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Thursday, July 24, 2008





Raven’s Pass is among 11 top-class horses remaining at the six-day confirmation stage for the £300,000 Group One BGC Sussex Stakes (3.30pm) at Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday, July 30.

The John Gosden-trained colt finished strongly from the rear to take second behind Tamayuz in the Group One Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly on July 13, his second consecutive runner-up finish in the top grade.

The championship mile contest gives Raven’s Pass the opportunity to take on his old adversary, Henrythenavigator. Gosden’s charge was fourth to that rival in the Group One 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May and came home three-quarters of a length second to the Aidan O’Brien-trained star in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Gosden revealed today: “Raven’s Pass was confirmed in the race this morning and is an intended runner at this stage. We will take a look at the shape of the field but I would be hopeful of another good run.

“The race didn’t quite run to suit at Chantilly but there were no excuses in the St James’s Palace Stakes, that’s as good as he was at Ascot.

“The ground shouldn’t be an issue - good, good to firm, good to soft, they all suit him.”

Henrythenavigator could bid to emulate O’Brien’s former mile champion Rock Of Gibraltar (successful in 2002) by adding the BGC Sussex Stakes to victories in the 2,000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes.

The Irish champion trainer could also saddle Astronomer Royal, US Ranger, Minneapolis and Windsor Palace.

Peter Chapple-Hyam has confirmed Winker Watson and Tariq at the six-day stage, while Andrew Balding could run Dream Eater and Richard Hannon may saddle Major Cadeaux.

North Yorkshire trainer Mark Johnston always has his horses in fine form at Glorious Goodwood and he could saddle the only filly in the race, Nahoodh, who won the Group One Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last time.

Goodwood’s very own racing club, the Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group Fourteen, is set to see its colours carried at Glorious Goodwood as Goodwood Starlight, trained at Arundel by John Dunlop, is among the 29 entries for the £85,000 Sir Peter O’Sullevan “Voice Of Racing” Heritage Handicap (4.05pm) over a mile and a half. The colt also has the option of the 10-furlong Summer Vase Heritage Handicap on Ladies Day, Thursday, July 31.

Goodwood Starlight is seeking a hat-track having followed victory over 10 furlongs at Goodwood on June 13 with success over the same distance at Ascot on July 11. The Mtoto colt could step up to a mile and a half for the first time as he attempts a third win at the course - Goodwood Starlight also won a nursery at Goodwood in September.

Gail Brown, representing the Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group, revealed today: “Goodwood Starlight is in good form and is a horse who doesn’t take a lot of work so he hasn’t been doing a great deal since his last win at Ascot.

“He has won four races for us - at Salisbury, Goodwood twice and Ascot - so he is a fantastic horse to own and it would be lovely if he could win at Glorious Goodwood. That really would be the icing on the cake but he is now rated 95 so has gone up 16lb in less than a month.

“He has 200 owners and I would think that at least half will be at Goodwood. He will get quite a reception if he can win or even make the frame but he has gone up so much in terms of weight that we must be realistic. He needs to improve a little bit but we can hope that he will.”

Wednesday is Sir Peter O’Sullevan Day and the Sir Peter O’Sullevan “Voice Of Racing” Heritage Handicap is named to celebrate the 90th birthday this year of the peerless former BBC race commentator and Daily Express correspondent.

A specially commissioned Johnny Jonas portrait of Sir Peter will be auctioned after the Sir Peter O’Sullevan “Voice Of Racing” Heritage Handicap.

Jonas, who painted the official portrait of Her Majesty The Queen Mother to mark her 100th year in 2000, is a renowned painter who studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Florence. A chance invitation to the races inspired his series of works, “The British Sporting Year” featuring studies of people at various sporting events including Royal Ascot and Henley. The portrait is expected to fetch a good sum.

The racecourse has already sold out “An Audience with the Voice of Racing”, which takes place on Wednesday morning.

Lennox Enclosure racegoers have a tremendous incentive to arrive early at the course on Tuesday and Wednesday, as the first 500 through the gates will receive discounts totalling £5 off food, drink, racecard and betting. If that were not enough to keep the early birds content, the lucky 500 will be able to join totesport and Sky Sports’ professional tipster Gary Wiltshire in the Final Furlong Bar as he talks to a leading jockey, who will give punters the lowdown on his rides that day.

Wednesday at Glorious Goodwood also offers racegoers an exciting opportunity to meet the heroes of the weighing room face to face. Up until shortly after the fourth race, a number of top jockeys will sign autographs and speak to the public at a “signing” tent located behind the March Stand, close to the Kinrara Bar.

The £85,000 Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes (2.50pm) has 20 classy two-year-olds engaged at the six-day stage, headed by the Tom Dascombe-trained Group Two Weatherbys Superlative Stakes winner Firth Of Fifth.

There are five trained at Ballydoyle by O’Brien, headed by Group Three Anglesey Stakes runner-up Westphalia and Group Two Weatherbys Superlative Stakes fourth Grand Ducal.

