Trumpet Major (left) and Archbishop (right) shares the spoils at GoodwoodPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Trumpet and Archbishop dead-heat in a thriller
Report: Glorious Goodwood, Friday
RSA Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3) 1m, 3yo
THERE was a thrilling finish to the RSA Thoroughbred Stakes, culminating in a dead-heat between Trumpet Major and Archbishop. However, it was a case of what might have been for third home and 7-2 joint-favourite Aljamaaheer, as his jockey Paul Hanagan was denied a run on more than one occasion in the home straight.
Richard Hughes was always travelling strongly on 2,000 Guineas fourth Trumpet Major, and when he hit the front inside the furlong pole it looked as if the Richard Hannon-trained colt had the race in the bag.
However, Archbishop, ridden by Frankie Dettori and trained by Brian Meehan, rallied well and joined Trumpet Major on the line.
As the field turned into the home straight, Hanagan was trapped on the inside behind a wall of horses on Aljamaaheer and despite persistent efforts he was constantly denied a run.
Once in the clear he powered home and must be considered an unlucky loser.
The other joint-favourite Gregorian was under pressure some way out and was unable to land a blow while the well-backed Stipulate stayed on for fourth.
Meehan said: "I couldn't call it when I watched it, but that was a good race to win. It was a Group 2 in all but name.
"He's a talented and improving horse, lightly raced and still on the upgrade, and Frankie gave him a great ride.
"We'll probably be taking on older horses next, but we'll decide when and where after we've talked with the owners."
Hughes was equally pleased with the result. He said: "I don't mind dead-heats - I just don't want to be beaten. He's not over-big but he's a brave little horse and really stuck his neck out.
"He may have been written off by some, but not in our yard. He came back from Ireland a sick horse, which was very unfortunate. We gave him time to get over it and didn't hurry him to Royal Ascot for fear we might never get him back if anything went wrong."
Hannon said the Prix de la Foret was on Trumpet Major's agenda, and added of the dead-heat: "Half a cake's better than none. He looked all over the winner half a furlong out, but the post just didn't come in time.
"I think he gets a mile okay, but the Foret [over seven furlongs] is probably the race for him."