Goodwood triumph puts Wild Illusion on Ebor Yorkshire Oaks trail

Wild Illusion ridden by jockey William Buick (2nd left) comes home to win the Qatar Nassau Stakes during day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Wild Illusion ridden by jockey William Buick (2nd left) comes home to win the Qatar Nassau Stakes during day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
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WILD ILLUSION could head to the Yorkshire Oaks at the Ebor festival after winning the Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes – Goodwood’s day three highlight.

The Godolphin-owned filly burst clear to continue a golden summer for Epsom Derby-winning trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick.

Communique prevailed at Goodwood for jockey Silvestre de Sousa and Middleham trainer Mark Johnston.

Communique prevailed at Goodwood for jockey Silvestre de Sousa and Middleham trainer Mark Johnston.

Runner-up in the Epsom Oaks, and at Royal Ascot, Wild Illusion’s superior stamina paid off in this contest.

Dropping back to 10 furlongs from a mile-and-a-half, Wild Illusion had plenty in reserve when she kicked on.

“William gave her a great tactical ride from the front. He is fantastic on the front end, we have seen that time after time and he had the right, willing partner,” said Appleby.

“I just said to William, from half a mile out start to stretch them as she will get a mile-and-a-quarter standing on her head, so let’s see if the batch in behind would see it out. As far as I’m concerned, she saw it out gamely and the others haven’t. The Yorkshire Oaks is potentially there under consideration.”

William gave her a great tactical ride from the front. He is fantastic on the front end, we have seen that time after time and he had the right, willing partner.

Charlie Appleby

Skipton-born William Haggas felt runner up Urban Fox, winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh, had simply been beaten by a better horse on the day.

He said: “She ran well. I think the winner was a good filly today, but she has run a very solid race and I’m very pleased with her. Danny (Tudhope) said the winner kept finding and kicked and he could never quite get to her. She has won well the winner.”

Meanwhile, Mark Johnston moved closer to becoming Britain’s winning-most trainer when Communique prevailed in the Matchbook Best Value Exchange handicap under champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa.

Johnston has been the leading trainer at Glorious Goodwood on 11 occasions and the win left him 17 shy of record-holder Richard Hannon senior’s 4,193 successes.

“We will enjoy it when it comes,” said the Middleham trainer. “I’m proud of it – I’ve never disputed that the trainers’ championship should be decided on prize money won, not winners, although if it had been I would have been champion trainer on 12 occasions. Every year that we have a good season in terms of winners we know the owners will be back again.”