There were more twists and turns in the road to the St Leger at Glorious Goodwood this week with Mogul putting two disappointing efforts behind him with victory in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
This Group 3 restricted to three-year-olds over 1m 4f has been won by some very good horses in recent years. Think Highland Reel, Ulysses, Crystal Ocean and Cross Counter. All went on to bigger and better things in their careers, but Mogul was getting his back on track.
He became the fifth Gordon Stakes winner for jockey Ryan Moore, who rode a big race double on Ladies Day at Glorious Goodwood. More on that later as Mogul raced in touch and made headway on the outside of the field approaching the final furlong.
When Moore rode him out with 100 yards to go he led and prevailed by three-quarters of a length from Gordon Stakes outsider Highland Chief. Subjectivist, who made most of the running, held on for third.
This victory earned Mogul a 10/1 quote for the St Leger from BetVictor, but Moore wouldn’t be drawn on whether he had the stamina for the Doncaster Classic. Trainer Aidan O’Brien said after the race that the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp would be next for him.
That didn’t stop bookies from slashing Mogul’s St Leger odds in half or even more severely. O’Brien now has seven of the first 10 in the betting for that race, creating something of ante post minefield for punters.
Ballydoyle have three big Group 1s in the space of 24 hours on the weekend of the St Leger. Besides the Doncaster showpiece, there is the Irish equivalent at The Curragh the following day and the aforementioned 1m 4f Grand Prix de Paris.
Al Aasy and Khalifa Sat eased for St Leger
While Mogul regained the winning thread after disappointments in the King Edward VII Stakes and Epsom Derby, it was the turn of other horses to let connections down. English King was sent off the 5/4 favourite for the Gordon Stakes, but wasn’t going the pace to challenge.
Ed Walker’s horse hasn’t lived up to the hype her created when landing the Lingfield Derby Trial two starts ago. Where he goes next will be interesting, especially as bookmakers have left him unchanged for the St Leger.
English King at least reversed Espom Derby form with Khalifa Sat, who was friendless in the Gordon Stakes betting. There was only a head in it, but the latter is now out to 20/1 from 14/1 in the market.
Bahrain Trophy scorer Al Aasy couldn’t follow-up under a penalty in the same grade and trailed in last. That has not enhanced his Classic claims either with the bookies easing him from 10/1 to 16/1.
Following his huge run at odds of 22/1, William Hill have Highland Chief at 12/1 for Doncaster. Even Subjectivist has been cut from 33/1 after running a good race for a long way.
Santiago, third but not disgraced against his elders in the Goodwood Cup earlier in the week, remains the 3/1 favourite with Betfair for St Leger success. The O’Brien hand remains very strong indeed, so it will be interesting to see which horses take aim at Town Moor.
Fancy Blue follows-up in Nassau
Son Donnacha O’Brien saw Fancy Blue beat her elders in the 1m 2f Group 1 Naasau Stakes. The win completed Moore’s big race double as the gamble on Coolmore’s other entrant, Magic Wand, backfired.
Fancy Blue was hard pressed by fellow three-year-old filly One Voice, but toughed it out by a neck landing odds of 11/4. The runner-up was another Irish rider, albeit an unfancied one at 20/1 for Jessica Harrington.
They pulled 2 3/4 lengths clear of in-form John Gosden four-year-old Nazeef whose winning sequence came to an end. Magic Wand could only come fifth for Frankie Dettori and O’Brien senior with last year’s Nassau Stakes heroine Deidre last of seven runners.
The concern about Fancy Blue going into the race was the blanket finish to the Prix de Diane at Chantilly last time out. She may be a horse who simply just does enough in front to win, a mark of intelligence.
Clearly, the 9lb weight-for-age that three-year-olds enjoy told in the closing stages of the Nassau Stakes. Nobody can say that Nazeef didn’t stay the extra couple of furlongs either as she just bumped into two equally progressive types who the race terms favoured.
There was also lots to like about Supremacy living up to his name in the 6f Group 2 Richmond Stakes. Emulating last year’s winner, Golden Horde, for trainer Clive Cox and jockey Adam Kirby, he made all.
Supremacy was four lengths ahead of favourite Yazaman at the line. This was a big step forward from maiden company at Windsor and even bigger targets may lie ahead now.
Golden Horde came out and won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot this season. If Cox has a similar type on his hands with Supremacy, then he is a hot prospect worth keeping onside.