Unsuitably fast ground ruled Wonderful Tonight out of last weekend’s King George but David Menuisier’s talented filly looks poised to gain compensation in the Group 2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes on the final day of Glorious Goodwood.
The daughter of Le Harve ended her three-year-old campaign with a Group 1 double, the first of which came over the same extended trip she’ll be tackling today so stamina shouldn’t be a problem.
She returned to action in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in June with Menuisier warning that Wonderful Tonight wasn’t fully tuned up for her first start since winning the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes last October.
Menuisier need not have worried. Despite being keen, Wonderful Tonight found plenty were called for maximum effort and crossed the line a length and a half clear of Broome with Hukum a further length and a half back in third.
The form of that Group 2 contest looks strong. The King George didn’t work out for Broome but he landed a French Group 1 at the start of this month while Hukum has since won a York Group 3.
In addition, Japan and Sir Ron Priestley, sixth and seventh in the Hardwicke, have also boosted the form by winning since so there’s plenty for connections of Wonderful Tonight to take encouragement from. Whether she quite has the raw talent required to fulfil Menuisier’s grand ambition of Arc glory on the first Sunday in October is open to debate but her ability to excel when the mud is flying makes her a dangerous horse to write off.
And the confident expectation is Menuisier’s Arc dream will remain intact beyond this afternoon.
The big betting race of the day is the Unibet Stewards’ Cup, a 28-runner cavalry charge over six furlongs. A case can be made for several but Haydock Sprint Cup entry Fresh deserves his position at the end of the market.
The James Fanshawe-trained gelding won a big-field Ascot handicap in May before finding only Rohaan too good in the Wokingham Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Rohaan wasn’t beaten all that far in the Group 1 July Cup next time out and the absence of anything of that calibre in opposition today means Fresh must surely go close if he repeats his Wokingham performance.
First Folio would have been a big threat had he made the Stewards’ Cup cut so James Ferguson’s charge has to be viewed as the one to beat in the consolation race, the Unibet Stewards’ Sprint Handicap. The three-year-old Dark Angel gelding has won two of his three starts this season and another big effort can be anticipated off top weight here.
Elsewhere at Goodwood, the Summer Handicap looks pretty tricky but Alan King has already struck twice at Goodwood this week and his On To Victory looks a decent each-price at odds of around 10-1 while Master Zoffany should go close in the Thames Materials Handicap for Richard Fahey.
Goodwood 1.20: Master Zoffany
Goodwood 1.55: First Folio (NB)
Newmarket 2.10: Cashew
Goodwood 2.30: On To Victory (Each-way)
Newmarket 2.45: Sayyida
Goodwood 3.05: Wonderful Tonight (Nap)
Goodwood 3.40: Fresh