Ed Chamberlin reflects on five fantastic days at Glorious Goodwood 2019

Peckham teenager Khadijah Mellah celebrates
Peckham teenager Khadijah Mellah celebrates

As the dust settles on Glorious Goodwood 2019, ITV presenter Ed Chamberlin reflect on five fabulous days on the Sussex Downs.

How lucky are we on ITV? The script writers over the past seven days have played a blinder.

This time last week I was writing about Enable and one of the great races of all time, and now we've had five days at Goodwood where the 'right' horses have won and the stories are ones that will live with us for a very long time.

I never thought I'd kick off a column with the Magnolia Cup but I'd suggest that's probably going to be the enduring memory of the entire week.

What my colleague Oli Bell, Adam Waterworth, Rod Street and all the guys at the British Racing School have all played a huge part, but you have to give all the credit to a very special young lady.

I've been lucky enough to meet Khadijah Mellah a few times and her smile lights up every room and on Thursday it lit up the racecourse. She's very sweet and clearly very popular.

The cheers from the Ebony Horse Club down on the rails had us all with a tear in our eye and when she hugged her mum in the winner's enclosure after winning the race practically made us all dissolve.

Let's just hope this story inspires lots of youngsters from any background and encourage more people to get involved with horses, and ultimately lead to horse racing and coming racing.

She said on ITV on Saturday that she intends to keep riding so hopefully we might see her again. And you can guarantee that Claire who runs the Magnolia, her phone won't have stopped ringing with people showing an interest.

Only this sport - only a couple of hours later - can throw up a result that had such global implications for racing in general with Deirdre winning the Nassau Stakes.

I spoke to the horse's Japanese connections at the Goodwood Ball on Thursday evening and they were explaining that in the Japanese culture there aren't too many people willing to take a risk like they did. So what they've done with Deirdre, going to Royal Ascot and Goodwood, is seen as scary and brave.

But now they've done it and won here, they described it as like a sheep culture and that others will now follow. Which would be superb for the sport.

So as a day of racing goes, and the implications for the future of the sport, it doesn't get much better than Thursday.

And that was on the back of two brilliant days, the first of which - the Tuesday - occurred in yet another monsoon which had me taking refuge in the studio. The horses, stable staff and cameramen who had to cope with those conditions need applauding.

But the action on the track was red hot. Pinatubo looked like an absolute top-notch two-year-old, one firm went 9/4 for the 2000 Guineas after the race which I thought was crazy. I was an odds compiler at one stage and made a few mistakes in my time, but even I would have been more like 4/1 than 9/4. But he does look exciting and will take the world of beating in all the major back-end juvenile races.

I was at Darley last week and the one thing you can guarantee is that Godolphin won't shy away from any big contest. So roll on the Phoenix Stakes.

What more can you say about Stradivarius? In a normal week I think he'd be the headline act but not in this week's Goodwood script.

Johnny Murtagh said it on our live coverage. Great horses find a way to win and at the moment, in him and Enable, racing has two great winning machines.

Wednesday Murtagh and I had a bit of a fallout about Too Darn Hot, he said after the Sussex that this horse is now the real deal. I was still a bit underwhelmed. The one thing we did agree on was that the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita will be the ideal end-of-season target.

And what of Battaash? He may only have the one Group One on his CV, he may have let a few people down over the years but I just love Battaash. He has the wow factor. It says everything about him that a horse who reached 48mph, missed the course record by a whisker, and yet people are still a bit disappointed. That just shows how cool this horse is.

And he has an aura about him - I just think Charlie Hills should put the gold shoes back on!

Having watched the Stewards' Cup on Saturday, I'd like to promote a three and a half furlong race... between Battaash, Ornate and Kachy. Let's say around Lingfield - that would be box office!

Back in the real world, Stewards' Cup winner Khaadem left the bookmakers with a bloody nose at the end of the week, being the shortest priced winner in the 180-year history of the race.

Heading back home from Goodwood you really feel it. It's one of the most tiring weeks of the year, largely because it's as busy off the track as it is on it.

As a team at ITV we've played golf, we've played cricket, we've gone to the ball and various parties. We've given it a right good go. There's nowhere quite like Goodwood - it's great fun mixed in with racing of the highest order and MD Adam Waterworth deserves a huge amount of credit.

The final word goes to Mark Johnston, who emerges as the main man again. He passed 50 winners for a month in July, became the winning-most trainer in Glorious Goodwood history and no horse quite sums up the whole operation like King's Advice. The whole team is just phenomenal but what this horse has done in handicaps this season is on another level.

He's had nine starts for the yard in 2019 after joining over the winter and won eight. He the heart and will-to-win that absolutely sums up the Kingsley Park operation.


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