Thikriyaat won at Goodwood
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse
Paul Hanagan had to wait for an opening but when it came, Thikriyaat took full advantage to win the Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes in a Sir Michael Stoute one-two at Goodwood today.
Ten classy three year olds went to post for this seven furlong contest.
Light Up Our World jumped into the early lead but was soon passed by Emotionless who ran keenly to the inside.
With a furlong travelled Emotionless continued to pull in front from Light Up Our World and Promising Run, with Cymric almost racing alongside here.
The field turned and began the run back towards the home straight, with Emotionless on the rails ahead of Light Up Our World, while Cymric closed and Buratino edged closer to the outside.
At the furlong pole Emotionless was under pressure and Light Up Out World wet on. However, down the outside, the patiently ridden Sir Michael Stoute pair of Thikriyaat and Forge played their hands late and swept past the front two.
Thikriyaat and Paul Hanagan had a far from clear passage and had to weave their way through, but still just got first run on Forge. In behind, Dragon Mall was all dressed up with nowhere to go and got tightened up, before running on.
At the line Thikriyaat gained the day and in fact pulled out a little more when Forge came to challenge, beating his stable mate by about ½ a length, with Light Up Our World third and Dragon Mall, finishing to great effect, an unlucky fourth.
Thikriyaat, a son of Azamour, is now four from five, his only defeat coming when he ran second to Ribchester in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. A step up in class would look a likely option now.
Thikriyaat’s trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, was quick to praise the gelding’s consistency and versatility after the race.
“He’s very tough and consistent,” said Stoute, who reinforced his position as the leading current trainer at Goodwoold.
“He’s an admirable horse. I think he’s good at a mile and could get even further. I didn’t think there was much between this one and Forge.
“He was very effective at seven furlongs as well. He’s very versatile and loves his racing. He’s just a very consistent hrose. He went well on this ground but I think ideally he’ll prefer a little bit of juice.
“I was a little concerned when I saw him boxed in, but then I thought the other one (Forge) would win so it wouldn’t have been a disastrous day! I think he’s won it well. He got there, had a look and then went on again. It was a good run.”
Paul Hanagan registered his eighth winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and his first success of this year’s meeting with Thikriyaat’s half-length victory in the Group Three Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes.
Hanagan travelled on the inside rail throughout the mile contest and struggled to get a clear run in the home straight.
However, once he found daylight aboard the three-year-old colt, Thikriyaat tayed on well inside the final furlong to repel the challenge of stable companion Forge.
Hanagan said: “Thikriyaat was on his head for quite a long way so I just had to deal with the position I had really and try and make the most of it.
“I thought if I try and go wide then I am not going to win so we went the brave man’s route and it paid off today.”
Hanagan suggested a further step up in trip is a strong possibility for the son of Azamour. He remarked: “I think with Thikriyaat we will go looking at stepping him up again in trip as it looks like he will appreciate going further.
“I think he will get a mile and a quarter in time so he has got plenty of options. He has a lovely temperament as well which helps. He is a horse to look forward to.
“Every race Thikriyaat just does enough. Through the race I had to sit and suffer on him – he was just a bit on his head early on. He has got such a lovely temperament and all he wants to do is please.
“Without a shadow of doubt he will get further. I had to sit and suffer but because he is so genuine it is a bit easier for me.
“He has come back in really happy with himself and there has hardly been a blow off him. In all his races, he just does enough which is nice.”
Forge travelled well under Ryan Moore throughout the contest before being unleashed on the outside inside the final furlong. However, the son of Dubawi was unable to quicken past his stable companion and had to settle for second.
Sir Michael Stoute said: “Forge is just been a bit immature and taken a bit of time to start to become professional. Hopefully he’ll be a nice horse later in the year.
“He’s a big playboy at the moment but he’s improved with every race. He’s come a long way since the Heron (at Sandown) when we were a bit disappointed with him (third). Racing is making a man of him though.
“He will continue to progress. He goes on this ground well. Ryan was talking to Teddy (Grimthorpe) and though the mile was his limit but I don’t. We’ll have that discussion later though. I’d like him to stay in training next year if allowed.”
Teddy Grimthorpe, Racing Manager to Khalid Abdullah, whose Kings Fete won the first race of the day, the Group Three Betfred Glorious Stakes was pleased with the run of Forge, who given his large frame, looks sure to improve with age.
Grimthorpe said: “Forge has run really well. He has run almost pound for pound like he in the Jersey Stakes [third] in which the form looks very strong.
“I think he’s still learning. He is a big very deep horse; I think racing will continue to bring him on. He’s still going to be progressive.”
Grimthorpe suggested the colt could run over a range of trips in the future. He remarked: “I think we’ll discuss what his best trip is. He could go back down to seven furlong or up to nine. I think those are both within his compass it just depends where we go from here really.
“He could drop back and do something like the City of York or the Hungerford, he is entered in the Celebration Mile(G2, Goodwood, August 27) so there are plenty of options for him.”
Pat Dobbs was pleased with the run of Light Up Our World who was a further three-quarters of a length behind Forge in Third. Dobbs said: “She is a very honest filly. I didn’t think she would handle the ground but she actually handled it very well.
He added: “She has improved again from Sandown [one and a quarter-length winner].”