A STRONG early pace is seen as a key factor if Sky Lantern is to get the best chance to shine when she tackles ten furlongs for the first time in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
Having already proved herself as the leading three-year-old filly over a mile with 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes wins, Sky Lantern tries to make the transition to middle distances on the Sussex Downs. She arrives on the back of a controversial and narrow defeat at the hands of Elusive Kate in the Falmouth Stakes, and assistant trainer Richard Hannon jnr believes a sound gallop through the initial exchanges will be crucial from her draw in stall 13 of 15.
“She’s a very, very good filly and we just hope she gets a mile and a quarter, if she does we’re in big business. Hughesie (Richard Hughes) thinks she’ll stay the trip standing on her ear and let’s hope they go a good gallop,” he said.
Owners Qatar Racing have just one contender in Just The Judge after their second string, Ralph Beckett’s Secret Gesture, was rerouted to tomorrow’s German Oaks in Dusseldorf. Despite Secret Gesture’s defection, the Charlie Hills-trained Just The Judge remains far from certain to take her chance in the Nassau, with connections keen to see some rain ahead of her first run over a mile and a quarter.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Integral takes a significant step up in class following an impressive success at Listed level at Sandown. Owner Khalid Abdullah has two representatives in Lady Cecil’s Hot Snap and the John Gosden-trained Winsili.
Hot Snap, not seen since disappointing when favourite for the 1000 Guineas, is, however, not a certain runner. Lady Cecil said: “She’s ready to run, but there doesn’t look like there’s any rain around and I’d be very reluctant to risk her if it’s very quick.”
The only Irish contenders in the field are Aidan O’Brien’s duo of Just Pretending and Magical Dream.
Meanwhile trainer Dean Ivory reports ante-post favourite Tropics in “cracking form” as he bids for a quickfire double in the Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood. The five-year-old is making a swift return to action after gaining a hard-fought short-head success in the Sky Bet Dash at York last week.
At Glorious Goodwood yesterday. Moviesta landed the Betfred King George Stakes. Stepping up to Group 2 level after a string of good runs in handicap company, the 5-1 chance is part-owned by Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp and looks to have a very bright future. Justineo and Masamah blazed an early trail down the middle of the track with Paul Mulrennan happy to sit in the pack aboard the Bryan Smart-trained winner. He kicked clear and despite not steering a totally straight course, he prevailed by a length and a half with Swiss Spirit in second and Justineo clinging on for third, a further head away.”