Qatar Gordon Stakes
|Group 3, Goodwood 15:00
1m 3f 218y, Class 1
|Saturday 5th August 2017
1 Crystal Ocean 6/4F
Mount Moriah 100/30
5 ran Distances: 3½l, 1l, 1¼l
Time: 2m 42.94s (slow by 9.94s)
Crystal Ocean put clear water between himself and four rivals to run out an impressive winner of today's G3 Qatar Gordon Stakes.
He became the tenth winner of the famous race for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, who won it last year with Ulysses. A measure of the standard required to take the contest can be gleaned from the previous two winners, for Ulysses - who this year has won the G1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes and was second to brilliant Enable in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes - was preceded by multiple Group One winner Highland Reel in landing the Qatar Gordon Stakes.
Crystal Ocean, who is owned by Sir Evelyn Rothschild and was bred at his family's Southcourt Stud, has to go some to match their record, but he holds an entry in the G1 St Leger, and is clearly well-regarded by his trainer.
After the son of Cape Cross had beaten Khalidi (9/4) by three and a half lengths, with Mount Moriah (100/30) back in third, Sir Michael said: "We have loved this horse from early days - he's a lovely stamp of a horse with a good mind. He goes on soft ground - we know that because he did so in the Dante - but today's going was a big concern being among the worst you can get after such phenomenal rain.
"He handled it really well, but he's a good athlete, which helps. I said before the Dante that I didn't consider him to be a Derby horse because you have to be more mature than he was at that time.
"We will look at the St Leger, and I have mentioned it to Evelyn in the past, but I wouldn't say definitely. I very much think he's a 12-furlongs horse, but we might do a Conduit [who in 2008 won the Qatar Gordon Stakes and the St Leger for Sir Michael's stable] and have a one-off fling [at the St Leger] which could be nice for the man who pays the bills."
Crystal Ocean holds an entry in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last this month, but Sir Michael said: "He won't go there - we'll take our time."
£100,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 3f 218y, Class 1
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
||Crystal Ocean 6/4f
||R L Moore
|Sir Michael Stoute
|J H M Gosden
||Mount Moriah 10/3
|R M Beckett
||Jake's Hill 16/1
|Eve Johnson Houghton
||Across Dubai 9/1
|W J Haggas