Rocchigiani strikes for Germany in Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes
Rocchigiani (11/2) was a rare German-trained winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival when he held off The Wizard Of Eye (40/1) and Sonny Liston (12/1) in the mile G3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes for three-year-olds.
Tom Marquand’s mount challenged for the lead inside the final two furlongs but edged right and impeded Norwegian raider Hotline Bling. Connections of the eventual fifth objected to the result but the appeal was dismissed.
The Peter Schiergen-trained winner gave a form boost to Maljoom, whom he chased home in the G2 German 2,000 Guineas, as well as that of the G3 Jersery Stakes at Royal Ascot, in which he finished fifth.
Schiergen said: “Rocchigiani is a nice horse. He travelled well in the race and the pace was good for him. The form in Germany was very good. The horse is a speed horse, and he likes leading horses.
“The owners [Stall Domstadt] like Goodwood and always come here. This is my first winner here today. We have not had many runners and it is not easy to do.
“I looked from race to race after Ascot and we will chat about what to do now. His last race was seven furlongs, but the mile is a little better for him. Maybe we will come back to England next.”
Marquand said: “Rocchigiani ran well when fifth in the Jersey Stakes. He looked like he had a good bit of speed, so when Hotline Bling burst clear, I was happy to sit and use that injection of speed to go and win the race.
“It got a little bit messy at the two-furlong pole when the leader weakened, but this horse has travelled over really well for the Peter Schiergen team and it is a job well done.
“I was never really worried about the ground with his action. He is probably more used to cut in the ground, but it just shows that what they are used to is not always what they want.”
Stan Moore said of the runner-up: “The Wizard Of Eye has run a fantastic race. He is still, as you can see, a very big horse and James [Doyle] said that he was still a little bit raw. He is 17.1 ½ hands – there’s not many Flat horses that size, are there? He will come on. We missed the last two-and-a-half months with him because he started early and ran good in the Saudi Derby. We will probably do a little bit of a winter campaign again, but I think there’s a hell of a lot more to come from the horse and we will probably have to wait until next year to see that, or through the winter.”
Sonny Liston’s trainer Charlie Hills said: “I was really pleased. He travelled really nicely. After running in the Derby, we gave him a bit of time off and brought him right back in trip. I am delighted with him.”
Hotline Bling’s owner Hans Christian Valstad said: “It is just a victory to be here. For this to happen is a bummer, but we’re delighted to be here in the UK. Back home in Norway, the winner of the race Rocchigiani would have been scratched. He impacted my horse quite heavily and Hotline Bling’s jockey had to be pull him up and lost several lengths. For us back home, he would have finished fourth at least, but it is what it is. It’s ok and you can’t change the rules.
“We have a dream to go to Royal Ascot. At some point maybe later in Hotline Bling’s future we will go. When we got invited to Goodwood, it only took me two minutes to say ‘let’s go’ as you need to take the opportunity.”
2.25pm Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3)
1 Rocchigiani (Stall Domstadt) Peter Schiergen 3-9-03 Tom Marquand 11/2
2 The Wizard Of Eye (O Humphrey, A Favell, R Humphrey & Stan Moore) Stan Moore 3-9-03 Tom Marquand 40/1
3 Sonny Liston (Chelsea Thoroughbreds – The Big Bear) Charlie Hills 3-9-03 Kieran Shoemark 12/1
7 ran 2/1F Bayside Boy (4th)
Peter Schiergen – 1st Qatar Goodwood Festival winnwr
Tom Marquand – 7th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner