Sweet William too strong in Coral Summer Handicap

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

Sweet William (9/4F) continued his ascent through the ranks with a relentless success in the Coral Summer Handicap for John & Thady Gosden, earning a potential tilt at the Ebor later this month.

The son of Sea The Stars, who is a half-brother to Coolmore-bound Hurricane Lane, was briefly challenged by eventual runner-up Adjuvant (13/2) before forging clear to score by almost three lengths. Euchen Glen (10/1) filled third spot in this race for the second year running.

Homebred by Philippa Cooper’s Normandie Stud, Sweet William has now won his last three starts, with today’s success following a novice race at Doncaster and a valuable handicap at Newbury.

John Gosden said: “Sweet William only ran a fortnight ago, but he did it really well. He is not a horse to train much at home, let him race, but he has grown up a lot. As soon as he hit the front, he starts looking around and was checking the sign 'Farewell Frankie'! Next thing Frankie came upside, which focused his mind again.

"He is becoming more straightforward. He has been a lot of fun to train and it was a long time until he could race for various reasons. He does have a strong view on life and it is not necessarily where you want him to go! He is getting the idea of it well now.

"The York Ebor meeting might nearly be my favourite meeting of the year, but we have got to get in the race, that's the thing – it will be touch and go. If not, he is a horse who might one day step up the ladder to cup races."

Cooper said: “Sweet William was brave, very brave. He was distracted but Rab [Havlin] said when Frankie came upside it really helped him and the horse put his head down. He's a very willing horse and there wasn't one quirk today – I was worried, but he's growing up and calming down, and Rab said he thinks he needs racing.

"Two weeks ago, Rab said 'do you know something, he actually needs to race because it's focusing his mind'. I will love it when those blinkers come off because he has such a lovely face. Maybe next year, but I'm not going to influence that. If they help, good, and I'm sure he needs them."

Of Sweet William's Ebor prospects, she said: My husband is an Ebor person – he loves the Ebor and trying to find the winner. I am willing to go with the flow. I'm not going to tell the trainer what to do because, without the trainer, I wouldn't even have the horse. If they want to do it – could he get in off a low weight? I am just grateful. It is one day at a time, so let him come through today."

Asked if she would campaign Sweet William in 2024's cup races she said: "I love cup races. Having Duncan [who she owned and bred] run in cup races was just the best; going to the Lonsdale, Yorkshire Cup, Goodwood - and Doncaster with Samuel [also her horse] - is just the best. That's what racing is about for me."

Havlin said: "Sweet William is a character all right, but he's going the right way since a gelding operation and blinkers were applied. I have ridden him in every start and we keep the same lad on him at home all the time. He does a good job and sits quiet on him.

“Sweet William’s last three runs have been the biggest progression. He was a bit of a big bully when he had his testicles – he was a bit of a handful, to say the least.

"I didn't want to be too handy in the race, but neither did I want to give him too much to do. I didn't want to be in front too soon, but Frankie [on runner-up Adjuvant] came and took me along. He [Sweet William] still idled a bit in the last half a furlong when he was on his own, but he has lots of potential.

"I spoke to Freddy Tylicki, who won on the dam [Gale Force], and he said she loved the mud, which gave me a bit of confidence.

"We are hopeful that with another penalty he could get into the Ebor, and that will probably be his next target. I don't think he needs mud, but he's handled it. He stays well and I think he's pretty versatile with regards to ground.

"Philippa has been brilliant to me over the years and always keeps me on her horses. I am really grateful to her for that."

Frankie Dettori said of Adjuvant: “He ran super – the winner was too good. The ground is heavy.”


Euchen Glen’s rider Paul Mulrennan said: “I am delighted with him. He is an absolute star – a warrior of a horse. The winner is potentially a Group horse. It rode like a good race. It is very testing ground out there, but he’s an absolute star and all credit to Jim Goldie and his team. He is a 10-year-old and to get a horse to come to these big Glorious Goodwood meetings takes a lot of doing, so all credit to them and the horse.”

Sweet William after winning the Coral Summer Handicap (credit: Goodwood Racecourse)


2.25pm Coral Summer Handicap

1 Sweet William (Normandie Stud Ltd) John & Thady Gosden 4-9-06 Robert Havlin 9/4F

2 Adjuvant (A Bound) Michael Bell 4-9-06 Frankie Dettori 13/2

3 Euchen Glen (W Johnstone) Jim Goldie 10-9-07 Paul Mulrennan 10/1

11 ran

John & Thady Gosden – 46th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner, including 42 in John Gosden’s own name

Robert Havlin – 3rd Qatar Goodwood Festival winner