Goodwood Festival News

Glorious Goodwood: Balding bubbly after The Foxes pounces

Sat 30 Jul 2022

Andrew Balding landed the British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Stakes at Goodwood for the second year running as The Foxes hunted down Richard Hannon’s Classic to open his account at the third attempt.

The Kingsclere handler took the corresponding race 12 months ago with subsequent Irish Guineas third Imperial Fighter and The Foxes, an expensive son of Churchill and closely related to Group winners Bangkok and Matterhorn, bounced back well from a disappointing showing at Royal Ascot.

Hannon’s 4-5 favourite Classic looked the most likely winner when looming into contention travelling stylishly two furlongs from home, but he was soon joined by The Foxes (5-1), who responded gamely to David Probert’s urgings in the saddle and won by a neck.

Winning trainer Andrew Balding said: “I was crestfallen after Ascot because he’d had a run for experience but that [the Chesham] was our aim. He ran no sort of race, but nor did a lot of the fancied horses for whatever reason.

“We gave him a bit of time, but we've always thought a lot of him and it's good to win at Goodwood over seven furlongs because he should stay a lot further. In terms of ability, he's very similar to Bangkok, but this horse is much more relaxed. Bangkok took a bit of racing to get the whole deal while this horse is more forward and switched on. Bangkok was a very good horse and hopefully this horse is as good.

“I think we'll have a go at a Stakes race, just by the way he works at home and after his win in this race. I told his owners [King Power Racing] to pick a really good name for this horse because from early on we thought he was probably quite good - hopefully it will work out."

Probert said: “The Foxes is a brother to Bangkok, who progressed with age and did extremely well towards the end of his career. This horse is pretty similar and has a likeable attitude on him.

“Things didn't go his way in the Chesham when he got stuck on the wing and ran a bit too keen early on so didn't finish the race off, but we got into a lovely rhythm today and had a nice tow into it. I was really pleased with his attitude, especially in the last furlong, and he galloped out nicely.

“I think [Ascot] was just a big stage for him, for his second start. He has grown up massively for it. Experience wise, he just got a little bit unorganised in his two previous starts, but today everything went very smoothly.

“I expect him to improve over a mile. I would imagine it [The Derby] would be possible for him and he'll improve with age. I'm glad he's got his head in front today.”

Trawlerman's winning haul

John and Thady Gosden’s Trawlerman avoided the traffic problems in behind to land the Coral Summer Handicap at Goodwood on Saturday.

In a race full of hard-luck stories, Benoit De La Sayette guided the 6-1 shot to join the Mark and Charlie Johnston-trained duo of Themaxwecan and Golden Flame at the head of proceedings passing the three-furlong marker and Trawlerman was not for passing when sent on to win the race by his young rider.

The 4-1 co-favourite Bague D’Or was one of those that had to fight his way into contention and had to settle for a silver medal, while third-placed Euchen Glen was held up and ridden for plenty of luck, but encountered travel problems whenever Paul Mulrennan attempted to deliver the evergreen nine-year-old.

Thady Gosden said: “We’ve been trying to get this horse settled as he’s been over generous in his races. We put a hood on him and he didn’t do as much.

“He has plenty of talent and is a genuine horse who gives you everything when you ask for it.

“We were trying to run him in a race that had a big enough field to try and get him settled. We will see where we go from here.

“Benoit is riding very well and has ridden another good race.”

De La Sayette said: “He showed us his true ability as he was settled and relaxed. Good horses take us to the line, and he’s one of them.

“The race panned out perfectly. We broke smartly and had a nice tow through, and when I pulled him out he went through the motions. He really showed his true ability today.”

On how his own year has been going he said: “It’s unbelievable to think that this year has flown as smoothly as this. I’m just overwhelmed with how things are going at the minute and hopefully they carry on.”

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