Beaten a nose by the Kevin Ryan-trained Hey Jonesy in the Wokingham Stakes, Summerghand defied top weight of 9st 10lb to win this six-furlong sprint handicap on the final day of Glorious Goodwood.
The six-year-old is now likely to be aimed at the Ayr Gold Cup after a fine tactical ride by Tudhope, who feared that he had hit the front too soon before defying Kimifive by a head.
Fractions matter – and the gaps opened at the right time – in this 27-runner cavalry charge which saw the North Yorkshire horse put up the best weight-carrying performance in the race since Mick Easterby’s Hoof It won off 10st in 2011.
“He is usually probably one of the last horses off the bridle, and that is just him because he has that much talent, but he has got one burst of speed,” said Tudhope.
“I was a bit worried when I hit the front – I looked up and I was just inside the final furlong, which was probably soon enough for him to be in front, but we got there.
“He is just a little bit quirky; when he hits the front he would duck and dive a little bit, but that’s the only reason he has cheekpieces on.
He is a very talented horse; David (O’Meara, trainer) is very good with these sprinters and freshening them up. They don’t do a lot at home – they get turned out in the paddocks most days when it’s nice – and he is good at freshening these sprinters up.”
Tudohpe added; “He was very unlucky at Royal Ascot, but it shows how good he is - to come here to another big handicap, and finally the result went his way.
“I was not sure I had won – I had to look across at the line – but it was a great performance. It is very hard to come here and win races like this. I have been in this race a few times and never come close, I don’t think.
“These competitive heritage handicaps are ideal for Summerghand, so I am sure there will be a few more down the line.”
Tudhope could not do the weight on the O’Meara-trained Prompting, who had taken the Unibet Golden Mile on Friday under Harry Bentley.
Bentley then took his Goodwood tally to the week to four courtesy of a final day double aboard Treacherous for Ed De Giles and then Hochfeld in the Unibet Summer Handicap over a mile-and-six-furlongs for Middleham trainer Mark Johnston.
He is riding with considerable confidence and is becoming a ‘go to’ jockey for the top trainers – especially as riders will be restricted to one meeting a day for the rest of the season due to Covid-19 health protocols.
“When it comes to riding the course, it can be a very unlucky place at times, as we’ve seen this week – you can get trapped on that far side rail and there’s not a lot you can do about it – but when it goes well, it’s great,” reflected Bentley.
Tributes have been paid to Stan Mellor, the first jump jockey to ride 1,000 winners, who has died at the age of 83.
Mellor was also one of the few jockeys to have beaten the legendary Arkle, conjuring a winning final fence jump out of Stalbridge Colonist in the 1966 Hennessy.
He retired from the saddle in 1972 after riding 1,034 winners under National Hunt Rules and became both a successful trainer and advocate for better safety and welfare in the sport.
Broadcaster Brough Scott said: “He did more for jockeys than anyone else has ever done, or ever will. At the time when jockeys were only just getting themselves organised, he was the pioneer for everything... new helmets (designs), backpads, (getting rid of) concrete posts, insurance.”
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