Star shines brightest in Coral Stewards’ Sprint

Many A Star (8/1) produced a stirring late charge up the stands’ rail to land the Coral Stewards’ Sprint Handicap under Tom Marquand.

Given a break after disappointing at Newmarket last month, Many A Star travelled nicely towards the near side as his rider waited until inside the final furlong to ask his mount for maximum effort.

The five-year-old did not disappoint, edging a head in front of The Lamplighter (16/1) at the line, with Dark Shot (50/1) beaten another short-head in third.

It was a second winner of the week for Paul & Oliver Cole after Royal Scotsman in Thursday’s G2 Richmond Stakes.

Oliver Cole said: “The last time this horse ran at Newmarket six weeks ago, there wasn’t enough pace, and we thought afterwards that he had probably run enough times. So we gave him time off, he gained weight and he’s really come to fruition today.

“The idea was to tuck him in behind another horse, but Tom didn’t manage to do that from the awkward draw. Ideally, we would have liked a bit more cover. We might look at the Ayr Gold Cup.

“It’s been an amazing week – we don’t take these things for granted, but thanks to an amazing team at home and an amazing set of owners, we can produce them when we get them.”

Marquand said: “I hoped I had got it on the line. For a big unit Many A Star can shift, and you wouldn’t think Goodwood would suit a horse of this size, but to be honest nothing could go fast enough for me going down to the furlong pole.

“I really didn’t want to hit the front that soon, but there was nothing else to take me any further and I could feel that second wave [of rivals] coming. George Baker’s horse [The Lamplighter] was the last lunging for the line and it’s hard to tell who’s won, but he [Many A Star] got his head in front.

“I wouldn’t mind a week like Hollie’s [Doyle] but these festivals are tough to come to and you never know how they are going to materialise and where the winners are going to come from. To get a couple on the board is great.”

Jeff Hobby, husband of winning owner Phoebe, said: “Tom gave him a fantastic ride. This is a horse who is a bit busy in the brain, and you have to be calm with him. If you run back a bit too quick, he just fizzes over.

“He was quite warm to the start, but Tom kept him calm. We got a late load and it just worked. You have got to be slightly careful with this horse as he is not the easiest mentally. The Coles do a most brilliant job. They train them as individuals. He goes off to ride on the downs on his own, and it keeps his head in the right place.

“I bought him for my wife Phoebe as a 50th birthday present. We went to the sales after racing and bought him for James Given to train. I said to James that I needed to buy my wife a birthday present so he and Matt [Coleman] bought him. When James gave up training, we moved the horse to the Coles. It is a present that keeps on giving!”

Pat Cosgrave, who rode The Lamplighter, said: “He ran great. I actually thought I’d got him [Many A Star] in the last stride. The Lamplighter likes to be ridden like that – to come through horses. Unfortunately, we didn’t get there in time, but he ran a huge race.”

Dark Shot carried Ashleigh Wicheard to victory in the Markel Magnolia Cup charity race on Thursday. His trainer Scott Dixon said: “Dark Shot ran an absolute cracker, God bless him. As Kieran said when he was coming in, you wouldn’t mind a yard full of horses like him. You can tip him out every week, even a few days apart. He has tried incredibly hard again and he nearly did it, he’s only got beaten by a head and a short-head there. What a horse. That’s arguably his best run for a long time today. Well done to Ashleigh for giving him some confidence.”


1.40pm Coral Stewards’ Sprint Handicap

1 Many A Star (Phoebe Hobby) Paul & Oliver Cole 5-9-07 Tom Marquand 8/1

2 The Lamplighter (Turf Club 2020 & 20) George Baker 7-9-02 Pat Cosgrave 16/1

3 Dark Shot (Chappell Rose & Radford) Scott Dixon 9-8-05 Kieran O’Neill 50/1

12 ran                   5/6F Lethal Levi (9th)

*Paul & Oliver Cole – 38th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner

Tom Marquand – 8th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner

*includes winners trained outside of partnership