The Mark Johnston-trained Shaweel was third in the last-named Newmarket contest and the trainer could also run smart maiden winners Weatherstaff and Cry Of Freedom, while Andrew Balding may saddle the well-regarded Prince Siegfried and Karl Burke could run Group Two Coventry Stakes third Lord Shanakill.

A fantastic day’s racing also includes the opening Invesco Perpetual Goodwood Stakes (2.15pm), an historic and popular handicap run over two miles and furlongs, the nine-furlong £20,000 Weatherbys Bank EBF Fillies’ Handicap (4.40pm), the six-furlong £20,000 Winston’s Wish Maiden Filles’ Stakes (5.15pm) and the £20,000 Kennels EBF Classified Stakes (5.50pm) over seven furlongs.


The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Tajaaweed has been declared along with 10 others for the £100,000 Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes (3.15pm) at York on Saturday, July 26. The three-year-old, who carries 8st 6lb, will be taking on older rivals for the first time and is reported to be in good form ahead of the extended 10-furlong contest.

A winner on his debut last season, Tajaaweed failed to figure in the Group One Racing Post Trophy at the end of his two-year-old campaign, but returned to action a much stronger horse this year.

He started the current campaign off in the best possible way, winning the Group Three Dee Stakes at Chester on May 9. The son of Dynaformer handled the tight track well and booked his ticket for the Vodafone Derby, where he finished a creditable eight, beaten less than nine lengths by New Approach.

“All being well, Tajaaweed will run in the Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday. He came out of Epsom well and is fine,” explained Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

“Michael Stoute gave him a little bit of a break and freshened him up after Epsom. I spoke to him yesterday morning and he said that he is very happy with the horse, so as long is everything is alright between now and Saturday, it’s all systems go.

“He ran well enough at Epsom. I personally don’t think that the track suited him, which is no great surprise looking at the individual he is - a big, tall horse. My gut feeling is that he wasn’t suited by Epsom. Obviously York is a flatter track so we’ll see.

“He won well at Chester and he’s on the upgrade. I’m sure he’s a horse who will continue to improve as he gets older with the scope that he’s got. He is only going to get stronger and more mature, so we’ll see where we are after Saturday.”

A 3/1 chance with Sky Bet and the mount of Richard Hills, Tajaaweed faces stiff opposition from Sky Bet’s 9/4 market leader Pipedreamer, whose four starts this season have resulted in four third-place finishes, most recently at the highest level in both the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and the Coral-Eclipse.

The Godolphin team is represented by Coral-Eclipse fourth Campanologist, who will carry the stable’s first colours under Frankie Dettori, and last year’s winner Stage Gift, the mount of Kerrin McEvoy. Meanwhile, Henry Cecil is also double-handed, with Hardwicke Stakes runner-up Multidimensional declared along with recent Listed Gala Stakes winner Many Volumes.

On his previous start, Many Volumes found the Hughie Morrison-trained Supaseus a length too good in the Listed Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot, a race in which the Mick Channon-trained Halicarnassus finished fifth.

Veterans Blythe Knight and Dunaskin, both eight-year-olds, have been declared by their respective trainers, John Quinn and Brian Ellison, while the Mark Johnston-trained Hearthstead Maison completes the line-up.

Meanwhile, a maximum field of 20 will go to post for the competitive £50,000 Sky Bet Dash Heritage Handicap (3.45pm), headed by market rivals, the Jeremy Noseda-trained Express Wish, who will have the assistance of Frankie Dettori in the saddle, and the Richard Fahey-trained top-weight Knot In The Wood, who Jamie Moriarty will claim 3lb off.The duo both currently trade at 6/1 with Sky Bet.

Fahey is also represented by Harrison George, Kaldoun Kingdom and Sunrise Safari, while Kevin Ryan has declared Tamagin, who has failed to hit the target this season but could figure if he reproduced some of last year’s form.

River Falcon has been declared by Jim Goldie, while the Conor Dore-trained Efistorm, a recent winner at Pontefract, is also among the line-up.

Sky Bet York Stakes - latest prices from Sky Bet
Pipedreamer 9/4
Campanologist 11/4
Tajaaweed 3/1
Many Volumes 10/1
Multidimensional 10/1
Hearthstead Maison 16/1
Stage Gift 16/1
Blythe Knight 16/1
Halicarnassus 33/1
Supaseus 33/1
Dunaskin 100/1
Each Way terms: 1/5 of odds for 1st 3 places. Non Runner Money Back.

Sky Bet Dash - latest prices from Sky Bet
Express Wish 6/1
Knot In Wood 6/1
Harrison George 9/1
Tamagin 9/1
River Falcon 11/1
Efistorm 12/1
My Gacho 12/1
Zomerlust 12/1
Lesson In Humility 14/1
Kaldoun Kingdom 14/1
Phantom Whisper 14/1
Pawan 16/1
Stevie Gee 16/1
Tombi 16/1
Malcheek 25/1
Blue Tomato 25/1
Sunrise Safari 25/1
Ajigolo 28/1
Bazroy 33/1
Each Way terms: 1/4 of odds for 1st 4 places. Non Runner Money Back.

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