By Duane Fonseca
Jockey William Buick will look forward to another wonderful night after guiding Wonderful Tonight to a stunning victory in the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes on the final day of Glorious Goodwood Saturday.
It was the 4yo Le Havre filly’s sixth success in 10 career starts and fourth straight win, coming on the back of her victory in the 2400m Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. At Goodwood for the Lillie Langtry, she was back up in trip to 2800m, a distance at which she claimed the first of her two Group One successes in the form of the Prix de Royallieu at ParisLongchamp last October. She had followed that with another big payday two weeks later at Ascot when she won the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes.
Racing against her own sex, the David Menuisier filly was keen early on with Buick expertly calling the shots on board. The pair were able to hit the front with 600m left to run and Buick knew his partner had her work cut out and after she started to idle with the finish looming, Buick had to nudge her and keep her alert all the way to the finish which she hit two clear of Andrew Balding’s Tribal Craft ridden by Oisin Murphy.
A massive nine lengths back in third was Albaflora for trainer Ralph Beckett and jockey Rossa Ryan.
Buick, who gets married Sunday, said he felt 2800m was asking a bit too much of Wonderful Tonight.
He said: “It’s a mile and six. I know she’s won before at it in Paris last year but I think she’s got a bit speedier now.
“They went slow and she took it up a fair way out. She’s very good, so she won, but it stretches her stamina. It’s a long way in this ground. She’s a magnificent filly; she’s a proper middle-distance, Group 1 filly.”
Winning trainer Menuisier agreed with Buick, adding: “It’s not her trip, so I’m delighted that she won. She was in control of the race throughout. The filly was a bit keen but her class is above the rest of the field and that made her win. I think she won like a good horse.”
Looking towards the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Menuisier said: “I think she’ll probably have a run either in the Yorkshire Oaks or at Deauville in the Pomone and then she’s likely to go for the Vermeille, then the Arc.”