Monday, July 25, 2011
FANSHAWE HOPING MAC’S CAN POWER HOME IN BLUE SQUARE STEWARDS’ CUP
MISTY FOR ME, MIDDAY & SNOW FAIRY HEAD 13 GOING FORWARD IN MARKEL INSURANCE NASSAU STAKES
Four years after sending out Zidane to glory, trainer James Fanshawe is aiming for a second victory in the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup with Mac’s Power (9st 3lb), who features among 104 five-day confirmations for one of the highlights of the fifth and final day of Glorious Goodwood, Saturday, July 30.
The five-year-old is the 7/1 joint favourite with Blue Square for the £100,000 six-furlong heritage handicap, run at 3.45pm on Saturday, following two excellent efforts over the same distance at Ascot.
He led home the stands’ side group when coming home eighth behind stable companion Deacon Blues in the Wokingham Handicap at the Royal meeting on June 18 and took third in another valuable contest at the Berkshire course on July 9.
Fanshawe revealed today: “Mac’s Power is likely to go to Goodwood. He holds an entry at Doncaster on the same day but the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup is the aim and he heads there in good form.
“He has come out of his latest run at Ascot well but I would have preferred a wet weather forecast rather than a dry one. He does like some give in the ground but they usually do a good job at Goodwood and he has some form on good to firm.
“As with all these big handicaps, everything can go right and then something goes wrong and you don’t win - you need an awful lot of luck for the equation to work out.”
Hoof It (10st, including 6lb penalty),trained by Mick Easterby and part-owned by golfer Lee Westwood and his manager Chubby Chandler, heads the market alongside Mac’s Power following a comfortable success in a valuable six-furlong handicap at York on Saturday.
Other contenders going forward include Newcastle handicap winner Edinburgh Knight (8st 12lb & 12/1), from the stable of Paul D’Arcy, recent Newmarket scorer Swiss Dream (8st 8lb, including 6lb penalty & 14/1), representing David Elsworth and Medicean Man (9st 5lb, including 6lb penalty & 14/1), who captured a five-furlong Ascot handicap yesterday for trainer Jeremy Gask.
Goodwood also hosts some outstanding Pattern race action on Saturday with 13 of the best fillies and mares in training going forward for the £185,000 Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (3.10pm), the fifth Filly & Mare race of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Midday has made the race her own over the past two years and the Sir Henry Cecil-trained five-year-old is bidding to become the first ever three-time winner of the prestigious near 10-furlong contest.
She is set to face another top-class field once again with Misty For Me, a four-time Group One winner for Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien, on course to represent the Classic generation alongside another Irish raider, the Jim Bolger-trained Banimpire, who was beaten a short-head in the Irish Oaks on her latest start.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Snow Fairy triumphed in the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood last year before going on four victories at the highest level, including a pair of Oaks successes, while Crystal Capella, from the stable of Sir Michael Stoute, romped to an eight-length win over the colts in a Group Two contest at Newmarket on July 7.
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor could run Antara or Sajjhaa, while other notable contenders include Midday’s stable companion Principal Role, the Richard Fahey-trained Barefoot Lady, who took third in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, and the Brian Meehan-trained pair of Field Day and Theyskens’ Theory.
For the first time this year, Saturday’s card commences with the consolation race for horses that fail to make the final field of 28 for the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup, the £30,000 Bluesquare.com Stewards' Sprint Handicap (2.05pm), providing a fantastic double-header of sprint handicap action.
Further competitive action is provided by the £40,000 Toyo Tires Summer Handicap (2.35pm) over a mile and six furlongs, which has attracted an entry of 36 including the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Verdant, who landed a valuable mile and a half handicap at Glorious Goodwood last year.
Paul Nicholls and Sir Alex Ferguson may be represented in the £17,500 Overtones EBF ‘Schiaparelli’ Maiden (4.20pm) as the champion jump trainer and Manchester United manager part-own the Richard Hannon-trained Eurystheus, one of 30 entries for the seven-furlong contest.
A seven-race card is completed by the six-furlong £15,000 Best Western Horses Help Heroes Nursery Handicap (4.55pm), which has 31 entries, and the £15,000 Telegraph Apprentice Handicap (5.35pm) over nine furlongs, for which 41 horses have been entered.
The going at Goodwood is now Good.
Seamus Buckley, Clerk of the Course at Goodwood, reported today: “We have had a dry day at Goodwood and the going is now Good (from Good, Good to Soft in places) with a GoingStick reading of 8.0.
“There is the chance of a passing shower tonight or early tomorrow morning but that should not make any material difference.
“We will be starting Glorious Goodwood 2011 with good ground and that is just what we want. The course is looking in fantastic shape with an excellent covering of grass.”
Glorious Goodwood takes place over five days, from Tuesday, July 26 to Saturday, July 30 inclusive.
