Imperial Fighter sparkles on debut for Balding and Murphy

Imperial Fighter made an impressive winning introduction for Andrew Balding in the British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs.

The son of The Gurkha – who won the G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes in 2016 – was pushed out by Oisin Murphy to score in decisive fashion.

The 9/1 chance defeated Ring Of Beara (3/1) by two and a half lengths, with a further gap of three lengths back to Capital Theory (22/1) in a well strung-out field. The first three were all making their debuts.

It was a fifth win of the meeting for Balding, helping him claim the Leading Trainer title for the week.

Balding said: “Imperial Fighter has been shaping nicely at home and I liked him.

“I didn’t know if he would handle the ground, but he obviously has and looks a very nice horse going forward.”


4.10pm British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Stakes

1 Imperial Fighter (Michael Blencowe) Andrew Balding 2-9-00 Oisin Murphy 9/1

2 Ring Of Beara (Bernardine And Sean Mulryan) Richard Hughes 2-9-00 Ryan Moore 3/1

3 Capital Theory (Dr Jim Walker) Mark Johnston 2-9-00 Joe Fanning 22/1

11 ran                2/1 fav Khanjar (7th)

Andrew Balding – 18th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner

Oisin Murphy – 10th Qatar Goodwood Festival winner