Goodwood: Previous winners head King George field

Friday is a day packed with Group races at Goodwood / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Friday is a day packed with Group races at Goodwood / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Previous winners Kingsgate Native (2009, Robert Cowell), Moviesta (2013, Eddie Lynam IRE) and Take Cover (2014, David Griffiths) feature among 19 confirmations for the £300,000 Qatar King George Stakes (3.45pm), the Group Two highlight of day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Friday, July 31.

Muthmir (William Haggas) and Pearl Secret (David Barron), who were third and fourth in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, also remain engaged in the five-furlong sprint, which has tripled in value this year thanks to Qatar’s sponsorship.

Group One Prix de l’Abbaye winner Move In Time and York Listed scorer Out Do could both represent David O’Meara, while Charlie Hills may also be doubly-represented by last year’s Molecomb Stakes victor Cotai Glory and Commonwealth Cup fourth Salt Island.

The 2014 champion juvenile filly Tiggy Wiggy (Richard Hannon), last year’s Group Two Temple Stakes scorer Hot Streak (Kevin Ryan) and French Group Three winner Goken (Henri-Alex Pantall FR) also feature among those going forward.

Trainer Paul Midgley is planning to run Line Of Reason. The five-year-old was successful in the five-furlong Listed Midsummer Sprint at Cork, Ireland, on June 14 and has run two excellent races at Listed level subsequently, taking third behind multiple Group One scorer Gordon Lord Byron at the Curragh on June 27 and fourth to Out Doat York on July 11.

Midgley, who is based at Westow in Yorkshire, commented: “The plan is to go for the Qatar King George Stakes with Line Of Reason.

“He has been in good form since his last outing at York. I thought he ran great there and he has come out of it in excellent form. We just need the rain to stay away for him.

“He has been excellent for us and, since he was gelded, he has done nothing but improve. He won well at Cork and that form looks rock solid.

“Although it seems hard to believe, he didn’t quite get home over six furlongs at the Curragh and seems to be a horse that has got quicker as he has got older.

“Last time at York, everything happened a little bit away from him and Paul (Mulrennan, jockey) thought he should have won that day, although I didn’t think he did anything wrong.

“Line Of Reason is entitled to take his chance in a race like the Qatar King George Stakes. I wouldn’t say he is a good thing or anything like that but with a bit of luck we can pick some prize money - there is a heck of a lot on offer at Goodwood!”

The big handicap on Friday is the £150,000 Betfred Mile (3.10pm) and there are 51 confirmations for the heritage handicap include Basem (Saeed bin Suroor), who is 7/1 favourite with Betfred following a pair of valuable handicap wins at Sandown Park.

Betfred Mile - Betfred prices:

7/1 Basem; 8/1 GM Hopkins; 14/1 Chil The Kite, Munaaser, Red Avenger; 16/1 Ayaar, Bronze Angel, Donncha, Hathal, Magic City, Sahaafy, Short Squeeze; 20/1 Buckstay, Halation, Loving Spirit, Merry Me; 25/1 Baltic Knight, Belgian Bill, Big Baz, Enlace, Extremity, Ifwecan, Jacob Black, Lincoln, Queen Catrine, Russian Realm, Sirius Prospect, So Beloved, Two For Two, You’re Fired; 33/1 Czech It Out, Don’t Call Me, Gabrial’s Kaka, King To Be, My Dream Boat, Ocean Tempest, Santefisio, Secret Art, The Rectifier, What About Carlo, Yourartisonfire; 40/1 Fire Ship, Fort Bastion, Room Key, Saucy Minx; 50/1 George Bowen, Georgian Bay, Mime Dance, Mujazif, Starboard, Surewecan

Each way ¼ odds, 1-2-3-4

Friday’s seven-race programme also features a trio of Group Three contests, starting with the £100,000 Betfred Glorious Stakes (2.00pm) over a mile and a half, which has attracted 16 entries including Canadian Grade One winner Hillstar (Sir Michael Stoute) and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes fourth The Corsican (David Simcock).

QIPCO 2000 Guineas fourth Bossy Guest (Mick Channon) and impressive Kempton maiden scorer Convey (Sir Michael Stoute) feature among 16 contenders for the mile £100,000 Group Three Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (2.35pm).

A total of 23 entries for the £80,000 Group Three L’Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes (4.55pm), staged over seven furlongs for fillies and mares, includes New Providence (Hugo Palmer), Lucky Kristale (George Margarson) and Kiyoshi (Charlie Hills), who were first, second and third in the Group Three Summer Stakes at York on July 10.

Friday’s action is completed by the £20,000 Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Nursery (6f, 4.20pm, 31 entries) and the concluding £20,000 Betfred Mobile Handicap (1m 3f, 5.30pm, 43 entries).

Going now Good

Following 24 millimetres of rain on Friday, the going has changed to Good.

Goodwood’s Clerk of the Course Seamus Buckley reported: “The ground is now good all over with a GoingStick reading of 7.2.

“I would say that the last three furlongs up the straight are slightly easier but it is drying out with the sun and the breeze.

“We are due to be dry throughout this afternoon and overnight and then there is rain forecast in the form of showers coming into the area on Sunday.

“It is great to be able to start the meeting on a naturally-watered surface without having to do any irrigation.”

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