Thursday 20 September 2018

Appleby surprised by 'Wild' reservations

Wild Illusion ridden by jockey William Buick (2nd left) comes home to win the Qatar Nassau Stakes during day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester. Photo: PA
Wild Illusion ridden by jockey William Buick (2nd left) comes home to win the Qatar Nassau Stakes during day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester. Photo: PA

Marcus Armytage

This is the season that has marked Godolphin's return to the top and while Masar's victory in the Derby is unlikely to be bettered, Wild Illusion finally landed one at the highest level in her Classic year when she dictated the Qatar Nassau Stakes from start to finish yesterday.

With no obvious pace in the race, William Buick set off to make all the running on the 4/1 shot, kicked first off the hill and ran on strongly to beat Urban Fox by two lengths with Veracious in third.

Slightly surprised that she had come into the race unheralded, Charlie Appleby said: "She won the Marcel Boussac at two, was fourth in the Guineas, second in the Oaks and Ribblesdale.

"Her form was rock-solid, she was coming into the race as well as I'd had her all season and I felt dropping back in trip was going to be her forte.

"I was happy going into Ascot but the quicker ground was a concern and there was still a bit of moisture out there today. Tactically we could not see where the pace was going to come from so I asked William to go out there and do what he's good at.

"He's great from the front end - we have seen that so many times - and he's given her a lovely tactical ride from the front. I just told him to use her stamina and stretch them for half a mile."

Aidan O'Brien's Rhododendron finished last. It is nearly three weeks since he won a Group One, a drought by his normal standards, but his horses cannot all be under the weather because Land Force, the 5/2 favourite, won the Qatar Richmond Stakes by a length under hands and heels from Ryan Moore.

Land Force had finished just in front of Wednesday's Molecomb Stakes winner Rumble Inthejungle in the Norfolk and that form is now looking very strong. "I think six furlongs is his favoured trip at the moment," said Kevin Buckley, Coolmore's representative. "It's very exciting. That he is from the first crop of No Nay Never to have a Group Two winner at a meeting like Goodwood is fantastic for a young stallion."

Mark Johnston took his tally for his favourite week to three courtesy of a double with wins by Communique and Accordance.

He is now just 16 short and closing in rapidly on Richard Hannon all-time record of 4,193 winners. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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