Thrill continues on Day 3 of Qatar Goodwood Festival


The events of the Qatar Goodwood Festival in its 2019 renewal continued on Day 3, which had its own glamour being the Ladies’ Day. It started with the ladies’ amateur jockey race, the Magnolia Cup, which got the day off to an impressive start. The day included three black-type races associated with Qatar.

Qatar Nassau Stakes (Gr 1)

Deirdre provided Japan with a historic success in the £600,000 G1 Qatar Nassau Stakes. Trained by Mitsuru Hashida and ridden by Oisin Murphy, the five-year-old daughter of Harbinger finished with a flourish in the 10-furlong contest to capture G1 honours by a length and a quarter from long-time leader Mehdaayih trained by John Gosden. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Rawdaa was third. QREC CEO Nasser bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, crowned the winners.

Qatar Richmond Stakes (Gr 2)

The Clive Cox-trained and Adam Kirby-ridden Golden Horde landed the £200,000 G2 Qatar Richmond Stakes. The two-year-old son of Lethal Force, who was also trained by Cox, held off the sustained challenge of the well-supported Threat, trained by Richard Hannon, to score by three-quarters of a length in the six-furlong event. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Royal Dornoch was third. QREC Board Member, Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Ali, crowned the winners.

Qatar Gordon Stakes (Gr 3)

Yorkshire-based Scotsman Mark Johnston trained his 81st Qatar Goodwood Festival winner, setting a record for wins at the famous midsummer meeting. It was also his 150th winner at all Goodwood’s meetings. Johnston’s landmark victory came courtesy of the Silvestre De Sousa-ridden Nayef Road in the G3 Gordon Stakes. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Constantinople was second while the David Simcock-trained Spanish Moon was third in the 2400m. Al Kass Sports Channel, Issa bin Abdulla Al-Hitmi, crowned the winners.

Magnolia Cup … Khadijah a new hero for women

Khadijah Mellah, 18, became a new hero for women in sport, and particularly Muslim women, when generating an unlikely fairy tale at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. She won The Magnolia Cup, Goodwood’s for women riders, showing a cool head and skills beyond her experience. She became the first woman to ride competitively on a British racecourse while wearing the hijab. Among12 runners, Mellah gave the Charlie Fellowes-trained Haverland a well-timed run to win the 1100m run and score narrowly from Land Filly, ridden by Alexis Green, and Clewbrious Company, the mount of Rachael Gowland. Khadijah said:

“There are no words to describe this – I’m lost for words. I’m still trying to figure out how it all happened, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has come along to support.”

Unibet Handicap Stakes (Class 2)

John Gosden registered his third victory of the week, following the success of Forest Of Dean in the 10-furlong £75,000 Unibet Handicap. Ridden by Harry Bentley, registering his first victory at this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival, the three-year-old son of Iffraaj ran on strongly up the far-side rail to score by two and a half lengths over the Andrew Balding-trained Fox Premier in second. The William Haggas-trained Sinjaari was third.

Telegraph Nursery Handicap Stakes (Class 2)

Mark Johnston registered his fourth victory of the week at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and a double on Ladies’ Day following the impressive success of favourite Governor Of Punjab in the £25,000 Telegraph Nursery Handicap. Ridden by Ryan Moore, Governor Of Punjab won the seven-furlong event by a length over the Eve Johnson-Houghton-trained Sword Beach. The Al Shaqab Racing-owned and Richard Fahey-trained Toro Strike was third.

Markel Insurance British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Class 2)

The Charlie Hills-trained and K Shoemark-ridden Vividly won the £25,000 Markel Insurance British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Class 2). The M LW Bell-trained Craylands was second and the Mark Johnston-trained Tulip Fields was third.

Tatler Handicap Stakes (Class 3)

The Tom Clover-trained and P J McDonald-ridden Celsius won the £25,000Tatler Handicap Stakes. The P F I Cole–trained Mercenary Rose was second while the Roger Varian–trained Lufricia was third.