The Foxes swoops to claim Goodwood spoils
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.
Balding said: “I think he’s quite smart and going into Ascot I thought he was our best chance of a winner but her never showed up (in the Chesham).
“I was absolutely crestfallen when, for some reason, he ran no sort of race.
“We gave him a bit of time to freshen him up after that and he’s done well to win over seven furlongs.
“We will have a go in a Stakes race next and next year he should get a mile and a quarter or even a mile and a half.
“I told the owners to pick a good name for him because I’ve always thought he was good – hopefully it will work out.”
The Tom Marquand-ridden Many A Star shaded the verdict in a three-way finish to the Coral Stewards’ Sprint Handicap, a consolation race for the Stewards’ Cup.
Magnolia Cup winner Dark Shot came close to making every yard of the running for the second time this week, but was swallowed up by the 8-1 winner and runner-up The Lamplighter in the shadow of the post.
Oliver Cole, who trains the winner in partnership with his father, Paul, said: “He’d been quite busy before his last race at Newmarket where there wasn’t enough pace for him.
“We decided to give him six weeks off, during which time he put on some condition.
“Today the idea was to tuck in and get him cover but Tom couldn’t manage that from his awkward draw.
“He would get that (cover) in the Ayr Gold Cup but the ground would have to be quick.”
I’m A Gambler (18-1) struck for Mark and Charlie Johnston in the Medallia Handicap to give the yard their fourth success since 2015 in the race.
It was the second winner of the week for a stable who enjoy plenty of success at this meeting and Charlie Johnston said: “He has been a bit inconsistent this year, he ran very well at Hamilton in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup two starts ago, but was disappointing at Newmarket last week.
“He has become quite difficult in the stalls on occasions, completely missed the start in the Bunbury Cup so today, for the first time, we took a ticket to go in last.
“He came out nice and relaxed and in a good rhythm, it certainly helped the situation. He is very capable on his day and he has bounced back to his best.
“It has been a tough week, the fact that only one trainer has had more than two winners highlights how competitive it is now and how difficult it is to have multiple winners at these festivals. You have to enjoy every one that you get and hopefully we can round it off in the last.”
Kim Bailey’s Ajero, runner-up at Royal Ascot, won the concluding Federation Of Bloodstock Agents Handicap as the 7-2 favourite in the hands of Jim Crowley.
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