Blue Square Stewards’ Cup - latest Blue Square prices:
7/1 Hoof It, 7/1 Mac's Power, 12/1 Edinburgh Knight, 14/1 Swiss Dream, 14/1 Pastoral Player, 14/1 Medicean Man, 16/1 Colonel Mak, 16/1 Novellen Lad, 16/1 Victoire de Lyphar, 20/1 Kanaf, 20/1 Dungannon, 20/1 Dafeef, 20/1 Evens And Odds, 20/1 Fathsta, 20/1 Lutine Bell, 20/1 Tajneed, 20/1 Nasri, 20/1 Lexi's Hero, 20/1 Ancient Cross, 20/1 Crown Choice, 20/1 Humidor, 20/1 Lui Rei, 25/1 Dubai Media, 25/1 Quest For Success, 25/1 Sioux Rising, 25/1 R Woody, 25/1 Racy, 25/1 Irish Heartbeat, 25/1 Kuanyao, 25/1, Johannes, 25/1 Joseph Henry, 25/1 Docofthebay, 25/1 Mon Cadeaux, 25/1 Secret Witness, 25/1 Tiddliwinks, 25/1 Son of The Cat, 25/1 Parisian Pyramid, 25/1 Swiss Cross, 33/1 Confessional, 33/1 Jimmy Styles, 33/1 Noverre To Go, 33/1 Fitz Flyer, 33/1 High Standing, 33/1 Sohraab, 33/1 Rain Delayed, 33/1 Tax Free, 33/1 Advanced, 33/1 Atlantic Sport, 40/1 Global City, 40/1 Brave Prospector, 40/1 Mister Hughie, 40/1 Cape To Rio, 40/1 Five Star Junior, 40/1 Golden Desert, 50/1 Rasaman, 50/1 Secret Asset
Each-way 1/4 odds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
FRANKEL AND CANFORD HEAD ELITE QUARTET FOR THE “DUEL ON THE DOWNS”
WATERWORTH ANTICIPATES A FASCINATING RACE
A select field of four will line up for the most anticipated race of the summer after Frankel, Canford Cliffs, Rio De La Plata and Rajsaman were today declared for the £300,000 Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes (3.10pm) at Goodwood on Wednesday, July 27.
Billed as the “Duel on the Downs”, the mile contest sees the outstanding three-year-old Frankel, currently rated the best horse in the world, go toe-to-toe with last year’s victor Canford Cliffs, who was hailed as the top older miler on the planet following his defeat of the great Goldikova at Royal Ascot last month.
The Sir Henry-Cecil-trained Frankel, last year’s joint-champion two-year-old, stunned seasoned observers when storming to a scintillating six-length victory in the Group One QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May and followed up with success in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal Meeting in June.
An added draw to the “Duel on the Downs” is the contrasting styles of the two principals. Canford Cliffs is a renowned hold-up performer with a blistering late turn of foot whereas Frankel, up to now, has dominated his rivals with devastating mid-race pace and a long surge for home.
Rio De La Plata, successful in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at the course as a two-year-old, is a solid Group One performer for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor. The five-year-old also landed the Group One Prix Jean Luc Lagardere as a juvenile and collected a pair of Group One races over a mile and 10 furlongs in Italy last autumn. He was fourth to the Richard Hannon-trained Canford Cliffs in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
French trainer Freddy Head is hoping that Rajsaman can succeed where his illustrious stablemate Goldikova failed, by overcoming Canford Cliffs. The four-year-old colt was last seen finishing strongly to take third in the Group One Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp in May, just a length behind the great mare.
The QIPCO Sussex Stakes is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, forming the fifth leg in the mile category.
Adam Waterworth, Managing Director at Goodwood Racecourse, said today: “I am delighted with the field for the QIPCO Sussex Stakes. The whole focus was the ‘Duel on the Downs’ so to get the big two is fantastic. Obviously, we have known about that for a couple of weeks but it is still always a relief to see them still in there with the race just two days away.
”Numerically, we would have hoped for a few more runners than the four we have but with Frankel and Canford Cliffs in there, it is not too big a surprise to see a small field.
“It is brilliant that we have a runner from France for the first time in a while and Rio De La Plata is a very good horse who has a little bit of history at Goodwood. We have four fantastic horses in the race and we can’t wait for the day.
“I cannot think of a Flat race that has attracted the attention and anticipation that this race has. A lot of that comes down to the contrasting running styles of the two main protagonists.
“To get what looks like being the best three-year-old we have seen in a very long time up against a four-year-old that is already proven is brilliant. Tactically, I think it is going to be a fascinating race - with those two horses and the way they run.
“You do not necessarily need 12 runners to have a spectacular race. I think we would have a great race with only Frankel and Canford Cliffs but the fact that we have another two in there that are very good horses in their own right is fantastic. I just cannot wait for ten past three on Wednesday.”
