London, 2 August 2023 - The 2023 renewal of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, an annual event sponsored by Qatar, kicked off in London and will continue up to August 5.
The world-famous five-day Festival is one of the highlights of the flat racing season in the UK and Europe, especially with the Qatari sponsorship that started in 2015 and runs through 2024. Held on the world's most beautiful racecourse, the Festival features class racing, with several black type races bearing the name of Qatar.
The opening day of this year,s edition of the QREC-sponsored Festival had an eight-race card, where top-class racing was on display at the beautiful racecourse which was built in 1802. The feature event was the Gr1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes.
Nothing short of phenomenal can describe the performance of QUICKTORN (Nathaniel x Dafffydowndilly), a scintillating winner of the Gr.1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes on the opening day of the 2023 Goodwood Festival. Trained by Hughie Morrison and sporting the silks of Lady Blyth, Quickthorn took on ten rivals over the marathon trip of 3,200m and took the bull by the horns under jockey Tom Marquand.
Already a dual Gr.2 winner prior to the depart of the Al Shaqab Racing Goodwood Cup Stakes, the battle-hardened stayer was sent straight to the front by Marquand and quickly build up a commanding lead over his ten rivals. The eventual third Coltrane (Mastercraftsman) led the chasing pack, but their effort was in vain as the six-year-old Quickthorn had put the race to bed early in the home straight and went on to win by six lengths at the line. Finding her stride late on, Emily Dickinson (Dubawi) stayed on late in the day to snatch second place from Coltrane.
A nine-time winner in his career and rather late in plundering a first Gr.1 victory, Quickthorn has built up a great partnership with Tom Marquand, who has now won five races onboard the gelding, and who was delighted with the combinations success in the Al Shaqab Racing Goodwood Cup Stakes.
"He's a warrior in his own right", said Marquand, "I've had a bit of fun on him before on big days and he just loves bowling away and putting everyone else to the sword. It was a magnificent performance.
It's plain and simple what we are going to do on him and it' testament to him that they still couldn't stop him. He's a hell of a lot of fun. We knew what he could do, and you know he's going to be there for you in a fight, but he didn't even need to do that."