The five day Glorious Goodwood Festival had it all, with the rain on Day 2/3 doing little to dampen the spirit of punters and horses alike. We saw some top class action throughout the five days, with shocks and surprises a plenty. There were five horses however who really caught our eye over the five days and after having time to mull it all over, here is five things we learned at Glorious Goodwood 2017.
Expert Eye could be REALLY smart
After winning his debut in very taking style, Expert Eye was all the rage for the Vintage Stakes on Day 1 and there was very good reason for that. Sir Michael Stoute’s two year old travelled strongly throughout and took the lead on the bridle with two furlongs to race, with all his rivals under strong pressure. He briefly was shaken up inside the final furlong to go further clear, breezing into a five length lead and he was mighty impressive in doing so. That announced him as a very live contender for the 2000 Guineas, for which he is now favourite after that dominating performance. Sir Michael Stoute looks set to send his potential star to the National Stakes at the Curragh where he will look to cement his Guineas credentials.
Winter is quite simply unstoppable
There were doubts about her stamina and whether she’d handle the ground, but Aidan O’Brien’s star filly proved all the doubters wrong when turning in a dominating performance to win the Nassau Stakes. Despite being head-strong early on in the contest, she was always travelling the best and took the lead approaching the final furlong, where she never looked in danger and went clear under hands and heels from Ryan Moore. It’s always hard to know with Coolmore as to what her next target will be, but after that performance, you’d have to believe that the Irish Champion Stakes would be the first pick, where she would be a tough nut to crack.
Billesdon Brook is one firmly for the notebook
Sent off the 10/3 favourite for the Nursery on Thursday, nothing went right for the two year old filly, who had her path blocked for a very long way. She finally got clear a furlong from home, where she burst through under a mainly hands and heels ride to win by a head, showing a remarkable turn of foot after touching 999/1 in running. She has been raised nine pounds as a result of that performance, but she looked value for more and is one to follow next time out.
Battaash has the potential to be a star
At the start of the season, if you’d told anyone that the 100 rated Battaash would be a Listed, Group 3 and Group 2 winner by August, most would have laughed a little. The son of Dark Angel has simply improved beyond comprehension this season for Charlie Hills, impressively slamming a field including 2016 King’s Stand winner Profitable in Friday’s King George Stakes. He is now rated 122, which puts him level with none other than Lady Aurelia, with the two looking set to do battle in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York. That on paper looks to be one of the races of the season and one you do not want to miss.
Librisa Breeze deserves his day in the sun
After coming home strongly in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes to only be beaten two lengths, Librisa Breeze could not have been more unlucky in the Lennox Stakes. He closed from the rear in effortless fashion under Robert Winston and before he could even be asked for maximum effort, the door was slammed shut on him and Winston was forced to sit and accept his fate. With how quickly he was closing up until that point, he looked sure to play his part in the finish and it proved something that we already knew, that this horse is a Group winner in the making.