Cecil and Dunlop among the honours on Goodwood’s opening day

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Sir Henry Cecil’s highly-fanced Vita Nova won Goodwood’s first listed race of 2012.

The strong 4/9 favourite, ridden by Ian Mongan, was a reasonably comfortable winner of the Betfred The Bonus King EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes, coming in a length and three-quarters ahead of Shimmering Surf.

That was one of three favourites to do the business as Goodwood kicked off its calendar of 19 meetings on a less-than-spring-like day on the Downs.

The other market leaders to win were 3/1 shot Lifetime in the Betfred Mobile Sports Stakes (Handicap), ridden by Darren Edward Egan for Brian Ellison and 9/2 contender Whipcrackaway under Neil Callan in the last, the Collect totepool Bets At Betfred Shops Stakes (Handicap).

Edward Egan and Callan are the early leaders in the race to be top jockey at Goodwood this summer.

Edward Egan also rode to victory in the first race of the card, the Betfred Goals Galore EBF Maiden Stakes, in which his mount Mrs Brown’s Boy (14/1) was a three-length winner. Callan won on board the biggest-priced winner of the afternoon, 20/1 shot Boastful, in the Mobile Casino British Stallion Studs EBF Conqueror Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares).

Jockey Adam Kirby and trainer Robert Cowell teamed up for a 7/2 success with Lui Rei in the Betfred The Bonus King Bingo Stakes (Handicap).

And Arundel handler John Dunlop will have been delighted to make an early visit to his home track’s winners’ enclosure after seeing the betfred.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes go to Balady (3/1), ridden by Tadhg O’Shea.

Sadly there were no winners for our Goodwood tips on this occasion - a poor return the day after we picked out three of seven winners at Fontwell, plus a second and a third.

See reports and pictures from Goodwood and Fontwell in the Observer on Thursday.

STEVE BONE