Sumo Sam springs Lillie Langtry shock
Tom Marquand excelled from the front at Goodwood as Sumo Sam ran her rivals ragged to win the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes.
Having stolen a decisive advantage on Quickthorn in the Group One Goodwood Cup earlier in the week, Marquand was again allowed to do his own thing on a stayer.
He bounced straight into an early lead on Paul and Oliver Cole’s filly, and in a race run in very testing conditions, he never looked like being caught at any stage.
Frankie Dettori briefly looked a threat on Free Wind who moved into contention on the bridle, however, as soon as Dettori asked his mount for an effort, she floundered in the heavy ground.
Sumo Sam (25-1) was allowed to come home unchallenged, with River Of Stars staying on from the rear to claim second, some eight and a half lengths away, with a further five and a half lengths back to Time Lock in third.
Marquand was a late jockey booking and Oliver Cole said: “Tom’s given her a brilliant ride and she’s a very good filly.
“Out in front like that, she was not going to be pegged back. It’s great for the old man and Sir Martyn (Arbib) as they have been together so long.
“I’m not sure what we’ll do next, she’d have a penalty in the Park Hill. She’s got the class to run in a Cup race but she’s got to have her conditions.”
Cole added: “We’ve done a lot of stalls work with her since her last run – she’s gone in twice a week. In her last two races she’s been left and that hasn’t been helpful. She takes a lot of pushing in and a lot of cajoling, and the stalls handlers make it look so easy. We’re always standing a few lengths behind because we don’t want to get booted!
“Full credit to the team at home, and thanks very much to the guys at the stalls who are the unsung heroes. They do what a lot of us wouldn’t do, so full credit to them. Also to the boys who have ridden her in the stalls at home, because I know I wouldn’t ride her.
“I was as confident as you can be with the ground because you never know how they will go through it, but she’s gone through it like a really, really good horse. Someone said to me a few weeks ago if you want to get the best out of that horse leave her until next year, so this just shows you have to persist with horses. They are not there to be decorations.”
Marquand was thrilled to secure a winning ride and said: “I’d be lying if I said I did any research into the race.
“I came back in from the last race and they said ‘can you do 8st 11lb?’ so I jumped aboard. I’ve seen plenty of her and was due to ride her on the day I got kicked at the Guineas weekend. I watched her go and finish second and it looked like she wanted a trip.
“Mr Cole and Olly were keen to go and make it a solid test, and as the other day showed if you find a rhythm in front it’s a hard track to get horses back. She’s done well, and while she was getting tired in the last half furlong the damage was already done.”
Ralph Beckett could also look towards the Park Hill at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting after a satisfactory effort on conditions that did not suit.
He said: “She stumbled coming out of the stalls but I’m not sure it made any difference as she was always scrambling on that ground. She has a German dam-side to her pedigree but I have always felt that she is a good, little fast-ground filly.
“She has probably run above herself. She was having to check herself to find her feet all the time.
“I would say the Park Hill next, or something like that. She didn’t run very well in it last year but she is a hardier, more finished article this time.”
Dettori felt a combination of conceding weight and deep ground had anchored Free Wind.
He said: “(Carrying) 10st when the ground is this bad is like carrying double. I was giving a stone away to the winner and just couldn’t carry the weight. These conditions are very difficult."