Hawkeyethenoo Strikes in Blue Square Stewards’ Cup
1 Hawkeyethenoo 9/1
Scottish challenger Hawkeyethenoo, from Jim Goldie’s Glasgow yard, put his head in front near the line to win today’s £100,000 Blue Square Bet Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.
The victory was further affirmation of jockey Graham Lee’s place among flat jockeys following his switch from jump racing, and was a second winner on the downs in the career of Goldie, who travelled three horses to Sussex for this week’s meeting.
Goldie said: “It’s worked out perfectly - for a northern trainer the race to win is the Ayr Gold Cup, which has a lot of history to it, but this is a clear second. [Two years ago] This horse ran well in Epsom’s Dash over five furlongs and handled the track, so I felt he had a chance.
“During his career he’s been very unlucky - this year he went close in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot [when third] and got a bump, and last time, back at Ascot, he never got a run. In between he was fifth in the Group One July Cup so he’s a fair horse.
“He’s come a long way during the time I’ve had him, because he was rated 53 then and he’s now up to 103, so he’s a great horse for the stable. He’s in the Haydock Sprint Cup, which Hoof It was third in last year after winning this race under top weight, and now our horse has won under second top weight, so I would imagine we could go quite close in that race.”
Although a six-year-old, Hawkeyethenoo had not run in the Blue Square Bet Stewards’ Cup before today. Goldie said: “They’ve changed the timetable - the International at Ascot used to be a week later and we preferred to go there, but there was a two-week gap this time and he tends to be at his best when fresh.
“I was delighted with the draw [four, on the far-side rail] we picked on Thursday, and even more delighted they left a big gap [where the rails were moved over] down that rail. I was worried we might not get a run, and with this horse you have to come late and hope you get a run. The winner of the first race today [Johannes] came in the same channel and when I saw that I thought the others might close that gap but they didn’t.”
Of Graham Lee’s association with his stable, Goldie said: “Graham has always been very talented although two years ago I never thought he’d become a flat jockey. Then he had a few injuries and so on and made the switch. It’s good to see people from the North doing well.”
Blue Square Bet Stewards' Cup (Heritage Handicap)
VALUABLE WIN FOR LEE
Graham Lee made his first trip to Glorious Goodwood one to remember by taking the Blue Square Bet Stewards’ Cup aboard Hawkeyethenoo.
The former jump jockey only made the transition to the Flat at the beginning of the season but has barely looked back and had never even been to the track until today.
However, his inexpereince of the undulations was far from evident as he took the £100,000 event by a nose from Imperial Guest.
Lee said: “I didn’t know if I had won (in the photo finish) as I had my head down.
“It is grand to win a race like this and I am very lucky that trainers have given me a chance and that my body is allowing me to do it.
“I am overwhelmed. I am delighted and delighted for the horse especially because he deserved it. In my first season riding on the Flat, this guy has taken my to some big places - he’s got me riding in the July Cup, the Wokingham and he has delivered here today. I am delighted for him.
“Jim (Goldie) has been great for me. He has given me great support and the horses haven’t been flying but it’s brilliant for this guy to get us off the cold list.”
“I had to shed a lot of weight when I made the switch to the Flat. The cardio side of things takes care of itself as I am so busy but the training is different. I am doing OK but I have to be disciplined like most of the lads.
“The change has given me a new lease of life and I am enjoying it and learning all the time.
“This is my first visit here - I have never even been here before.”
Imperial Guest ran right up to his best but couldn’t get the better of Hawkeyethenoo when beaten an agonising nose in the Blue Square Bet Stewards’ Cup. Lui Rei, trained by Robert Cowell, finished three-quarters of length further back in third under Darren Egan.
George Margarson, who trains Imperial Guest, said: “I have had this mapped out for Imperial Guest since he was beaten in the Wokingham on soft ground last year.
“He has won at Brighton so we knew he would handle the track and we got him down to 94 which is the right handicap mark.
“Ashley (Hamblett) gave him a really good ride and gets on really well with him. The draw was fine and he did everything right, but has been beaten on the nod.
Cowell said: “Lui Rei has run a very gallant race and coming to the furlong pole we thought he might just last out. These races are very competitive - every pound on the horses back makes a difference - and we are near enough top of the weights so he has done very well.
“Darren Egan has given him a great ride. I have never used him before but he has ridden Lui Rei just how we wanted and it’s all worked out.
“He may go to the Ayr Gold Cup or we may go cherry picking abroad. I will talk to the owners and then make a decision.”
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