Rocchigiani (11/2) beat The Wizard Of Eye and Sonny Liston to win Group Three Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood Festival on Friday; Orbaan wins Coral Golden Mile Handicap for David O'Meara and Jason Watson
Friday 29 July 2022 17:42, UK
Rocchigiani gave Germany a winner at one of Britain’s biggest festivals with a smart display in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood.
Arc winner Torquator Tasso put up a bold bid in the King George recently to finish second, and German race fans were able to cheer home an 11/2 winner with the three-year-old guided to victory by Tom Marquand.
It was far from a surprise, however, as he had given Maljoom a fright in the German Guineas and then finished a fair fifth in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
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The field ignored the Norwegian runner Hotline Bling who set rapid early fractions, but he had run his race with a furlong left to travel and Rocchigiani burst through to challenge.
Stan Moore's 40/1 chance The Wizard Of Eye put in his bid on the rail and Sonny Liston, despite sweating profusely beforehand, also came with a run.
But it was Peter Schiergen, who has tasted plenty of success with the likes of King George and Arc heroine Danedream in the past, who was left to celebrate his first winner at the Sussex track.
Connections of Hotline Bling lodged an objection as the winner crossed him when he was weakening but the interference happened a long way from home.
Schiergen said: "The best horse won and Tom said the leader had lost the fight. He's a nice horse and his form in Germany is very good. We were attracted to the 1600 metres and of course in coming to race at Goodwood.
"He's my first winner here, from not many runners. We have some nice horses and we might bring this horse back to England for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes."
Marquand received a three-day ban for careless riding.
David O'Meara won the Coral Golden Mile Handicap at Goodwood for the second time in three years as Orbaan streaked away from stablemate Blue For You.
Repeatedly seen flashing home in plenty of major handicaps over seven furlongs and a mile in recent years, everything fell right for him on this occasion.
The seven-year-old, the choice of Jason Watson from a handful of O'Meara-trained runners, was drawn in stall two but was no better than midfield as the runners turned into the straight.
For a horse with his ability a record of just three wins from 33 previous outings did not do him credit - and he showed just what he can do when in the mood.
Sent off a 20/1 chance, he burst through the gap and came home three-and-a-half lengths clear of Blue For You, drawn one, in one of the most competitive handicaps of the season. The favourite Noble Dynasty held every chance but found disappointingly little when push came to shove.
Victory for Orbaan cements a growing relationship between O'Meara and Watson, who was once champion apprentice.
"I haven't won at Glorious Goodwood since I was an apprentice (Gifted Master, Stewards' Cup)," said Watson.
"It's a hard track to ride and a tough place to have winners. I'm very grateful to Dave and the team who have been very supportive to me the last 12 months and I'm just pleased I'm back on the big stage a little bit."
O'Meara - who could now target his charge at York's Ebor meeting - said: "Everybody knows this race is so draw dependent.
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"It's been a long time since he last won, he last won like a Group horse in a handicap, but he hasn't won since. He got a lovely run round, Jason thought the race would suit him - this horse travels, but he doesn't breeze great and wears the tongue tie.
"If he's under pressure for a long time he doesn't sustain it, he travelled behind with plenty of cover and it was the type of race that would suit him."