Goodwood: Hoof It rolls back the years to land huge gamble

Hoof It - Nathan Evans wins from Related - Luke Morris

Hoof It and Nathan Evans (pink cap) win from Related

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

Report: Goodwood, Saturday

Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Stakes (Consolation race for the Qatar Stewards’ Cup) (Class 2), 6f, 3yo+

HOOF IT, the winner of the Stewards’ Cup in 2011, showed some of his old magic in landing the Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Stakes, heaping more misery on bookmakers as the nine-year-old was subject of a massive gamble, backed in to 8-1 from 20-1.

After Franklin D’s victory in the Betfred Mile had the layers running for cover on Friday, bookmakers look set for another long day on the Downs for the final fixture of Glorious Goodwood.

It was a tremendous performance from Hoof It, who as a nine-year-old veteran rediscovered the spark that brought him victory in the Stewards Cup in 2011.

Furthermore, it was a special result for his jockey, 5lb claimer Nathan Evans, who scored the biggest win of his career on his 19th Birthday.

Draw bias?

Hoof it deployed good early pace as he broke well from stall 11 and showed steely determination to repel the challenge of Related, who finished second at 16-1 for trainer Paul Midgley. The well-backed Nuno Tristan came third at 13-2 whilst Stellarta rounded off the places in fourth at 50-1.

In terms of the draw there did not appear to be a definite bias, although stalls 23, 24 and 28 provided the last three finishers and of the first 11 home, only three (the winner, fourth and fifth) were drawn in double-figure stalls.

Nathan Evans was elated with notching a victory on his birthday. “We got racing quite early but he just keeps battling,” he said. “It’s a great birthday present to ride a winner at Goodwood.”

Evans rides Hoofalong in the Stewards’ Cup as he bids for a historic double.

Dal Harraild - Pat Cosgrave wins from No8 Shraaoh

Dal Harraild (white face) sneaks through a gap to win at Goodwood

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

Also at Goodwood on Saturday

Qatar Handicap 1m4f, 3yo

THIS three-year-old handicap looked competitive on paper and so it proved in reality as Dal Harraild, the 5-1 second favourite, narrowly got the better of Shraaoh in an action-packed finish.

Dal Harraild was considered by many to be an unlucky loser at Ascot last time, when he was a fast-finishing third, and his backers would have been cursing their fortune again as the gaps looked like they would fail to materialise.

However, Pat Cosgrave just managed to extricate his strong-travelling mount in time and he picked up in good style to hold off the powerful late challenge of 7-1 Shraaoh by a short head.

Move Up, at 6-1, finished a further head back in third.

Improving horse

Although the margins involved were narrow and luck played its part, the unexposed and most interesting horses came to the fore and the suspicion is that this may prove to be strong handicap form.

Cosgrave certainly felt that Dal Harraild is capable of better again. The winning rider said: “He’s a good horse and I think he’s on the up. I think you’ll see a better horse again on a nice, flat galloping track.”

Winning trainer William Haggas, who hails from Yorkshire, often targets the Ebor meeting and said that Dal Harraild could have a possible engagement at York next month.

“The ground was a bit loose for him here but if he gets fast ground he might be a Melrose horse,” Haggas said.

 

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