Marquand steals show again as Sumo Sam springs surprise in Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

Tom Marquand repeated his front-running heroics on Quickthorn from earlier in the week by steering Sumo Sam to a 25/1 shock in the G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes.

After setting even fractions in the testing conditions, Paul & Oliver Cole’s three-year-old kept pouring it on under an inspired Marquand, who was a late replacement for Neil Callan.

The 14-furlong contest was effectively all over inside the final quarter mile, with Sumo Sam coming home eight and a half lengths in front of River of Stars (10/3). Time Lock (9/2) edged out odds-on favourite Free Wind for third, a further five and a half lengths behind.

Marquand now sits top of this year’s leading rider standings with four wins, one ahead of Jason Hart.

Oliver Cole said: "Sumo Sam has always been a very good filly. She ran very well at Newmarket on good to soft first time this year, then the ground has probably gone against her – she obviously loves it like this.

“We have done a lot of stalls work with her since her last run. In her last two races, she has 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 are 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 has gone through it like a 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.

"We will see how she comes out of this but we have lots of options. She wasn't stopping at the end, and potentially she has the class [for a cup race]. Our horses have come into form and we're having a lovely Goodwood."

Marquand said: “I would 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 finish second and it looked like she wanted a trip.

"Mr [Paul] Cole and Oli were keen to go and make it a solid test and, as the other day showed, [on Quickthorn] if you find a rhythm in front it's a hard track to get horses back. She has done well and, while she was getting tired in the last half furlong, the damage was already done.

"It would be amazing to be top jockey at this meeting. Ever since I was an apprentice with Richard Hannon, Goodwood has been at the forefront and one of the biggest weeks of the year. It would be special to win. Ryan [Moore] pipped me a couple of years ago, which was frustrating. It's been a fantastic week regardless of that, but it would be nice to have my name up on the board."

Ralph Beckett said of River Of Stars: “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, 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. She had a hard race in France and that was only three weeks ago. Even though she is tough, we have to mind her a bit as well.”

Time Lock’s co-trainer Harry Charlton said: “I am delighted that she has finished third in a Group Two. That is very important for her as she is from a good Juddmonte family. Ryan just said he could not tell me anything all, but she stuck on well enough. He said she tried, he didn't say she coped with it! We will try to get a Listed win now.”

Free Wind’s rider Frankie Dettori said: “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.”

Sumo Sam wins the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes (credit: Goodwood Racecourse)


3.00pm Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes (Group 2)

1 Sumo Sam (Ben & Sir Martyn Arbib) Paul & Oliver Cole 3-8-11 Tom Marquand 25/1

2 River Of Stars (Woodford Thoroughbreds LLC) Ralph Beckett 4-9-08 Rossa Ryan 10/3

3 Time Lock (Juddmonte) Harry & Roger Charlton 4-9-08 Ryan Moore 9/2

8 ran              10/11F Free Wind (4th)


Paul & Oliver Cole – 39th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner, including 36 in Paul Cole’s own name

Tom Marquand – 13th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner