Master Milliner (14/1) provided Emma Lavelle with her first Qatar Goodwood Festival winner when staying on stoutly to win the marathon Coral Goodwood Handicap over an extended two and a half miles.
Master Milliner strikes in opener
The six-year-old, who has now won on two of his three visits to Goodwood, galloped home strongly under Sean Levey to repel well-backed 7/2 favourite Super Superjack, with Author’s Dream (33/1) filling third.
Lavelle said: “Master Milliner has form here and obviously that does count for plenty. It’s a different track and I think it really suited him for that reason, because the twists, the turns, it just keeps him interested. He travelled really well today. Sean gave him a peach and I have a lot of thanks to him, he was brilliant.
“It’s well documented that he was very sick as a two-year-old and had meningitis, so I think every year he is a year behind where he should be. He is a big horse and I think he is just strengthening up and getting better. Maybe we are getting better at training these Flat horses! they are great fun owners and we have enjoyed the ride together. It has been brilliant.”
Levey said: “Mine is a tricky little customer. He normally races behind the bit. Albeit it suited him turning inside to the outside and doing that over again before he reached the straight. It helped him keep engaged and kept him interested. It’s still no doubt a long way and I definitely felt that when I pulled up.
“Emma is a great trainer. She is used to these types of horses that improve. I know he is an older horse, relative to Flat horses, but they still improve as they get older. I think one of the biggest things with him Is that we always had a doubt about this trip, but now he has got older and stronger. The way he won today, you question why you would ever have a doubt over this trip.”
Superjack’s trainer Milton Harris said: “I don't wish to discredit the winner, but I think we were unlucky. He goes to the Cesarewitch now, but what he really wants is eight flights of hurdles – it might make him concentrate. He will make some jumper, he jumps brilliant. All he does is stay, they just got first run on him today and we didn't get the run when we needed it.”
William Knight said of the third: “It was a lovely run. He is such a nice old boy. He loves those extreme distances. We have given him a break and trained him for this race. The owners bred him and live down here, so I am pleased he has run so well. We have always run horses in the Cesarewitch after having a long season, so maybe we will target it and go there a bit fresher.”