The curtain fell on another spectacular renewal of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Saturday, further underlining the events status as a standard bearer for international racing in the United Kingdom and Europe. As usual, the beautiful racecourse at Sussex Downs seventh edition of the five-day annual Festival was the scene of action and racing extravaganza with several group contests.
The spirit of international competition was evident with runners from different countries and continents chasing an assortment of Group race prizes on all five days. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Academic Affairs Counsellor of the Military Attache of the Embassy of the State Qatar to the United Kingdom, presented the trophies to the connections of the winner of the fourth and feature race of the day, the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes, a Group 2 for three-year-old and older fillies and mares over 2,800 metres, which was landed by the Christopher Wright-owned Wonderful Tonight (Le Havre x Salvation) for trainer David Menuisier and jockey William Buick.
The Christopher Wright-owned Wonderful Tonight (Le Havre x Salvation) was all class when winning the 14-furlong G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes for trainer David Menuisier. William Buick sat the four-year-old second in the early stages as she raced keenly behind the leader.
As the front-running Makawee faded, Buick was left with no choice but to commit, making his challenge under half a mile from home. Wonderful Tonight stretched clear on the stands side but was emptying slightly in the closing stages that early exuberance appearing to be a factor. The two-time Group 1 winner had enough in reserve to see off the staying-on Tribal Craft (Mastercraftsman), ultimately scoring by a comfortable two lengths. Albaflora (Muhaarar) was far away behind as she finished further nine lengths back in third.
The success of the 2021 renewal of the Qatar Goodwood Festival is resounding by all standards with several Qatari-owned horses running in various races and even landing prestigious victories in both Purebred Arabian and Thoroughbred races. Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwaris Lady Princess won the Gr1 PA Qatar International Stakes, keeping the coveted title wrapped in the maroon colour for the third in a row and taking the number of Qatari victories in this mega contest to five in seven years. This lions share confirms Qatars global leadership in Arabian racing. In addition, Lady Princess, the roll of honour of the Qatar International Stakes includes Al Shaqab Racings Al Mourtajez in 2016, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thanis Tayf in 2017 and HE Sheikha Reem bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Thanis Ebraz in 2019 and 2020.
In addition to success in Arabian racing, Al Shaqab Racings two-year-old ARMOR won the Gr3 Markel Molecomb Stakes, a feat which promises to be only a first step for the promising colt on his third start to develop into a superstar. (QNA)
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