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Thursday, May 28, 2009



KNIGHT HOPING DIXIE CAN BE KING AT GOODWOOD




The 2009 season is now well and truly underway at Goodwood and the course plays host to another two days of exciting action tomorrow, Friday, May 29, and on Saturday, May 30.


William Knight, who trains locally to Goodwood at Angmering Park, runs King Of Dixie in the feature event of the two days, the £40,000 Listed On The House Stakes (3.25pm), run over a mile on Saturday.


The lightly-raced five-year-old easily landed a brace of victories on the Polytrack this spring, most recently over a mile at Lingfield on May 1. Those triumphs sandwiched a disappointing effort in the Listed Doncaster Mile in April, when King Of Dixie was only fifth.


Knight revealed today: “King Of Dixie is in good form for the On The House Stakes on Saturday. We had him in the John O’Gaunt Stakes at Haydock as well but this race has always been the aim because I hope we can get some nice ground at Goodwood.


“I was pleased with his win on the all-weather at Lingfield last time but the ground was too fast for him at Doncaster in March. He just did not let himself down on that. The going is important and I think Goodwood have had enough rain for it to be nice ground there on Saturday.”

A four-time winner, King of Dixie narrowly missed out on Group Three glory when beaten a head in the seven-furlong Criterion Stakes at Newmarket in June, prior to a disappointing effort in the Group Two Betfair Cup at Glorious Goodwood the following month.



Knight continued: “He did not run very well in his last race at Goodwood behind Paco Boy - the Betfair Cup - but hopefully that is behind us and his work has been good.


“I have always thought he was a proper horse and I’ll stick to my guns and say that I definitely think he is up to winning a Listed race. Having said that, it is a very competitive Listed race, but he is in good form and should run well.

“He gets the mile but I think he certainly has the speed for seven furlongs, so we have options in the future and it is really just a case of getting the conditions right. Potentially, we could look at the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket again after Goodwood. I do think he is equally as good at a mile as he is over seven furlongs.”

Also declared for the On The House Stakes are General Eliott and Perfect Stride who filled the first two places in a Listed contest at Ascot at the end of April, all-weather specialist Premio Loco and Godolphin’s Yamal, who won the Tatler Summer Season Handicap at Glorious Goodwood last season for Mark Johnston and recently confirmed his well-being with victory in a competitive Listed handicap at York. Godolphin has won the On The House Stakes on three previous occasions with Atlantis Prince (2002), Bowman (2003) and Satchem (2006).


Henry Cecil, who enjoyed Listed success at Goodwood’s last fixture with Tranquil Tiger in the Festival Stakes, is represented by recent impressive Lingfield winner Unnefer while Richard Hannon runs Pure Poetry, who was beaten under seven lengths when finishing seventh last time out in the Group One 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2. Completing the field are Bushman and Mac Love.


Saturday’s card kicks off with a typically competitive Goodwood sprint handicap, the £18,000 totescoop6 Stakes over six furlongs which has attracted 14 declarations including dual Goodwood scorer Osiris Way. Also featuring on Saturday’s seven-race programme are the toteswinger Handicap (2.50pm, 14 declarations), the Nick Brooks EBF Maiden Stakes (3.55pm, 10 declarations), the Gemini Jubilee Handicap (4.30pm, 10 declarations), the “Lifetime In Racing” Handicap (5.05pm, 8 declarations) and the concluding Racing UK 5th Birthday Celebration Handicap (5.40pm, 11 declarations).


On Friday, there is a six-race card, commencing at 2.25pm with the Goodwood Areodrome Handicap (2.25pm, 16 declarations) and concluding with the Goowood Aero Club Handicap (5.15pm, 16 declarations). Tomorrow also features the Casco Maiden Auction Stakes (3.00pm, 9 declarations), the International Bureau Of Aviation Handicap (3.35pm, 11 declarations), the Goodwood Aircraft Engineering Handicap (4.10pm, 14 declarations) and the Goodwood Flying School Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (4.45pm, 15 declarations).


Monday, May 25, saw Goodwood stage its first Bank Holiday fixture. Family Fun Day, which featured lots of free attractions for children, proved extremely popular with 9,000 racegoers attending of which around 3,000 were children.


Callum MacKay, Goodwood’s Marketing & PR Manager, commented: “We are delighted with the way the season has started at Goodwood and it was most encouraging to see our inaugural Bank Holiday fixture so well supported.


“We have another cracking two days of action tomorrow and on Saturday, while June features the ever-popular season of Goodwood evening fixtures.”

Admission prices start form just £9 for adults and accompanied children under the age of 18 always receive FREE admission at Goodwood. Car parking is also FREE.


GROUND

The going at Goodwood is currently good, good to soft in places on the straight course and good on the round course.


Goodwood’s Clerk of the Course, Seamus Buckley, is delighted with the weather forecast, which, if correct, should provide decent ground for tomorrow and Saturday.


He revealed this morning: “We are expecting to have some nice ground. We had 18 millimetres of rain from the weekend through Monday night and then another eight millimetres yesterday, which has brought the ground to good, good to soft in places up the straight and good out on the loops. If the weather forecast is right, we should be racing on good ground by Saturday.


“The going stick reading is currently 7.8, which puts it just on the easy side of good. The forecast is set fair for the next three days to be dry, warm and sunny and it is nice to think we will be racing on natural ground rather than watered ground.”


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