Goodwood Festival 2014: Kingman and jockey James Doyle show different gears to swoop in Sussex Stakes
Three-year-old colt overcomes rivals' go-slow tactics to prove he is the best miler in training
Wednesday 30 July 2014
In a contest resembling more a cycling sprint than a Group One at Goodwood, James Doyle played the part of Chris Hoy to perfection to steer Kingman to victory in the Sussex Stakes and leave nobody in any doubt that the three-year-old colt is the best miler in training.
This was less the “Duel on the Downs” than the “Dawdle on the Downs” as Richard Hughes, rider of the favourite’s chief antagonist Toronado, called upon all his considerable experience at this unique circuit to find a way to beat a horse he probably knew in his heart of hearts would, all things being equal, beat him.
Hughes decided that go-slow tactics were the best way to scupper Kingman and with the other two riders, Joseph O’Brien on Darwin and William Buick aboard Outstrip, unwilling to commit themselves, the first half of the race was run at the sort of pace you might see in a three-mile chase.
It was not until the two-furlong pole that Hughes said “go” on Toronado. For a moment, Kingman looked in trouble, but once he had organised his legs on the camber, he made up the ground so fast – the split times said as quickly as Frankel, the winner of this race in 2011 and 2012, ever ran – that by the line Doyle had him a length clear and back on the bridle.
Kingman’s trainer, John Gosden, acknowledged the “clever ploy” adopted by Hughes at a venue the twice-champion regards as his home pitch, but it was to no avail.
“No matter what they try, his turn of foot gets him home,” Doyle said. “That’s what separates him from the rest. It was just like an Olympic cycle race, everything sitting in behind and then ‘swoop!’ But he’s the one with the best gears.”
Gosden is convinced that Kingman would have been champion sprinter if they had chosen that route, but there is a commitment to the top mile races now, signing off for the season, and perhaps for good ahead of a stud career, with a crack at the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.
In the following race, Highland Reel emerged as the latest standard-bearer for Ballydoyle. He is now joint-favourite for next year’s 2,000 Guineas and clear market leader for the Derby after brushing aside a decent field in the Vintage Stakes.
In normal circumstances, a victory for the Queen on the Sussex Downs would be greeted enthusiastically; expect Estimate to bring the house down if she lands today’s Goodwood Cup.
The mare’s positive test for morphine at Royal Ascot last month was apparently caused by accidentally contaminated feed, an explanation all but confirmed by the British Horseracing Authority chief executive, Paul Bittar, but nevertheless it was an embarrassment.
On her day, Estimate is one of the best stayers in Europe and, given she had suffered an interrupted preparation before finishing a gallant runner-up in the Ascot Gold Cup, an even better showing can be anticipated this time.
Brown Panther, successful in this race 12 months ago, did not appear to last home the extra half mile at Ascot but is likely to make Estimate fight all the way over his optimum trip, while the Northumberland Plate winner Angel Gabriel holds strong each-way claims.
For information regarding the QIPCO British Champions Series visit: britishchampionsseries.com
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Latest in Sport
Manchester United official team photo: Antonio Valencia and Anderson pull the funniest faces
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt, including Danny Welbeck must be more clinical and Hector Bellerin debut
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...