiday racing fixture (Friday 26 – Sunday 28 August), which features a Friday evening of fireworks before a weekend of family fun to compliment the racing.