Glorious Goodwood: Sarah Ayton 'will keep riding' after disappointment in Magnolia Cup

Sarah Ayton
Sarah Ayton trained at Amanda Perrett's racing yard in Pulborough
Qatar Goodwood Festival
Venue: Goodwood racecourse Dates: 1-5 August
Coverage: Commentary and updates on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website

Double Olympic champion Sarah Ayton says she "plans to keep riding" after a disappointing run in the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood.

Ayton, who won sailing gold in Athens and Beijing, finished mid-pack on Stable Returns despite only taking up the sport in December.

"I suppose it's an amazing achievement, but if I'm honest I'm disappointed," said the 37-year-old.

Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning owner Dido Harding won on Duck And Dumplings.

The Scott Dixon-trained winner beat The Winning Lines, ridden by racing broadcaster Aly Vance over five and a half furlongs in the charity race.

Ayton, meanwhile, suffered from a poor start and despite pushing hard, was unable to challenge for the lead in her first amateur race.

"I showed my lack of experience at the start," she added.

"I was too focused on what was going on around me and just missed the go - it felt like we were stood still for about 10 minutes when everyone else was off.

"But I didn't fall off and I'd love to come back next year. I'll keep riding and maybe go for my amateur license."

Winter wins Nassau Stakes

Ryan Moore
Winter won by a length and a half from the Andrew Balding-trained Blond Me

On the main card, the 10-11 favourite Winter, ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by Aidan O'Brien, won the Qatar Nassau Stakes.

Winter took the step-up in her stride to challenge a furlong from home to beat 16-1 Blond Me for her fourth Group One victory of the season.

Since joining O'Brien from David Wachman, she has won four of her five starts, which includes the English and Irish 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes.

"You wouldn't say she was impressive by any means, but this ground is really as bad as you are going to get," said jockey Moore.

"It wasn't a smooth race at all, and it didn't go the way you'd like it to have gone for her, but she's got plenty of class and that's what came out in the end.

"With six runners there was a lack of cover, but she listens and did everything right. She knows how to race, and how to win."


BBC Sport horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Aidan O'Brien said he held his breath as Winter went into the final quarter-mile - further than she'd ever been before - wondering if her stamina would last out.

But he needn't have; not only racing over further, but on very soft going, and taking on horses older than herself, she was more than up to the task.

O'Brien raised the possibility that she might take on the year's other star three-year-old, also female, Enable in the Yorkshire Oaks (over a further quarter-mile), though next month's Irish Champion Stakes at this distance seems more likely.

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