Irish trainer John Oxx rectified one anomaly from a distinguished career when Saddler’s Rock won the Goodwood Cup.
As Galway always coincides with Goodwood week, it would be understandable for Oxx to be pre-occupied with domestic affairs and the Group Two success was the first time he had ever made his mark on the Sussex course.
Oxx felt Saddler’s Rock had not been able to show his true ability when third in the Gold Cup and the lightly-raced stayer proved him correct as he toppled the Royal Ascot winner Colour Vision.
Saddler’s Rock and Johnny Murtagh had a far more agreeable passage at Goodwood with a decent pace carved out by Chiberta King and Electrolyser.
Slowly but surely, Oxx’s colt hauled them back in the home straight and held on by a length from a fast-finishing Askar Tau, with Colour Vision hanging tough for third.
“I’ve only had about three runners here before and it’s a great old race with a lot of tradition and history, so we’re delighted to be here to win it with such a nice horse,” Oxx said.
“Not just one thing went wrong at Ascot, three or four things went wrong. He clipped heels and that spooked him, and he pulled very hard. It’s very out of character as he’s a very relaxed horse.
“He’ll probably go for the Lonsdale Cup at York next and then we’ll see about the Doncaster Cup again. The Prix du Cadran will be ideal for him, and there’s also the stayers’ race at Ascot.”
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford Colour Vision could be up for a rematch with the winner.
“Frankie (Dettori) said he didn’t handle the track quite as well as he would have liked, but he didn’t stop trying,” Crisford said.
“If he doesn’t go to York, he’ll go to Doncaster.”