Glorious Goodwood 2016 Results

Revenge of The Gurkha, Big Orange At The Double and More

Late July’s Glorious Goodwood Festival never fails to serve up a real treat for racing fans and certainly didn’t disappoint in 2016.

The major Group contests of the opening day went the way of two of racing’s powerhouse operations. War Decree struck first for Aidan O’Brien in the Qatar Vintage Stakes gaining his revenge over the Superlative Stakes winner, Boynton, with a hugely impressive performance. This son of War Front is now third in the betting for next season’s 2000 Guineas on the back of this display.

An illustration of the power held by team Ballydoyle is that the first and second favourite for that race also hail from the O’Brien operation. Day 1’s second group class contest looked at the mercy of the boys in the lighter shade of blue as team Godolphin held a very strong hand on paper. No real surprises here as the operation scored a 1-2, with Dutch Connection finishing in irresistible fashion under Kiwi jockey James McDonald to see of Home of The Brave

Sussex Stakes

The most anticipated race in the build up to the festival was Tuesday’s Sussex Stakes. Always one of the most highly prized mile contests of the season, the £1 million in total prize money now on offer make it the most valuable race of the week. Whilst the contest is open to all runners aged three and older, all eyes were on the Classic generation in 2016, as  this year marked the first time ever that the winners of the English, Irish and French 2000 Guineas lined up to contest the prize.

A stellar cast produced a real blockbuster as The Gurkha just mastered his St James’s Palace Stakes conqueror, Galileo Gold, in a pulsating finish. The winner once again demonstrated an ability to quicken that will make him a tough opponent wherever he turns up next, Galileo Gold meanwhile lost little if anything in defeat, having once again done the donkey work out in front for his rivals.

The pair may not have it all their own way in the remaining big mile contests of the season however as the big eye-catcher of the race was the Godolphin runner Ribchester who finished with a flourish in third.

Goodwood Cup

Michael Bell’s Big Orange was a smart performer in 2015, counting a win in the Goodwood Cup amongst his haul. All the evidence headed into his defence of the week’s major staying contest suggested he was even better in 2016 and so it proved. Headed at one stage by the fast improving three year old, Sword Fighter, this admirably tough competitor dug deepest of all to see off that Aidan O’Brien runner and the rest for a famous 1 ¼l success. No firm plans as to where he heads next but he seems set to need his passport, with Australia, Canada and Hong Kong all touted as possibilities.

Something about Goodwood at this time of year seems to bring out the best in David Griffiths’ front running speedster, Take Cover. Having won the King George Stakes in 2014 and finished a close second last year, he was undoubtedly one for the shortlist on course and distance form.

At nine years old now though it seemed likely that at least one set of younger legs wold run him down. No one told old Take Cover that though as he proved all heart in fending off Washington DC in the closing stages.

Nassau Stakes

We already knew headed into the fifth and final day that Minding was a superstar filly and as expected she proved much too good for her rivals in the Nassau Stakes. This was possibly the least impressive of her performances to date but that was always likely to be the case in what turned into a somewhat messy small field affair.

Having comprehensively proven the best of her own sex, is it now time for the daughter of Galileo to take on the colts? Meanwhile we may have another filly of the highest order on our hands as Andrew Balding’s Dancing Star could scarcely have been more impressive in landing the big handicap of the closing day, the Qatar Stewards Cup. It will be interesting to see where the first filly since the brilliant Lochsong to land this prize goes next but a step into Group company sure