Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
ALL roads lead to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for Wonderful Tonight after a comfortable win in the Group 2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
There Wonderful Tonight gave supporters few causes for concern as she challenged four furlongs out under jockey William Buick and was pushed out to win comfortably.
The victory in the one mile and six-furlong contest was the four-year-old’s fourth successive win and the third straight win for Buick, who it was later revealed is not free to ride her at Longchamp due to commitments with Godolphin. The four-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-winning jockey Olivier Peslier will ride Wonderful Tonight in the Arc.
Menuisier said: “Wonderful Tonight won a Group 1 over a mile and six furlongs last year, and she is a lot stronger this year. But William came back in and said please don’t run her over a mile and six furlongs again, it really is the end of the world for her.
“You kind of have to break her stride the whole way as she wants to go. She probably has more speed than last year. You could probably get away with dropping her down in trip, rather than stepping her up.
“She will probably have a run in the Yorkshire Oaks or at Deauville next,” Menuisier said immediately after the Goodwood victory. “She will then go for the Prix Vermeille before the Arc.”
Buick added: “I know she has won over this trip before in Paris last year, but I think she’s a bit speedier now. She doesn’t need to be running over this trip again.
“To be honest, she races how she always does. She’s energetic and I was delighted to get a lead on her. We went slow and she took it up a fair way out but has stuck on all the way to the line.
“She has got a bit stronger since last year and with that she has probably got a bit quicker. This trip probably stretches her a bit now but she’s very good, so she has got the job done.
“It’s a long way on this ground, it’s heavy and hard work. We opted to go to the stands’ side just to get a bit of better ground. She’s got the crowd on one side and it’s a lot for her to take in, but she’s a magnificent filly.
“I think she is a different filly to last year. She has more pace, is more consistent and is just better. She is a very good mover so there is no real reason why she should want soft ground. Her form suggests she is better on it, but if it was Good to Soft or Good ground, I wouldn’t be worried.
“If the ground came up like this [in an Arc], she is a class filly and you would have to give her a chance. She won a good Hardwicke, was impressive that day, and is now unbeaten in her last four races at Group 1 or Group 2 level.”
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