Covid may have put many travel plans on hold but did not deter Francois Rohaut from brining his speedy three year old filly Suesa over to Goodwood for the King George Qatar Stakes and she duly repaid her trainer’s boldness by comfortably winning the feature race on day 4 of the Glorious Goodwood festival.
Suesa didn’t start her racing career until late in her two year old season but looked a good prospect, winning both her juvenile starts. Transferred to Rohaut’s yard over the winter she then took her unbeaten run to four when winning twice at Chantilly on her first starts at three. She then stepped up in class for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot where she started favourite but she faded over the 6 furlongs that day and could only finish 8th of the 15 runners.
The 5 furlongs at Goodwood, run on a downhill gradient for most of the way, along with the rain softened ground proved an ideal combination and Suesa had the race sewn up some way out.
Holding his filly up for most of the race, jockey William Buick didn’t press the accelerator until just over a furlong out and the response was immediate. She quickly went past former sprinting superstar Battaash, who faded tamely after travelling well enough for most of the race, and Arecibo. It was left to Dragon Symbol, who made his move at the same time as Suesa, to chase the filly home but he couldn’t match the winner’s blistering turn of foot.
Plans for the winner are fluid. She was given an immediate 5/1 quote by Paddy Power for York’s Nunthorpe Stakes but money quickly came at that price and she was shortened to 7/2.
James Wigan, racing manager to owner George Strawbridge, indicated that the filly had done a fair bit of travelling, this was her second UK trip in just over a month, and they would wait to see how she was when she got home before making a decision. He said York was a possibility but that the Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp was the main target.
Battaash is one of the most popular horses in the UK and had the Goodwood crowd on his side but it was not to be for him, prominent entering the last furlong and a half he couldn’t go with them in the final furlong. It was reported that connections were considering the possibility that he may now be retired, although no official confirmation was given.
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