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Tuesday, May 23, 2006



Vol De Nuit, who showed high-class form in Italy when trained by Lorenzo Brogi, will have his first run for Newmarket-based Luca Cumani in the £30,000 Blue Square Exclusive Prices Festival Stakes (2.40pm), a Listed prize over just short of 10 furlongs at Goodwood on Friday, May 26.

The five-year-old son of Linamix ran Electrocutionist to three-quarters of a length in the Group One Gran Premio di Milano over 12 furlongs at San Siro in June, but did not replicate that form in three subsequent runs, finishing eighth to Soldier Hollow in a 10-furlong Group One event at Capannelle on his last start in November.

Cumani said: "Vol De Nuit will run in the Blue Square Festival Stakes. He came to us over the winter and we are pleased with him. He has made good progress but we are still getting to know him.

"It will be interesting to see how he gets on. He is ready for his first run, although he will probably come on for the race. The ground will be a bit of a factor - on some form he handled the soft ground in Italy, and on other form he didn't, so it's a fact-finding mission really.

"He has performed well up to a mile and a half but 10 furlongs is a good starting point. We'll get the first run out of the way first before we decide on other targets, but there should be plenty of opportunities throughout the year.

"On his best form, he seems to be a nice horse and we are happy with him. We are waiting to hear confirmation whether Frankie Dettori can take the ride."

Actress Penelope Keith, star of the BBC sitcoms "To The Manor Born" and "The Good Life", is due to present the winning connections with the trophy for the Blue Square Exclusive Prices Festival Stakes.

The race marks a long association between the racecourse and the Chichester Festival Theatre, which stages a summer festival programme from April to September.

Keith is currently starring in the Richard Everett play "Entertaining Angels" at the Chichester Festival Theatre, which runs until Saturday, May 27.

The Festival Stakes has a superb heritage and was won in 1993 by Red Bishop - with 1994 Melbourne Cup winner Jeune back in third - who went on to land the Hong Kong Vase and the Grade One San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita, California.

The following year saw subsequent Champion Hurdle and Group Two Prix Dollar hero Alderbrook secure the prize, defeating a classy field that included Group Two winner Wagon Master, and Only Royale who later that season captured a second Group One Yorkshire Oaks.

More recently, the 2001 renewal went to trainer Marcus Tregoning's prolific Group race winner Mubtaker, while the 2004 contest was won by the same handler's Alkaadhem, who subsequently captured a Group Two contest in Dubai.

Milton Bradley is looking forward to running evergreen nine-year-old Corridor Creeper, a course and distance winner, in the £30,000 Peters Plc Stakes (2.40pm), a Listed contest over five furlongs, at Goodwood on Thursday, May 25.

The trainer is confident of a bold show from the veteran sprinter, last seen winning a five-furlong conditions event at Beverley on May 13 when beating Sierra Vista by half a length, although Corridor Creeper has yet to score at Listed level.

Bradley commented: "Corridor Creeper definitely runs at Goodwood. He likes cut in the ground and when he ran at Newmarket two runs back in the Group Three Palace House Stakes [10th behind Dandy Man] the ground was too quick for him.

"At Beverley last time he enjoyed the cut and showed his old sparkle to win. The second horse had the advantage of the rail so it was a great effort. He battled on really well and was going away at the line.

"He's come out of the race well and he seems fine - we have big hopes for him at Goodwood. He seems as good as ever at the age of nine and I expect Shane Kelly will be on board again."

The Peters Plc Stakes is sponsored by Europe's biggest pleasure boat retailer and was won by the Richard Hannon-trained Boogie Street last season.

Assistant Clerk of the Course at Goodwood, Seamus Buckley, reported the ground as soft ahead of the three-day May Meeting, which starts on Wednesday, May 24.

"It's soft all over and there is rain forecast throughout the week. We have moved the running rail in seven metres for Wednesday, so as to preserve some fresh ground for the rest of the meeting."

The May Meeting boasts four prestigious Listed contests and carries total prize money of £338,250.

The West Sussex course offers a unique concession concerning entry fees for Listed races at Goodwood, outside of the Festival Meeting in August, which will be refunded for all horses that come under starter's orders.

Thursday, May 25, sees the fourth year of the popular and successful "Boating Comes To Goodwood" day, featuring a pair of Listed contests on an entertaining seven-race card.

Goodwood's nautically-themed day hosts the £30,000 Listed Raymarine Stakes (3.15pm), backed by the world leader in marine electronics, and racegoers will be hoping for a similar result to last season when the Jeremy Noseda-trained Proclamation stamped himself a star in the making with an impressive victory in the mile contest under Frankie Dettori.

The colt added the Group Three Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot at York before returning to Goodwood for one of the highlights of the entire season, the Group One Cantor Spreadfair Sussex Stakes over a mile, in which he beat the crack mare Soviet Song by half a length.

The opening £45,000 Sunseeker Heritage Handicap (2.10pm) over nine furlongs, which has attracted 26 entries, is supported by builders of the world famous Sunseeker motor yachts.

The Sunseeker Handicap, the most valuable race of the three days, is being run for the seventh time. For three-year-olds only, the winning margin has been less than a length in the last four years, demonstrating its competitive nature. The Willie Muir-trained Enforcer won in 2005, with Gatwick, who contested the Derby afterwards, successful the year before.

This is the second year that Goodwood will host the two Listed contests, which were transferred to the West Sussex venue during the construction of a Polytrack track at Kempton Park.

A further two Listed races take place on Friday, May 26 when the opening race is the 11-furlong £12,000 Get Better Show Prices With Blue Square Handicap (2.10pm).

The £25,000 Listed Baker Tilly Trophy for two-year-olds was introduced last season and produced a fine inaugural winner in the shape of the Dandy Nicholls-trained Strike Up The Band, who returned to Goodwood to win the Group Three Betfair Molecomb Stakes at the Festival Meeting.

The three-day meeting gets off to a flying start on Wednesday, May 24, with the six-furlong EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes (2.10pm) sponsored by CASCO (Commercial Aerospace Services Company Ltd).

The aeronautical theme continues with the £13,000 International Bureau of Aviation Handicap (2,40pm) over a mile, and the seven-race card also includes the £15,000 seven-furlong Goodwood Aero Club Handicap (4.55pm), and the £18,000 five-furlong Goodwood Flying School Handicap (5.30pm).

Goodwood Managing Director and Clerk of the Course Rod Fabricius is looking forward to another successful May Meeting.

He said: "We are pleased to welcome back the aviation sponsors, CASCO and the International Bureau of Aviation, to Goodwood for the first day of our May Meeting on Wednesday, May 24.

"The Thursday sees the return of "Boating Comes To Goodwood", which is a very successful themed raceday and popular with racegoers.

"We are also very pleased to welcome on board Blue Square who will be sponsoring five races for the first time on the Friday, including the Listed £30,000 Blue Square Exclusive Prices Festival Stakes."

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