Evergreen Take Cover back in the groove at his beloved Goodwood
Once again Take Cover saved his best for Goodwood, finishing second at 20-1 in the King George Qatar Stakes on what may prove his final start at his beloved track.
The 11-year-old had not been showing his usual zest this season, but back at a track where he tends to excel he produced a seasonal best in the Group 2 contest and staved off retirement for a little while longer.
His doting owner Andrew Hollis said: “He’s amazing. He’s not really been in form this term and I had in my mind if he didn’t perform today then we’d retire him.
“Battaash is special and there’s no disappointment in being second to him. Take Cover doesn’t owe us anything and he just loves it here.”
Trainer David Griffiths was equally proud of his stable star, whose record in the King George Stakes now stands at two wins, two seconds and a fourth last year, when racing on soft ground he does not like.
“I’m delighted with him,” he said. “He’s run a cracker. I said to one or two people he looked back to his best but he was written off today, although we didn’t mind that. We were best of the rest behind Battaash and we’ll take that.”
Glorious at Goodwood – Take Cover's track record
|August 3, 2013||2nd Stewards' Sprint Stakes|
|August 1, 2014||1st King George Stakes|
|July 31, 2015||2nd King George Stake|
|July 29, 2016||1st King George Stakes|
|August 4, 2017||4th King George Stakes|
|August 3 ,2018||2nd King George Stakes|
As last year, Take Cover found himself playing for places behind Battaash, and Griffiths is in no doubt as to the ability of the winner, who prevailed by four lengths.
He said: “The winner’s seriously good and has to be the best sprinter in Europe.
"Andrea [Atzeni, rider] said if we’d had a bit of company it would have helped, as he tends to find more when he’s challenged. Having said that, he wouldn’t have beaten the winner.”
He added: “I’d have thought he’ll be retired at the end of the season, as I'm not sure about coming back as a 12-year-old – that's quite old. We’ll see how the year goes and then discuss it.”
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