Opening TDN Australia Handicap goes to Cepheus
Day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival began with TDN Australia Handicap over 11 furlongs for three-year-olds, which saw a smooth success for Cepheus (Brian Meehan/William Buick, 6/1).
The Sea The Stars colt made progress to challenge quarter of a mile out and hit the front entering the final furlong. He kept on well, holding off the late challenge of Moomba (Amanda Perrett/Ryan Moore, 10/1) to score by half a length.
Brian Meehan said: “We have always thought the world of Cepheus. He won his maiden well last year. We did run him in the 2000 Guineas first time out this year, which was a little ambitious for the horse but a reflection of what we thought of him throughout.
“William loved him round there. He said the pace was a little untidy, but the horse was there for him when he needed it and I thought he quickened up really well.
“He loved the ground which I was a little unsure about this morning, but he enjoyed it which is a positive for the rest of the summer.
“We will see what the handicapper does with him first as there are other handicaps to think about. I think he is very good. He is by Sea The Stars and is stoutly bred – he is going to keep improving. That is the nature of the breed.
“Next year, we could be looking at an Irish St Leger. We will wait and see what the handicapper does before making a plan.”
1.10pm TDN Australia Handicap 1m 3f
1 Cepheus – Brian Meehan 3-9-07 William Buick 6/1
2 Moomba – Amanda Perrett 3-8-11 Ryan Moore 10/1
3 Berkshire Savvy – Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Oisin Murphy 9/1
Winner owned by G P M Morland
Breeding: ch c Sea The Stars (IRE) – Crimson Cheer (USA) (Van Nistelrooy (USA))
Breeder: Biddestone Stud Ltd
Non-Runner: The First King (Self Certificate, Pricked Foot)
5/4 Fav Al Qaqaa (4th)
Time: 2m 24.63s
Distances: ½, 2½
Tote Win: £6.50 Places: £1.80, £2, £2.50 Exacta: £44.30
Brian Meehan – 19th winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival
William Buick – 24th winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival
Following the running of the first race, the going was changed to GOOD TO FIRM all over (previously Good, Good to Firm in places on the Round Course. It was already Good to Firm on the Straight Course).