Cool running takes the glory

Cool Sky (grey cap, obscured) won the opener

Cool Sky claimed victory in an attritional Matchbook Betting Exchange Goodwood Handicap.

The Ian Williams-trained eight-year-old was a 25-1 shot for a two-and-a-half-mile contest run in testing conditions and driving rain.

Denmead travelled strongly to the front early in the home straight and was closely pursued by Arthur Mc Bride, Aurora Gray, Taws and Cool Sky.

It turned into a straight shootout between Aurora Gray and Cool Sky in the last half-furlong and it was Josephine Gordon's mount who won the battle by a length and a quarter.

Arthur Mc Bride was a clear third.

Gordon said: "It wasn't easy out there. We went a nice even gallop, but you couldn't see much and us Flat jockeys wouldn't be used to going that far!

"He did it very nicely and stayed on well.

"The ground was on the soft side of good yesterday and today the rain has really got into the ground.

"I'd say by the end of the day it's going to be really hard work and tomorrow again."

Williams said: "I very nearly took him out as it was so soft, but I thought 'at least they will go through it'.

"Josephine has given him an incredible ride. I said to the boys at home earlier in the week I had a gut feeling about this horse for this race. I don't know why really, but he reminded me a bit of Teak, who actually won this race on fast ground three years ago.

"He wouldn't be a dissimilar horse. He is not a superstar but he is good for the strengths of this race. He has always looked like he has been crying out for further on the Flat and today he proved that.

"I don't think he will be high enough in the weights for the Cesarewitch, but we'll have a rethink what to do with him."

Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning combined to land the Better Odds With Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap with Londinium.

The Middleham maestro rarely leaves the showpiece meeting on the Sussex Downs without a winner and Londinium (9-1) was one of three representatives in this mile-and-a-half event.

The three-year-old hit the front with over two furlongs still to run and showed plenty of heart to see off a number of challengers.

Londinium passed the post with a length and a half in hand over On To Victory, with Winston C third and First Nation fourth.

Fanning said: "He's done it very well. I was going so well turning in and he took me to the front. With the light weight I thought we'd kick on. In that ground you don't want to be sitting there.

"Mark wasn't worried about the ground and he seemed to like it."

Johnston said: "Joe said he was always travelling really well and that he was cantering at the top of the hill.

"He was torn then. It's a hard decision on very soft ground. On the one hand you think that maybe they won't get home, on the other hand if you lose momentum it's race over. He said he just kicked for home and it was very straightforward.

"He is a horse that doesn't do well away from home. It was a big decision to bring him to Goodwood as he doesn't like being away from his home box.

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"I think he has travelled once overnight before the first day he ran and we decided we wouldn't do it again. It was a big decision to come overnight and it has worked out well.

"He is in again on Friday so he might be getting used to Goodwood."

Havana Grey claimed his fourth victory from just six starts with a determined front-running performance in the Bombay Sapphire Molecomb Stakes.

The Group Three contest lost some of its lustre following the withdrawal of American challenger Happy Like A Fool, but a competitive field of 10 juveniles did go to post.

The Karl Burke-trained Havana Grey, winner of both the National Stakes and the Dragon Stakes at Sandown this season, was a 7-2 chance in the hands of PJ McDonald.

A smart start enabled the youngster to bag the rail and he galloped on resolutely to score by a length and three-quarters from 5-2 favourite Invincible Army.

To Wafij was just a nose away in third.

McDonald, riding his first winner at Goodwood, said: "I've always felt he was a very good horse.

"He disappointed us at Royal Ascot for some reason. I think it's because I took him back and he just likes to bowl along and get on with it.

"He has a great attitude. In the last furlong he really dug deep for me. He's an absolute star.

"I think he can keep progressing through the year and the way he's won on that ground today, he'll have absolutely no problem stepping up to six furlongs."

Havana Grey looks likely to join stablemate Unfortunately, winner of the Prix Robert Papin, in the Prix Morny at Deauville.

Burke said: "He's a very good horse. We were very concerned about the ground. I walked it at 8am this morning and it was beautiful ground and I couldn't believe how quick it was, but there is a nice strip on that rail and I was adamant we should get on that.

"He was a little bit tardy away and he didn't show his usual dash, or maybe they took him on, but once he got out and in a rhythm he is so game and honest and has a lot of ability as well.

"I'd say on that display he'll definitely get further. The owners are very keen to try the Prix Morny and that's where we'll go next, along with Unfortunately.

"Unfortunately we have to run the pair together, so to speak, but both horses deserve to go for a Group One and that seems the obvious choice for him."

Trainer James Tate said of Invincible Army: "He ran well. I felt the draw put us at a disadvantage with the winner. We were racing on the other side and I feel the better ground is on the stands side

"Ideally he doesn't want soft ground and neither does the winner. Five or six furlongs on a quicker surface would be better."

Roger Varian, trainer of To Wafij, said: "He ran a good race but it might have been a bit too soft for him.

"He would be better suited to a stiff five or an easy six. He is in the Gimcrack at York and might go there next."

Mark Johnston saddled his second winner of the day as 12-1 shot Threading dominated her rivals in the Markel Insurance Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

The previously unraced 12-1 shot travelled well before powering six lengths clear in the hands of William Buick.

Your Choice and Pulitzer were second and third respectively.

Johnston said: "She's a very well-bred filly, but we'll keep our feet on the ground.

"On pedigree you'd suggest she'll be better on better ground, but we're not getting carried away.

"Clearly that was a very impressive performance and we'll just take the future as it comes.

"She's tall and sizeable and very strong. She'll be back out before too long, I would say."

Hollie Doyle booted Billesdon Bess (7-1) home in front in the EBF Breeders' Series Fillies' Handicap.

Richard Hannon's charge opened her account for the campaign at Salisbury in June and was only narrowly denied on her return to the track last month.

The daughter of Dick Turpin was sent off at 7-1 to return to winning ways and did so in determined fashion, holding Titi Makfi at bay by a length.

Doyle said: "She quickened up well and loved the ground

"To have a winner here means the world to me. Mr Hannon has been excellent, giving me the opportunities that he has.

"It all makes it worth it for days like today."

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