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
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli comment: Time running out for 'lost boy' to shine at Liverpool, or anywhere
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Erik Lamela rabona steals the show in five-star Spurs Europa League romp
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teachers with QTS nee...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...