The curtain will fall on Saturday, 5th August on the 2023 renewal of Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC)-sponsored Qatar Goodwood Festival. The race meetings of the five-day annual Festival continued over four days before it will reach its finale on Saturday. This year’s edition has had special importance with the huge turnout of spectators at Goodwood, indicating the keenness to be part of the racing extravaganza, being a racing landmark in the UK and Europe.
On Friday, 4th August, the fourth and penultimate day of the Festival had an eight-race card day. The feature and fifth race was the Gr2 King George Qatar Stakes. The 1,000M sprint for three-year-olds and older is a veritable test of raw speed and has been a key feature of the Qatar sponsored Goodwood Festival since 1911.
The winner of the 2023 renewal was Trainers House Enterprises-owned Highfield Princess (Night of Thunder x Pure Illusion) for trainer John Quinn and jockey Jason Hart. Saad Ali Al Kharji, Deputy Chairperson of Qatar Tourism, crowned the winners after the race.
Earlier on the day, the Paul J Dixon and John Fox-owned and Scott Dixon-trained Fosroc was partnered by Annabelle Hadden-Wight to win the Markel Magnolia Cup. Fahad Al Sulaiti, CEO of Education Above All (EAA), was present during the trophy presentation of the the 1,100m race, which saw a Qatari representation by rider Khadija Abdulwahed who rode Classic Touch to finish third. The 12 runners in the race were sponsored by various organisations and all the riders were females. Wathnan Racing sponsored the running of Classic Touch, who was ridden by Khadija Abdulwahed. EAA sponsored the running of Educate A Child and Protect Education. Al Jeryan Stud sponsored the running of Al Bahar. In addition, Qatar Goodwood Festival sponsored the running of Stormingin.
Triple Gr.1 winner and the apple of her trainer John Quinn’s eye, Highfield Princess (Night Of Thunder) claimed her first victory of 2023 when winning the Gr.2 King George Qatar Stakes.
Speaking after the race, her trainer John Quinn outlined his plans for the future with Highfield Princess. “Her plan will be to go back for the Coolmore Nunthorpe and then maybe onto Ireland for the Flying Five.”, he said, “I have been thinking of Australia, but I’ve gone a bit cool on that, but she may go to the Breeders Cup, she is a great traveller”.
Annabelle Hadden-Wight partnered Fosroc to land the 2023 Magnolia Cup. They were prominent throughout and gamely held off Eliza McCalmont on C.Eliza Doolots.
Since its inception, the Magnolia Cup has raised GBP 2.1 million for various charities. A record GBP 324,000 was raised in 2022, with the sum donated to The Brilliant Breakfast. This year, the Markel Magnolia Cup is supporting Education Above All’s (EEA) Educate A Child programme. All net proceeds will go to a project in Malawi that provides education and support for children most at risk of dropping out of primary education through a joint project between Education Above All and CAMFED.
Qatar’s Khadija Abdulwahed, third on Classic Touch, said: “It was really amazing. That is the first time I have ridden in the Magnolia Cup, I’m so proud that I was a part of this race. I finished third, but I’m happy.” The fifth and final day, Saturday 5th August, of the 2023 renewal of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, will have a seven-racecard. The feature and third race of the day is the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes, a Group 2 for three-year-old and older Thoroughbred fillies and mares over 2,800m.
Source: Qatar News Agency