Wednesday’s excellent card also features the £60,000 Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes (2.35pm) for two-year-olds over seven furlongs, which has seven declarations.
They include Red Duke, who took the Group two 32Red.com Superlative Stakes over the distance at Newmarket on July 9 for trainer John Quinn, defeating the Richard Hannon-trained Chandlery by a neck.
Hannon saddled King Torus to land the prize last season and Chandlery is the pick of a quartet that the trainer has declared for the prestigious prize. The others are the twice-raced and unbeaten Sakhee colt Red Seventy, Newmarket maiden victor Rockinante and Lingfield maiden winner Minal.
The trainer also took the race in 1986 with subsequent 2,000 Guineas hero Don’t Forget Me.
Clive Cox won the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes in 2009 with Xtension and is set to saddle Lethal Force, who exhibited high-class form on June 14 when less than two lengths fourth to Power in the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Mark Johnston won this race with Lucky Story (2003) and the outstanding Shamardal (2003). The trainer runs Elkhart who was third to Rockinante at Newmarket before easily landing a Beverley maiden on July 2.
Wednesday’s action commences with the week’s longest race, the £30,000 Goodwood Handicap over two miles, five furlongs (2pm, 20 runners).
The remaining contests on the fantastic card are the £40,000 UBS Handicap (3.45pm, 12 runners) over a mile and a half, the six-furlong £15,000 Markel International Fillies’ Maiden (4.20pm, 13 runners), the £40,000 Harwoods EBF Hellvelyn Classified Stakes (4.55pm, 15 runners) over seven furlongs and the nine-furlong £15,000 EBF Nayef Fillies And Mares Handicap (5.30pm, 18 runners).
Glorious Goodwood runs over five days, from Tuesday, July 26 to Saturday, July 30 inclusive.
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS DAY RACE PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
The five Group races on QIPCO British Champions Day, the richest day in British racing history at Ascot on Saturday 15 October, will be run in prize money order, building up to the two headline contests at the end.
Following the £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (race 1, 1.50pm*), the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint (race 2, 2.25pm*) and the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares (race 3, 3pm*), the tension will mount ahead of the richest mile race ever run in Europe, the £1 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO (race 4, 3.35pm*), and the richest race ever run in Britain, the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes (race 5, 4.10pm*).
All five races will be shown live in a special three-hour programme dedicated to coverage of the sparkling new £3 million finale to the British Flat racing season and the climax of the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Series.
The broadcast is currently scheduled to start on BBC 2 at 1.30pm before switching to BBC 1 at 2.15pm and finishing ahead of Final Score at 4.30pm.
The sixth and final race on the card will be the £25,000 QIPCO Future Stars Apprentices’ Handicap (Class 2, 81-100 ratings band) at 4.45pm, the richest race for apprentice jockeys in this country, which will provide a fantastic opportunity for the aspiring British champions of the future to demonstrate their skills in the saddle on the highest profile raceday of the year.
This will ensure that the professional jockeys who won the big races and the rider crowned top jockey of the QIPCO British Champions Series can concentrate on a major press conference and print and broadcast media interviews following the running of the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
“Unlike many racedays, when the big race is often in the middle of the card, it has always been our plan to build up to the two biggest races as the climax to this spectacular race progamme,” said Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Ltd.
“This should provide the best possible experience for our racegoers and for TV viewers on the BBC, Racing UK, At The Races and on foreign channels taking the broadcast all over the world.
“Staging the country’s most valuable apprentices’ race to close the card will give the future stars of our sport the chance to share some of the limelight on QIPCO British Champions Day whilst allowing the professional jockeys to meet all media commitments at the end of this ground-breaking new day.”
Kevin Darley, Chief Executive of the Professional Jockeys’ Association, commented: “Adding the richest apprentice race in Europe to the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day is an excellent innovation.
“It is fantastic that QIPCO are willing to support our stars of the future by providing them with a platform to shine on such a prestigious day.”
Tickets for QIPCO British Champions Day are priced at £45 for Premier admission and £26 for Grandstand admission, with a 10% advance booking discount available and greater reductions for group bookings of 10 or more people. Under 18s will be admitted free.
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS DAY RACE PROGRAMME
1.50* £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 3 #)
2 miles (round course)
2.25* £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint (Group 2 #)
6 furlongs (straight course)
3.00* £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares (Group 2 #)
1 mile 4 furlongs (round course)
3.35* £1,000,000 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO (British Champions Mile) (Group 1)
1 mile (straight course)
4.10* £1,300,000 QIPCO Champion Stakes (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1)
1 mile 2 furlongs (round course)
4.45* £25,000 QIPCO Future Stars Apprentices Handicap
7 furlongs (straight course)
* race times are provisional and may be subject to minor alteration
# the two Group 2 races and one Group 3 contest are Group 1 races in all but name – there are no penalties to be carried by Group race winners and they have a Group 1 level of prize money