Rider Stars in Long-Distance Test

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

Star Rider dug deep and showed her rivals how to win a marathon race when landing the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap over two miles and five furlongs.

Bred by her owners, Ben and Sir Martyn Arbib, ridden by Jimmy Fortune and trained by Hughie Morrison, four-year-old Star Rider won by two lengths from Percy Veer, and there were two heads back to third and fourth, Oceane and Poyle Thomas. The winner, Morrison's eighth success in the past 14 days, started at 11/1. It was Morrison's 25th Goodwood success and fourth at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Star Rider had a win over two miles to her name, but had never tackled this sort of trip, and Morrison said: "I didn't come here with a lot of options and I thought the ground would be too quick. It's a long, long way and you don't usually win this sort of race with a four-year-old. She's got a pedigree and can travel, and she tries.

"I still feel she would prefer a bit of juice in the ground, and [tongue in cheek] if we can find a nice Listed race over two and a half miles that would be great. Two-miles-plus races are hard to find, and I have a similar problem with a filly called Sweet Selection who is in the same category. There should be more races for this type of horse because it proves they can breathe, they are sound and they try. If we carry on breeding nothing but sprinters we are all going to get very bored. The Cesarewitch or possibly the Long Distance Cup could be options for this filly later on.

"Martyn and Ben are very sporting, and if there is a big entry later in the year they will take it. They bred her, and have a very nice half-sister, and it's great to see their breeding operation working.

He added of his purple patch: "They weren't right in the spring, but we backed off them and didn't trash them. It's an awful relief when it works, when your judgement is played out. We're glad they are running well now - often we start well in May and June, then go off the boil in July, but this year we got going later.

"You can only go with what the horses give you, and if they are not right they come later."

2:00 Matchbook Betting Exchange Goodwood Handicap

1 STAR RIDER (Ben & Sir Martyn Arbib) Hughie Morrison 4-8-13 Jimmy Fortune 11/1

2 Percy Veer (Mr & Mrs M Crow) Sylvester Kirk 4-8-10 Edward Greatrex (3) 14/1

3 Oceane (McNeill Family) Alan King 4-9-00 Fergus Sweeney 11/1

4 Poyle Thomas (Celia & Alison Wiggins) Ralph Beckett 7-9-06 Richard Kingscote 10/1

11/2 Fav The Cashel Mean (14th)

20 ran

Time: 4m 32.87s

Distances: 2, hd, hd

Tote Win £13.10 Tote Place £3.50,£3.40,£3.00,£3.10 Exacta £228.00

Breeder: Arbib Bloodstock Partnership

Breeding: gr f Cape Cross (IRE) - Starfala (Galileo (IRE))

Hughie Morrison - 25 Goodwood wins (4 at Qatar Goodwood Festival)

Jimmy Fortune - 83 Goodwood wins (24 at Qatar Goodwood Festival)