Hollywood star Tom Cruise presented the prizes for The Magnolia Cup Goodwood’s charity race for lady riders, on Thursday.
Cruise obligingly became the must-have ‘selfie’ when attempting to exit the presentation, at which he had given the winner’s trophy to rider Edie Campbell, who partnered the Ian Williams-trained See The Storm. The horse was winning a ladies’ race for the second time in five days having triumphed in Ascot’s Longines Handicap on Saturday.
The riders wore specially designed silks from Vivienne Westwood, Frost French, Beulah, Jasmine Guinness, Kate Halfpenny, Sarah Burton and Bella Freud.
Campbell, this year’s Goodwood race ambassador, had won The Magnolia Cup in 2011 and been fourth in 2012 – she and the other eight who took part were raising money for The Reading Agency, which is dedicated to aiding reading and literacy skills, and Best Beginnings, which breaks down inequalities in child health.
See The Storm won pulling clear, and Campbell said: “Moving the finishing post [forward half a furlong to give riders more time to pull up] definitely helped and gave us more time – and if there hadn’t been a rail at the end of the pull-up I would have been in the next county!
“I’ve been riding out at Ian Williams for a couple of months and I was so grateful to him and the horse’s owners for allowing me to ride. I watched a recording of him [See The Storm] at Ascot and that gave me confidence knowing he wanted to win. I was more nervous than ever this year, because you know it’s frightening and scary, and you put a lot of work in to get here.
“Raising money for The Reading Agency means a lot – it’s one of my favourite charities.”
Winning trainer Williams said: “Edie’s put a lot of hard work and many early mornings into it. She was in every time she was due to ride first lot and has really put in a lot of effort. He ran so well in the ladies’ race at Ascot on Saturday and it seemed perfect to come here.”
British Olympic eventing rider Tina Cook was second on Better Balance. “I absolutely loved it. He is a lovely horse and a real gentleman. He was fantastic going down to the start and we just kept picking them up through the race. We were never really going to catch Edie, unfortunately, but it was a great thrill. It’s completely different to eventing and I had never ridden a Flat horse before over five or six furlongs, so it was a whole new experience.”
Ireland’s Maggie Buggie had a challenge in getting Harrods Extra Mile to the start – he dug his toes in and she had to dismount and jog to the start – but finished third. Buggie said: “It was absolutely fantastic and he was a wonderful horse. He did brilliantly considering he lost two front shoes during the race. I did a race like this last year and came fifth, and that started the addiction – now I want gold! It’s not every day you ride at the most beautiful racecourse in the world, and the best part was that we raised a lot of money for two wonderful charities.”
Mum-of-three Laura Redvers finished unplaced on Bellevue Beauty, but enjoyed the thrill. She said: “It was the most incredible experience. The noise and the crowds were amazing, and while the horse was not so keen to play he was a lovely ride all the same. My husband, David, put me in for this, but I said ‘yes’ straight away. My children were rather worried when they heard, and hugged me like they were never going to see me again!”
The riders in this year’s Magnolia Cup:
Edie Campbell – Model and Glorious Goodwood 2014 Ladies’ Day Ambassador
Tricia Simonon – Model and ex- The Clash manager.
Maggie Buggie – Businesswoman, VP of Digital Transformation Sales at Capgemini
Clare Salmon – Group Brand Director, Royal London Group
Megan Nicholls – Daughter of National Hunt Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls
Alexis Green – BBC Presenter and Journalist.
Tina Cook – International Eventer.
Laura Redvers – Wife of David Redvers, Racing and Bloodstock Manager for Qatar Racing
Philippa Holland- Jeweller and previous Magnolia Cup winner.
Leonora Smee – Model and International Showjumper