The opening day of the Galway Festival was highlighted by Jody Townend’s win on Great White Shark in the featured Connacht Hotel Handicap. Townend, the sister of Irish champion jockey Paul, had been out for nine months after breaking her back, but won, like her brother has so often, for trainer Willie Mullins.
Today Glorious Goodwood joins in the fun with the highlight being the Group 1 Goodwood Cup, with over a quarter of a million pounds on offer to the winner. Here’s a look at the best of the day’s action from both cards.
2.25 Qatar Vintage Stakes
The youngsters come out for this Group 2 contest over 7f and Godolphin look to have a good one in Pinatubo who is favourite for the team of James Doyle and Charlie Appleby. Mark Johnston looks to have another decent 2yo in Visinari, while Aidan O’Brien sends over Lope Y Fernandez. Positive and Mystery Power are unbeaten for what looks an intriguing race.
3.00 Qatar Lennox Stakes
Ten runners go to post for what is a very open 7f contest with Hey Gaman perhaps the one to follow for James Tate, though Zaaki from the Michael Stoute yard has a great shot, while David Elsworth would be a popular winner with his Sir Dancealot.
3.35 Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes
This two mile contest is significantly shorter than the recent Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, but Stradivarius will be the odds on favourite again. John Gosden’s long-distance raider can give Frankie Dettori another big win, but the likes of Cross Counter (pictured) and Dee Ex Bee will not be going their without hope.
5.20 Colm Quinn BMW Novice Hurdle
Just five go to post for this Listed contest over an extended two miles and both Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott are represented, as is Joseph O’Brien, whose Fine Brunello may put up the best challenge to Mullins (this time with Paul Townend on board) and Fast Buck
7.40 Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap
Eighteen go to post for the feature at Ballybrit and it is interesting that Mark Johnston has a runner in Rufus King. The betting suggests others may be more fancied and Jassaar can get Dermot Weld back among the big winners at the Galway Races, though the likes of Joseph O’Brien’s Numerian and Onlyhuman from the Jessica Harrington yard will have plenty of support as well.