ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE BIDS FOR SIXTH WIN AT GOODWOOD IN CHARLES JAMES HOMES FOUNDATION STAKES
Goodwood hosts another excellent day’s racing on Wednesday, September 26, with a varied seven-race card.
The highlight of the day is the £28,000 Charles James Homes Foundation Stakes (4.05pm), a Listed race for three-year-olds and upwards over just short of 10 furlongs. Recent winners include Imperial Stride (2006), Alkaadhem (2004), Albarahin (2000) and Diamond White (1999), who all made their mark at Group Two level.
This year’s renewal looks set to have another strong line-up, with 17 horses entered at the five-day stage. Illustrious Blue, trained locally to Goodwood at Littlehampton by William Knight, will bid to gain a sixth success at Goodwood. The four-year-old Dansili colt was last seen out when successful in the Listed Letheby & Christopher Festival Stakes at Goodwood on May 25.
William Knight revealed today: “Hopefully, Illustrious Blue will run in the Charles James Homes Foundation Stakes.
“He had a little setback after his last race at Goodwood, but we’ve been aiming for this race for a while and he’s done four bits of work - I’m very happy with him.
“He’s entered in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket next month, but we’ll take each race at a time. We’ll see how he runs at Goodwood, and then we’ll take it from there.”
Illustrious Blue first scored at Goodwood in May, 2006, and won a further three times in handicap company at the beautiful West Sussex course that year. He has won two out of his five starts so far this year, having won a valuable handicap at Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, in February before returning to Goodwood for his Listed success on May 25.
Godolphin’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor will look to enhance his excellent record in the race, having sent out three of the last four winners - Imperial Stride (2006), Etesaal (2005) and Imtiyaz (2003). Among his eight entries this year are Group One Gran Criterium winner Kirklees, last year’s Cambridgeshire hero Formal Decree and the unexposed Desert Authority. Book of Music, Crime Scene, Fairmile, Windsor Knot and Perfectperformance complete the Godolphin octet.
Stotsfold gave Walter Swinburn a deserved first Pattern race success as a trainer when winning the Select Racing UK On Sky 432 Stakes at Goodwood on September 16. The four-year-old had previously finished third behind subsequent Ebor winner Purple Moon in the Listed Coutts Glorious Stakes during Glorious Goodwood.
Sir Michael Stoute has two entered. Al Tharib finished second in the Group Three September Stakes at Kempton earlier this month while Spanish Moon couldn’t have been more impressive in winning his maiden at Newmarket last season and looked certain to make his mark at a higher level. Khalid Abdulla’s three-year old was prominent in the ante-post market for the Epsom Derby before meeting with a training setback at the start of this season.
Ordnance Row has improved throughout the campaign for trainer Richard Hannon and ran creditably over ten furlongs last time in the Group Three Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor.
The consistent Many Volumes will look to give Henry Cecil his first success in the race since King’s Loch’s victory in 1992, while Champery returns to Listed level, having ran in several Group contests throughout the summer, including when fourth in the Group Three Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Action gets underway on September 26 at 2.20pm with the Only On TurfTV Median Auction Maiden Stakes (2.20pm), which has received 46 entries and may be permitted to divide. Other races on the day are the EBF Chichester City Maiden Stakes (2.55pm), the Join Goodwood Owners Group Handicap (3.30pm), the Goodwood House Handicap (4.40pm), the TurfTV For Betting Shops Handicap (5.15pm) and the Racing UK On Sky 432 Apprentice Handicap (5.50pm).
GOING CURRENTLY GOOD TO FIRM
Seamus Buckley, Goodwood’s Clerk of the Course, said today: “The going is currently good to firm and we are selectively watering to keep a little moisture in the ground.
“We had a little rain on Thursday morning and the forecast is for dry and sunny weather over the coming days. We will endeavour to keep the ground at good to firm.
“The surface has recovered well after our recent two-day meeting and we have a fantastic entry for Wednesday’s card.
“There is also the possibility that we could have eight races, as the seven-furlong maiden (the opening Only On TurfTV Median Auction Maiden Stakes at 2.20pm) has a big entry and could be divided.”