Brilliant Battaash the star on bumper betting day from Goodwood and Galway
THE DAY IN A NUTSHELL
Speed demon Battaash, one of the world's top sprinters over the past 12 months, returns to the South Downs aiming to defend last year's hugely impressive King George Stakes victory in the highlight of day four at Glorious Goodwood.
The sprint star was devastating on the Downs last summer, scorching to a two-and-a-quarter-length win that marked him out as the emerging force in British sprinting, but following defeat in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot connections are looking for him to stamp his authority on this Group 2.
Heading his rivals is the Karl Burke-trained Havana Grey, who turned over some smart older horses, including Capsian Prince and Mabs Cross, in the Sapphire Stakes last month. Kachy, who was beaten a neck by Battaash in the Temple Stakes in May, Ryan Moore's mount Sioux Nation and the 2015 winner of this race, Muthmir, could also play leading roles.
A quality-looking Glorious Stakes, the first of three Group 3s on the card, opens affairs at Goodwood, while the £150,000 Golden Mile Handicap is the day's big betting heat, with the Queen's Seniority, ridden by Moore, among the favourites with the well backed Escobar.
Over on the west coast of Ireland Galway is into its fifth day and hangovers are transitioning from painful setbacks to the new normal, but the €100,000 Guinness Handicap should blow away any cobwebs.
The Willie Mullins-trained Cheltenham Festival winner Limini, who was second at Galway on Monday, bids to go one better in the 1m4f prize.
Course favourite Take Cover is back for more
If you’re seeking a horse with course experience, look no further than veteran sprinter Take Cover (3.30) in the King George Qatar Stakes.
The 11-year-old boasts a fine record at Glorious Goodwood, previously landing the feature sprint in 2014 and 2016, a contest in which he has also finished second and fourth. Friday has also attracted the other two winners in the past four years – Battaash and Muthmir.
Owned and bred by Norcroft Park Stud, Take Cover was runner-up in the Stewards’ Sprint Stakes in 2013 and ran well on his return when fading late on in the Temple.
Despite two lesser efforts in weaker company most recently, the return to this track is a big positive.
Griffiths, who also runs Duke Of Firenze, said of his Goodwood stalwart: “He’s a legend. He’s good on the ground but he can be a bit mad when he’s ridden at home. He goes two speeds – flat out or nowhere.
“We’ve got him spot on for this and he simply loves the place. His record speaks for itself and it would be amazing if he were to win.”
Shaw hoping to strike on first course ride
There will be a momentous occasion for apprentice Harrison Shaw on Friday, when the 5lb claimer has his first ride at the track aboard leading 6f nursery contender The Great Heir (4.10).
The Kevin Ryan-trained horse, owned by Dave Stone, has won his last two starts and is up 13lb for an authoritative success at York last month.
Shaw, based with Mick Easterby, has been taking advice on how to ride the course from Nathan Evans, successful aboard Hoof It in the Stewards’ Sprint two years ago.
Shaw said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity and it would be huge if he were to win – it’s a dream come true just to get a ride at the meeting so if we were to win it would be the cherry on the top.
“I worked for Kevin in my first job in racing before joining Mick and he was looking to claim off The Great Heir, so that, combined with the good work of my agent Richard Hale, has resulted in me getting the ride.
“He’s improving all the time and won eased down last time. He has a really nice, progressive profile and he’s got every chance.”
Could it be Moore, Moore, Moore in Golden Mile?
The services of Ryan Moore are highly sought after for every race, even more so in high-profile handicaps, and he bids for a hat-trick in the Unibet Golden Mile Handicap aboard the Queen’s Seniority (3.00).
Moore has been successful aboard Franklin D and the reopposing Master The World in the last two renewals and market leader Seniority, trained by William Haggas, appears to have strong claims.
Seniority won at Chelmsford under Moore the week before Royal Ascot, allowing him to contest the Royal Hunt Cup as the favourite carrying a penalty.
Seniority is also well drawn in stall three, and history may well repeat itself as he has the same berth from which Master The World scored last year.
French trainer Francois Rohaut is an infrequent visitor to Britain but nonetheless achieved a remarkable hat-trick in the Oak Tree Stakes (4.40), winning the Group 3 in each of the last three years.
Rohaut is not represented on Friday but hands the baton on to his compatriot Andre Fabre, who saddles Sequilla and has secured the services of Frankie Dettori, who was on board 12 months ago for the last of Rohaut's treble.
Sequilla is two from three in France, most recently scoring in a Listed race at Maisons-Laffitte, beating several smart fillies.
Pia Brandt also represents France in the race with Longchamp Listed winner Lida, while Germany's Peter Schiergen saddles Binti Al Nar.
Benny back after catching stewards' eye
Snugsborough Benny caught many an eye, including those of the stewards, when flying home under tender handling from Denis O'Regan in a Galway Plate trial at Limerick last month.
The eight-year-old went down by half a length to Supreme Vinnie and the stewards held an inquiry into his performance, with O'Regan stating his mount was further back than he would have liked and that he didn't enjoy much luck in running. The stewards noted the explanations.
Snugsborough Benny has gone up 3lb for that eyecatching effort and O'Regan will be keen to make amends in one of the most prestigious prizes of the week at Galway, the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase (7.55).
Trainer Liam Cusack said: "He's in great form and I would say the ground was plenty quick enough for him at Limerick last time. It is a very competitive race but I hope he has got a decent chance. We're hopeful."
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