Punters got off to a flier in the opening race of this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival on Tuesday, with the 2/1 favourite Migration taking the Unibet “You’re On” Gr2 Chesterfield Cup Handicap over 10 furlongs.
Race sponsor Unibet reported strong support for the David Menuisier-trained Migration throughout the morning, faith that was rewarded with an impressive victory.
Held up by William Buick, the five-year-old powered through as the gaps came for a two-length success from Caradoc (9/1). Cockalorum (12/1) was beaten a further length and three-quarters in third.
This was a first career win at the Qatar Goodwood Festival for Menuisier, and a 26th for Buick.
Menuisier said: “It is special to win any race, but at Glorious Goodwood, it is one of the main meetings of the year and just down the road from where we train. I do feel a little emotional.
“This horse sustained an injury two years ago, so we’ve had to nurse him along and make sure he was cared for superbly to be able to come back, retain his ability and improve.
“He was the subject of a massive gamble at Salisbury but I still don’t know why or how. I ran him over a mile because I really thought that he lacked fitness that day and that he would blow up if it was a mile and two furlongs.
“A mile and two is his favourite trip so it was a case of blowing away the cobwebs and getting him ready. The ground was too fast at Newmarket, so I decided to come straight here.
“He’s very straightforward and has a good turn of foot, so he is able to get out of trouble if required. What he doesn’t like is being crowded too much.”
Of his top Gr1 filly, Menuisier added: “It is the plan to run Wonderful Tonight on Saturday [in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes]. The ground won’t be quicker than good, so yes that is the plan.”
Buick said: “It is very slow ground, a real test.
“This fella didn’t mind it. That’s his trip – a mile and a quarter – and it developed into a typical Goodwood race. I had to wait for my run, but he picked up well for me and is a nice horse.
“David has been very patient with him, so I’m really pleased that him and the owners are being rewarded now.”
Tom Marquand, who rode runner-up Caradoc, commented: “The ground is very soft. It didn’t feel like there was too much heavy in it to me. Just felt like it is very soft ground that has had plenty of water on it.”
Johnny Drama’s rider Silvestre De Sousa added: “I think it’s quite heavy. They are getting through it, but it is testing ground.”
Unibet ‘You’re On’ Gr2 Chesterfield Cup Handicap
1 Migration (Gail Brown Racing (IX)) David Menuisier 5-8-10 William Buick 2/1 fav
2 Caradoc (P K Siu) Ed Walker 6-8-11 Tom Marquand 9/1
3 Cockalorum (K Hardy & R Fell) Roger Fell 6-9-00 Danny Tudhope 12/1
- David Menuisier – 1st Qatar Goodwood Festival winner
- William Buick – 26th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner