Fine victories at Qatar Festival

Sands of Fortune gave trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and his son, jockey Willie, their first Qatar Goodwood Festival win yesterday. They teamed up to win the opening Victoria Racing Club Handicap with Sands Of Fortune.

Sands of Fortune jockey with Willy Twiston-Davies, head lad

Sands of Fortune jockey with Willy Twiston-Davies, head lad ‘Sparky’ Bevis, Sparky’s wife and son George

The father and son combination enjoyed their first Qatar Goodwood Festival triumphs, teaming up to capture the opening Victoria Racing Club Goodwood Handicap with a bold front-running performance from this six-year-old.He had been lightly raced in an interrupted career, but had been placed on his previous two outings.Willie Twiston-Davies was full of praise to his father and head lad Richard ‘Sparky’ Bevis.

He said: “Dad’s horses are always very fit and Sparky has done all the hard work, so all of the credit goes to him,” said the jockey.”I actually wanted to drop in sixth or seventh – that was the plan – but I jumped out and he gallops all day. I managed to get a couple of breathers into him and I knew that he would stay well. I committed a long way out and knew that they would have to be fit and hardy to get to me. I heard and saw nothing when I was in front.”

He was thrilled with the win, saying it had been hard living up to the family name with the successes of his father and brother Sam. Equally delighted was Sparky’s son, George (eight) who couldn’t wait to pat Sands of Fortune after his win.

Highland Reel, ridden by Joseph O' Brien Photo: Jeannie Knight

Highland Reel, ridden  to victory by Joseph O’ Brien
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Highland Reel, which won last year’s Goodwood Vintage Stakes, justified 7/4 favouritism to take the Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes, one of the season’s accepted St Leger trials, for trainer, Aidan O’ Brien, ridden by son Joseph. While a decision about the St Leger has not yet been made, if the horse does run there, he will go straight to the race.

“He is still a bit babyish and will be one for next year,” said O’Brien senior. “He lives on his nerves a bit  but he is getting better. We were just afraid of the energy he could have lost by holding his position but he’s a hardy type and he was brave.”

Trainer Tom Dascombe was back in form with 4-1 shot Kachy winning the Group Three Fairmont Molecomb Stakes, overturning evens favourite King of Rooks. There was also a 7-1 victory for trainer Marcus Tregoning, when Alamode won the Maiden Fillies Stakes.

The EBF Stalliions Veuve Clicquot Fillies’ Stakes was won by Tazfinn at 7-2, ridden by James Doyle for trainer Roger Varian. And the final race of the day, the Nat West Stakes Handicap, saw 14-1 shot Pastoral Player score a rewarding victory or trainer Hughie Morrison, who does well at this meeting.








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