x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Winsili slides in to grab a stunning win at Glorious Goodwood

Thistle Bird claims second and Godolphin's Sajjhaa edged out of third by Hot Snap, reports Geoffrey Riddle.

William Buick rides Winsili to victory at Goodwood. Steve Bardens / Getty Images
William Buick rides Winsili to victory at Goodwood. Steve Bardens / Getty Images

GOODWOOD, England // Winsili caused one of the biggest shocks in the 173-year history of the Nassau Stakes, outpointing the widely regarded favourite Sky Lantern yesterday.

Much like in the Falmouth Stakes last month at Newmarket, William Buick got the better of Richard Hughes, and in no-less-dramatic circumstances.

Hughes was angling Sky Lantern out to overtake Godolphin's tiring Sajjhaa two furlongs from home when Winsili edged across his line under Buick to stop Hughes's run.

From there, Buick went for home and Winsili held on by a neck over Thistle Bird, ridden by James Doyle.

Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia's Hot Snap won the battle for third and was two lengths clear of Sajjhaa and Silvestre de Sousa at the line. Hughes and Sky Lantern were fifth.

"This is Goodwood and that is race riding," Buick said.

"I had plenty of room in the straight to manoeuvre and she fought challengers all the way up to the line.

"It was no fluke - I knew a few of them had troubled passages and I had a smooth run, but she is a genuine Group 1 filly."

Hughes was fuming afterwards and although he was crowned the leading rider of the week with eight winners, he once again viewed Sky Lantern as the one that got away. "It was just bad luck," he said. "I was going well and was just about to come out and I got nailed back in again.

John Gosden, the winning trainer, hinted that Winsili might be a possibility for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in November.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor was delighted with Sajjhaa's effort on her first start since finishing fourth to Military Attack in Hong Kong in April, but suggested the 10 furlongs was too far for the Dubai Duty Free winner.

"She did not stay," the trainer said. "She is better over nine furlongs or even a mile. We will see where she takes us."

The Group One Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in September is a likely target, Bin Suroor said.

It was a day of shocks in Britain.

Mkeefa, the highest-rated Purebred Arabian in the world, was turned over in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup at Hereford Racecourse.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani's mare had to give way to stablemates Al Atique and Aziz to hand Qatar trainer Julian Smart the perfect warm up for Dubai International Arabian day at Newbury Racecourse in 11 days.

"I am surprised, but pleasantly so," Smart said of Al Atique. "I brought the colt back from Qatar to the UK because I knew what he could do. "

Al Atique is entered on Dubai day and will probably run in the Meydan Conditions Stakes, Smart said.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE