Sultanina provides Gosden with another big race winner

JOHN GOSDEN’s monopoly of major races continued when the lightly-raced Sultanina provided the 2014 leading trainer with a third Group One triumph in a week.

Sultanina (left) ridden by William Buick wins the Markel Insurance Nassau stakes.
Sultanina (left) ridden by William Buick wins the Markel Insurance Nassau stakes.

After the high-profile successes of stable stars Taghrooda and Kingman, Sultanina’s success in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood was perhaps the least expected of Gosden’s big race victories.

The four-year-old only ran in the race on the say-so of owner Philippa Cooper of Normandie House Stud whose colours had been carried to victory by the even more progressive Wannabe Yours 24 hours previously.

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Gosden thought the one and a quarter mile trip on fast ground would be unsuitable for the late developing Sultanina, but he has happy to be proved wrong.

“The owner-breeder said to me after she won at Salisbury that she was the best filly she had ever bred,” said Gosden who is virtually certain to be champion trainer in 2014.

“I did wonder a bit at the time, but she’s been proved right.”

Sultanina is likely to be rested so she is fresh for Qipco Champions Day at Ascot in October.

This was one of five successes for William Buick who was the meeting’s top rider.

It is the first time that he has led the standings at a major fixture and he donated his £1,000 prize to the Racing Welfare charity.

He, too, was very impressed by Sultanina who could fill the void created by the retirement of The Fugue who has been so instrumental in Buick’s career.

“That was only the fourth run of her life, so it was a good training performance. She did it very well out there,” said the jockey. “We have always held her in high regard – no one as high as Mrs Cooper the owner, who said after she won her maiden that she could be one of the best fillies that she had ever had. She’s clearly right.”

The winning-most trainer at the meeting was Middleham’s Mark Johnston after Double Bluff and Grigolo’s successes on Saturday took his stable’s tally to four. “It’s great to win the leading trainer award. It has been a really good week and the horses have been running really well,” said Johnston who always targets Goodwood.

All four Johnston winners were ridden by stable jockey Joe Fanning who remains in a rich vein of form.

The Yorkshire success did not end here. Barnet Fair, trained at Thirsk by Dandy Nicholls, took the 32RedSport.com Handicap under Cam Hardie – the apprentice find of 2014 – while Amy Ryan took the concluding handicap sprint on Online Alexander for her father Kevin.

This three-year-old horse is clearly one to follow while it was heartwarming to see the jockey back in the winner’s enclosure after an injury-hit year.

Earlier she had finished down the field on Blaine in the 32Red Cup – formerly the Stewards’ Cup – which was won by the Robert Cowell-trained Intrinsic.

The clue was in the riding arrangements – champion jockey Richard Hughes opted to ride Intrinsic, owned by his sponsor Malih Al Basti, rather than his brother-in-law Richard Hannon’s Ninjago who was second.

Back in third was Malton trainer Richard Fahey’s Alben Star who was given a fine ride by young apprentice George Chaloner. Big race success beckons for the horse. “I’ve been wanting to give him a break for a while, he was on the go all through the winter, but he keeps coming out and doing lifetime bests,” said Fahey. “Fourth in the Wokingham, now third in this. I’m sure there’ll be one of these big handicaps in him one day.”

Meanwhile Andrea Atzeni continued his rich vein of form with a four-timer at Doncaster. He won last year’s Racing Post Trophy at the track aboard Kingston Hill who is now due to reappear in the Juddmonte International or Neptune Investment Great Voltigeur Stakes at York’s Ebor meeting.

Attention today turns to Ripon and the North Yorkshire track’s commemorations to mark the centenary of the First World War. Two of the contests – The Studley Stakes and The City Welter Stakes – derive their names from races that took place at the track on August 4, 1914.