Bering Ice Gordon Stakes
|Group 3, Goodwood 14:35
1m 4f, Class 1
|Wednesday 27th July 2016|
1 Ulysses 9/2
2 The Major General 11/1
3 Shogun 13/2
9 ran Distances: ½l, 1½l, shd
TIME 2m 38.37s (slow by 5.37s)
Ulysses wins the Group 3 Gordon Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute and Andrea Atzeni
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute was delighted with the performance of Ulysses after the 9/2 second-favourite ran out the impressive half-length winner of the BeringIce Gordon Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival this afternoon.
The son of 2001 Investec Derby hero Galileo, who is regally bred being out of the 2007 Investec Oaks winner Light Shift, was always travelling smoothly for jockey Andrea Atzeni and accelerated smartly when asked for his effort two furlongs from home.
The pair had to dig deep to repel the challenge of runner-up The Major General in the closing stages but Ulysses had the class to prevail.
The three-year-old had previously finished a well beaten 12th of 16 in the Investec Derby at Epsom but suffered a particularly troubled passage that day, so it was particularly pleasing for his trainer that he bounced back to form this afternoon.
"He got murdered in the Derby," said Stoute shortly after the race.
"He was badly interfered with twice at Epsom so it turned into a non-event really. I'm very pleased as we thought this horse had a lot of potential and he's beginning to show it now.
"We just backed off with him after Epsom and brought him along slowly for this race. He will have learned a lot today. I didn't want him to get involved in any trouble so I asked Andrea to bring him to the outside and just give him a nice smooth ride. He'll go on fast ground and good ground. With the acceleration that he shows, you don't want to run him on bad ground. To be fair, it was pretty bad when he ran at Newbury as a two-year-old but he handled it adequately there
"He won't go to the St Leger. He can go 10 or 12 furlongs but we wouldn't go further. He's in the Great Voltigeur (at York) and also in the Eugene Adam (at Maisons-Laffitte) but we'll take him home and see how he is. In terms of Group One races for the rest of the year, he'll have to show us if he's ready for them. His next target will be important and will tell us more."
Ulysses' victory gave Sir Michael Stoute his 173rd winner at Goodwood and his 72nd winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes
£100,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm (watered)
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(5)||Ulysses (IRE) 9/2||Andrea Atzeni
|Sir Michael Stoute||3|
|2nd||(7)||½||The Major General (IRE) 11/1||J A Heffernan
|A P O'Brien||3|
|3rd||(1)||1½||Shogun (IRE) 13/2||R L Moore
|A P O'Brien||3|
|4th||(4)||s.h||Qatari Hunter (IRE) 5/1||K J Manning
|J S Bolger||3|
|5th||(8)||nk||Prize Money 15/2||James Doyle
|S bin Suroor||3|
|6th||(2)||1¾||Steel of Madrid (IRE) 10/1||P J Dobbs
|7th||(3)||½||Goldmember 25/1||Oisin Murphy
|D M Simcock||3|
|8th||(6)||5||Platitude 4/1f||L Dettori
|Sir Michael Stoute||3|
|9th||(9)||14||Harrison 15/2||S De Sousa
|M R Channon||3|
O'BRIEN PAIR TAKE THE PLACES
Ulysses won the Group Three BeringIce Gordon Stakes, keeping the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair of The Major General and Shogun at bay.
The winner scored by half a length from The Major General, who was one and a half lengths ahead of his stable companion. Another Irish runner, Qatari Hunter, from Jim Bolger's stable, was a short-head further back in fourth.
The Major General seemed to appreciate running on a quicker surface, having finished unplaced on softer ground in two handicaps on recent starts, while similar applies to Shogun, who was very disappointing in the Investec Derby and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
O'Brien said: "They both ran well, and finished off their races well. They would like the quicker ground - it was too soft for Shogun in the Derby."
Asked whether they might be Ladbrokes St Leger candidates, O'Brien said: "They could be, but whether they would stay that far I don't know. They seem very happy over a mile and a half."