Glorious Goodwood: Toronado puts Dawn in shade as Richard Hughes pounces with panache

Hannon colt strikes late to defeat Guineas winner at third attempt in 'Duel on the Downs'

Goodwood

This was that rarity on the Turf, an unqualified success. No quarter given, no excuses needed. After consecutively obliging his trainer and jockey to come up with exasperated pleas in mitigation, Toronado finally cut down Dawn Approach in a race that amply matched its billing as "the Duel on the Downs". For the Qipco Sussex Stakes, rendered a procession by Frankel in the two previous years, this time owed its vintage quality to the desperate margin explored by one outstanding colt – and the contrasting nonchalance exhibited by the rider of another.

As a champion in his pomp, Richard Hughes is sealing his status as a defining figure of his era. Here he was in his element, restraining a top-class horse behind a molten pace before pouncing with timely panache. And, for those who admire the character of the man no less than his talent, how gratifying to see that charming smile and bright eye contribute to scenes of celebration in wholesome contrast to the stony professionalism that can petrify similar occasions.

His joy was compounded by relief, as he had been adamant throughout that Toronado could do something like this. That had required Hughes – along with Richard Hannon, his father-in-law and the seasoned trainer of this colt – to insist politely that Toronado had not been himself when swatted aside by Dawn Approach in the 2,000 Guineas; and had been unlucky not to reel in the Irish colt when hampered at Royal Ascot.

With one memorable exception, at Epsom, Dawn Approach had never needed any such exoneration. When it came to it, the punters seemed to find their credulity stretched by Toronado, allowing him to drift from 6-4 in the morning to a fairly astonishing starting price of 11-4. Leonine as ever in the paddock, Dawn Approach was sent off a shade of odds-on – but the big money was coming for the older horse, Declaration Of War.

And there was a moment halfway up the straight when the Ballydoyle raider, still tanking along, loomed upsides Dawn Approach. Kevin Manning had committed past the weakening pacemakers two furlongs out, having been first of the principals off the bridle, and his mount kept finding extra in a fashion typical of horses trained by Jim Bolger. Having seen off Declaration Of War, however, Dawn Approach could not stem a late surge so relentless that Hughes was able to give Toronado several congratulatory pats down the neck even as he went half a length up. It was another two and a half back to Declaration Of War, himself well clear of the rabble.

"There was a lot of pressure on today," Hughes admitted. "There were no excuses if he got beat. I thought his reputation would be ruined if he didn't win. I said before the race I'd come fast and late, but that the most important thing was to let him get his head down early and let him breathe – which had been an issue in the Guineas."

Hughes was grateful to Declaration Of War for a tow into the race, and perhaps also for eroding the resistance of Dawn Approach. He avoided any kind of slugfest with the favourite, keeping them well apart once finally playing his hand. Of course, to ride so patiently is his first instinct regardless. "There's only one winning post at Goodwood, and it's right down the end," he said.

Sure enough, riding Toormore in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes, Hughes again reeled in a Godolphin colt despite finding himself with lots of ground to make up as Outstrip burst clear. "He's one of our nicest two-year-olds," Hughes said. "But he's a big baby still, mentally and physically, and he'll have to fill out and develop a bit more before he's the real deal."

Outstrip was saddled by Charlie Appleby, who recently took over the Godolphin string previously supervised by his former boss, the disgraced Mahmood al-Zarooni. He had celebrated a first Group success when Cap O'Rushes won the Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes, albeit his rally off a slow pace identified the head runner-up, Excess Knowledge, as a better candidate for the Ladbrokes St Leger. The sponsors assented, making Excess Knowledge 8-1 for Doncaster and Cap O'Rushes 10-1.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
Tax now accounts for ‘nearly 80%’ of the price of a bottle of whisky
news

Arts and Entertainment
Peppa Pig wearing her golden boots
film

"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star

Life and Style
tech

Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...

Recruitment Genius: Continuous Improvement Manager

£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Data Entry Administrator

£10670 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee