Atzeni strikes Gold in Coral Stewards’ Cup

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

Andrea Atzeni bookended the 2023 Qatar Goodwood Festival with victories as he guided Aberama Gold (18/1) to success in the Coral Stewards’ Cup.


Having won the first race of the meeting on Lord Riddiford, Atzeni always looked confident as Aberama Gold made eye-catching progress down the centre of the course.


With the 27 runners spread across the track, David O’Meara’s six-year-old saw his race out strongly to score by three quarters of a length. Wokingham runner-up Apollo One (10/1) filled the same position, a length and a half ahead of Bielsa (12/1) in third. Mr Wagyu (14/1) kept on for fourth.


Atzeni, who will move to Hong Kong later this year, said: “It was straightforward, the only thing was the loose horse [Rumstar], which tried to go under the gate and unseated his jockey [Rhys Clutterbuck]. The horse drawn in 14, Mr Wagyu, is a forward-going horse and I wanted to use him as a target. When the ground is that deep you never know how much your horse will find until you ask them. When I let him down he kept going. It's very deep and near the line it's very hard work."


Assessing riding in Britain, Atzeni said: “That is what makes this country such a unique place to ride, because you can get any ground and every track is different. I will miss that because in Hong Kong there are just two tracks at Sha Tin and Happy Valley, where they race every Wednesday and Saturday.


"We are very lucky here. I have been lucky enough to ride all around the world, and I think this is the best racing in the world, putting aside prize money and everything that's behind that. Some of the best horses are here, the best jockeys. I will miss it. You have to adapt to all the tracks and different types of ground, but I have been happy riding here."


On his Goodwood memories, he said: "It has to be Stradivarius winning two Goodwood Cups. I had a four-timer in 2017 when Expert Eye won the Vintage Stakes, Breton Rock won the Lennox Stakes, Stradivarius won the Cup and I also picked up a handicap. That was a special day."


O’Meara said: “Owner Evan Sutherland said Aberama Gold would handle the ground better than most, and he was right. I watched it inside and I saw it very clearly really. The loose horse was a bit of a concern early doors, but late on might have been a bit of a help.


"It was very straightforward. Andrea said the horse travelled beautifully for him, you could keep filling him when those around him were coming off the bridle. For a big heritage handicap like that, Andrea described it as going pretty easily.


"I have inherited a very good horse off Keith Dalgleish [who retired]. It is his third start for me know and I can't take a great deal of credit for him. His owner and former trainer know him far better than I do, but I am lucky enough to have him today. We are going to miss Keith. He will be a loss to Scottish racing and it could just have easily been him standing here.


"The Ayr Gold Cup will be a good target for Aberama Gold and between now and then I am not certain as it is seven weeks to Ayr. I will speak to Evan as he is very good at figuring out where he likes to campaign his horses.


“This is one of the most valuable handicaps in the calendar, £250,000 total purse today and I think the same as the Balmoral. Brilliant, isn't it!”


Richard Kingscote said of Apollo One: “It is frustrating to be second again, but he has run with a huge amount of credit every time, and he’s not really doing anything wrong. It just turns out that we didn’t really have anything to give us a lead our side. He has had to do it the hard way, bowling over to a bit of company the whole finish. It is a bit frustrating that he is finishing second and that the handicapper doesn’t particularly help him either. But he deserves to be winning one of these big pots. There were a few times in the last couple of furlongs I thought, ‘OK, we will go and win’. But we just weren’t able to quite peg it back. I think a lead does really help him and we haven’t had that the last twice, which has been a bit annoying.”


Mr Wagyu’s trainer John Quinn said: “We are delighted with him. Absolutely delighted. His run shows that he is back in form and will win a good race soon. Jason [Hart] said that he coped with the ground, it was very, very soft, but he coped with it. We are very pleased with him. He could go for Bold Lad at the Curragh, in which he was just beaten last year – he’s a course winner, so we are thinking about the Curragh.”

Aberama Gold wins the Coral Stewards' Cup (credit: Goodwood Racecourse)


3.35pm Coral Stewards’ Cup (Heritage Handicap)

1 Aberama Gold (Evan Sutherland) David O’Meara 6-8-13 Andrea Atzeni 18/1

2 Apollo One ( Peter Charalambous & James Clutterbuck 5-9-04 10/1

3 Bielsa (King Power Racing) Kevin Ryan 8-9-03 Ryan Moore 12/1

4 Mr Wagyu

27 ran            


David O’Meara – 6th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner

Andrea Atzeni – 18th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner