Glorious Goodwood: Winsili joins the hooded heroes

Abdullah's 20-1 shot snuffs out the favourite Sky Lantern's late charge to win the Nassau Stakes

The trouble with a course like this one, one of the most difficult in the country to master, is that it can make a man look like a genius or a dunce.

At the end of a week during which the rider Richard Hughes and the trainer Richard Hannon had swept most before them – respectively eight and nine winners and a fourth title apiece at the Glorious meeting – their particular bandwagon finally hit the buffers. Or more precisely, the imposing equine backsides blocking the way of Sky Lantern in the closing stages of the afternoon's feature, the Nassau Stakes.

Sky Lantern, the best of her age and sex over a mile this season, started a well-backed 7-4 favourite to take her Group One tally to four in the £200,000 contest as she tried 10 furlongs for the first time, and give her stable a top-level double for the week, after Toronado's Sussex Stakes. But just as Hughes, who had come with a clear run into the straight before going back in among his rivals, started to launch his challenge beween Sajjhaa and the eventual winner Winsili, that pair closed together, bumped and shut the door in his and his grey mount's face.

A devil's advocate might say that Sky Lantern lacked the tactical speed to go through the gap while it was there but Hughes certainly felt hard done by afterwards. And his opinion was slightly endorsed by Winsili's trainer John Gosden. "Sky Lantern is a gorgeous filly," he said, "and she didn't quite get the rub of the green today." It will probably not have escaped the notice of Hughes and Hannon that a member of Gosden's team was their star's nemesis for her second successive race. Last month Winsili's stablemate Elusive Kate sent her sideways in a controversial finish to the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

Yesterday's contest on the downland switchback was messy enough all round. The well-fancied Just The Judge stumbled and ripped a shoe off, taking part of her hoof with it, at the start and was never a factor thereafter. At half-way the Irish challenger Just Pretending almost took the wrong course when in the lead, though she managed to get back on track without losing much ground or interfering with her rivals. And on the downhill run after the turn for home, Hot Snap was involved in some scrimmaging and, as a strong-finishing third, is another who can be counted unlucky.

The 20-1 shot Winsili, owned and bred by Khaled Abdullah, was keen early but eventually settled in William Buick's hands before making her effort through the last quarter-mile. She readily shrugged off the collision with Sajjhaa and had plenty left to repel the late charge of Thistle Bird (33-1), one of the few with a trouble-free run, by a neck. Hot Snap, also in the Abdullah colours and at 5-1 the better-fancied of the pair, was two lengths back, followed by Sajjhaa and Sky Lantern.

Winsili, a daughter of Dansili, gave Gosden his second successive Nassau Stakes – ironically last year's winner The Fugue was ridden by Hughes – and Abdullah his fourth in five years, the first three courtesy of a hat-trick from Midday, Hot Snap's older half-sister. "My game plan was to follow Hughsie," said Buick, "and hope he wouldn't get too far back, which he didn't. I had plenty of time in the straight to manoeuvre and I decided to take my time because I know she has a turn of foot."

But while yesterday's heroine, who benefits from the calming effect of a hood that covers her ears in public, does little wrong on the track – she has now won three of her five races – at home it is a different matter. "She's quite strongminded and just can't stand still," said Gosden. "If she can't go straight on to the canter in the mornings, if she has to wait her turn, she almost throws herself to the ground in frustration. She's like the Roadrunner."

Winsili and Sky Lantern may yet meet again, in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in California later in the year. "I was behind the Godolphin filly [Sajjhaa] at the two-furlongs pole, but when I went to edge out round her Mr Buick's horse rolled in and pushed me back. I think I was on the best horse, I was coming to win. But that's racing."

Horses drawn near the stands side rail dominated the finish of the cavalry charge that is the six-furlong Stewards' Cup, with the 12-1 shot Rex Imperator a rather easy winner of one of the season's most competitive sprint handicaps. The four-year-old, ridden by Neil Callan, came in two and a quarter lengths clear of Ajjaad (66-1) with Burwaaz (25-1) and Racy (16-1) next. It was a second Stewards Cup' for trainer William Haggas, who won with Conquest five years ago.

 



Suggested Topics
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003