Wonderful Tonight takes easy Lillie Langtry win but needs Arc jockey

Seven days on from an abortive trip to Ascot, Wonderful Tonight extended her winning streak to four with a comfortable success in the Group Two Lillie Langtry Stakes here and David Menuisier’s filly is now likely to have two more runs before heading to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as her connections try to decide on a jockey for the big race in Paris on 3 octubre.

William Buick, who has been aboard Wonderful Tonight on her last three starts, is all but certain to be claimed to ride for the Godolphin operation at Longchamp, while Oisin Murphy, who was due to ride her in last weekend’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes before unsuitably fast ground ruled her out, has already been booked for Japan’s big hope, Chrono Genesis. That is likely to leave an opening for a local rider and the Group One Prix Vermeille, three weeks before the Arc, expected to give Wonderful Tonight’s new partner a chance to get to know her.

“She’s fresh and she would rather have run last week,” Chris Wright, Wonderful Tonight’s owner, dicho. “She went to Ascot and came back in the horsebox without running, she needs to run so we had to run today, and we’d like to get a couple more runs into her before the big day if we can.

“There’s the Yorkshire Oaks [en 19 agosto], which is obviously going to be a pretty tough race, and also the Prix de Pomone at Deauville the same weekend. Then you’d have to look at the Vermeille, which she ran in last year when she was beaten a couple of lengths, but the ground was pretty fast that day.

“I guess we’d get [Buick] for the Yorkshire Oaks but we do have ideas of French jockeys for the Arc and we may have to go that route. That gives us a reason to run in the Vermeille, so the same jockey can ride her in the Arc.”

Wonderful Tonight is top-priced at 8-1 for the Arc but looks increasingly like a very serious contender, assuming she gets the cut in the ground that normally prevails at Longchamp in October.

The Stewards’ Cup, the big betting race on the final day of Glorious Goodwood, went north to County Durham after Commanche Falls came with a strong late run under Connor Beasley to beat Gulliver by a neck at 10-1. For Beasley, it was a biggest win of an injury-plagued career, including a fracture to his skull and spine, sustained in a fall at Wolverhampton six years ago, which kept him off the track for eight months.

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