Wachman's Glorious triumph
IRISH eyes were smiling at Glorious Goodwood yesterday after David Wachman's Requinto showed brilliant speed to capture the Molecomb Stakes.
A winner of a Tipperary Listed-race winner on his previous start, Wayne Lordan's mount broke fast close to the stands rail before losing some ground at halfway.
Lordan switched the son of Dansili to the middle of the track and it proved a wise move, as his mount picked up well to score by a length and a quarter from Burwaaz in a good time.
"There were a few horses in front of me, so I just got him out and got him a bit of racing room," the jockey explained. "They're only two-year-olds and it was only his fifth start, so once I got a bit of room, he quickened up and went to the line very well."
Mark Johnston, on 49 Glorious Goodwood winners coming into this meeting, wasted no time in reaching his half-century when Namibian outstayed the favourite Fiorente to take the Gordon Stakes by a neck.
As much as a landmark as that is, it will be a third Classic, namely the St Leger, that Johnston has in his sights now after the increasingly impressive Silvestre De Sousa got the better of Ryan Moore in a terrific finish to the race that last year gave us Leger winner Arctic Cosmos.
Despite more improvement expected from the runner-up, it is hard to envisage him reversing the form with Namibian -- successful at two miles in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot -- over further, despite yesterday's race being run to suit neither colt. "I did think the pace was a bit slow, but I knew he'd stay," said Johnston. "I wasn't sure about coming back in trip, it was a bit experimental, but it's made up our mind for the future."
Da Sousa is now a serious jockeys' title contender. He is in a three-man breakaway group of reigning Champion Paul Hanagan, Moore and himself, who are all in the 80s. He certainly did not appear the least bit daunted going into the last furlong locked in battle with previous champion Moore.
Last year Richard Hughes rode a record nine winners at the meeting and he was in his stride quickly again this time. Like Namibian, Strong Suit had also won at Royal Ascot and he won the Lennox Stakes like a Group One winner just waiting to happen.
"He's now back to his old self," said Hannon, who went on to complete a double with Moustache, a timely confidence booster ahead of today's 'Duel on the Downs'.
"I didn't think we'd make Ascot with him (Strong Suit), but he worked very well at Kempton with Canford Cliffs just before the meeting and Julie Wood, his owner, decided we'd take a chance. He was only beaten a head and a nose in a Group One in France last time." (© Daily Telegraph, London)