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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Impressive Bee leaves leading trainer Johnston in dreamland

Silvestre de Sousa wins the 7f maiden aboard Dee Ex Bee
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Mark Johnston was crowned leading trainer at Glorious Goodwood for the 11th time as Dee Ex Bee completed a final-day double with an impressive success in the 7f juvenile maiden. The victory brought Johnston's tally for the week to four.

Johnston said: "It means a lot to me to be leading trainer here. We always throw a lot of darts at the board, but we didn't have as many runners as some people and were a bit thin on the ground numbers-wise this year."

The trainer nominated Dee Ex Bee's win as his highlight, and Group races now appear on the agenda for the imposing colt, who holds an entry in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on September 16.

Johnston said: "He's a very good looking horse and had been working well - we don't tend to bring them down here first time out unless they've been working well.

"He's a big scopey horse and when you've something like that winning at a big meeting like Goodwood you start to dream."

Earlier in the afternoon Johnston's Soldier In Action prevailed in a thrilling finish to the 1m6f handicap, fending off Blakeney Point and Getback In Paris to earn a quote of 20-1 (from 25) with the sponsor for the Betfred Ebor at York in August. 

"It was a fantastic finish at the end of a mile-six," beamed Johnston about the Alan Spence-owned winner.

Spence confirmed the Ebor as the plan and added: "Fire Fighting won here for us last year and he's by the same sire, Solder Of Fortune, while Jukebox Jury also won first time out for us here, so it's a good place to have winners.

"Without doubt Solder In Action is better with a bit of cut in the ground."

Both Johnston horses were ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, who completed a 188-1 treble when Battered won the penultimate 7f handicap for William Haggas. However, it was Ryan Moore who took the leading riders' title with five winners for the week.

Scorching turns up the heat in Sprint

Football sides up and down Britain began their seasons over the weekend with the ultimate goal of winning promotion, and Andrew Balding has hopes Scorching Heat can be competing in higher divisions next season.

The three-year-old won the 6f Stewards' Sprint – the consolation for the Stewards' Cup – to continue his trainer's fine five days at the course.

Owned by Qatar Racing, Scorching Heat had been progressing through the campaign and secured the biggest victory of his career by three-quarters of a length under Oisin Murphy.

Balding, who was saddling his third winner of this year's festival, headlined by Here Comes When in the Sussex Stakes, said: "He just needs things to fall right and the faster they go in front of him the better he's going to be.

"He could be an Ayr Silver Cup horse this year, and hopefully a Stewards' Cup and Ayr Gold Cup horse next year."

Storm proves King in finale

The meeting has proved a good one for David Griffiths thanks to Take Cover's previous exploits in the King George, and he left with another winner courtesy of Storm King in the 1m1f apprentice handicap.

Given a fine ride by Eddy Greatrex, the eight-year-old held on by half a length, and Griffiths said: "He's a good kid and rides very well. There's plenty of races for Storm King, I expected him to run well but I thought the ground might have gone for him."


Solario plan
Owner Alan Spence, on the scoresheet with Soldier In Action, revealed the Clive Cox-trained Connect – a six-length winner at Sandown on Wednesday – will head back there for the Solario Stakes.

Buckley fans
Before the last race of Glorious Goodwood, clerk of the course Seamus Buckley, who has been at the helm for 23 years and retires at the end of the track's season, received a round of applause from the crowd as he led the jockeys into the paddock.

Ryan eyeing return
Rossa Ryan, left battered and bruised after a fall at Chester last week, may have had a ride in the apprentice race if he had been fit, but trainer Richard Hannon, whose yard he is attached to, reckons he will back in action within a couple of weeks.

Thought for the day
Given it was a Saturday, and the final day of a five-day festival, the atmosphere seemed a little subdued, the absence of a Group 1 no doubt a factor.

Results and analysis

We always throw a lot of darts at the board, but we didn't have as many runners as some people and were a bit thin on the ground numbers-wise
E.W. Terms
Sky bet