Goodwood racecourse welcomes in the new season on Saturday with a pair of listed contents for fillies and mares headlining a highly-informative seven-race card.
Gertrude Bell won the inaugural running of the £35,000 Listed Betfred The Bonus King EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes (2.15pm) last season before going on to Group 2 glory in the Lancashire Oaks.
She ended her season with a fine third in the Group Two QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes at Ascot on British Champions Day.
A high-class entry of nine for the mile-and-a-half contest this year includes the Sir Henry Cecil-trained Vita Nova, who was runner-up to Gertrude Bell in the Lancashire Oaks and filled the same position in the Group One Yorkshire Oaks at York in August.
Ed Dunlop is hoping Tameen can make a bright start to her season. The talented four-year-old was an eight-length winner of the Goodwood Racehorse Owners’ Group Handicap over the same course and distance in August, when she was trained by the Newmarket handler’s father John.
The well-bred daughter of Shirocco subsequently finished a close fourth in a Doncaster Listed contest and was purchased by her current owner, the Honourable Earle Mack, for 80,000 guineas in February.
Dunlop said: “Everything has gone well with her so far this year and time will tell if she is a good filly.
“The race looks to be a logical starting point and I am happy with her, but it does look very competitive.
“The initial plan with her this season is to get some black type and then we will see what we can do after that.”
An entry of seven for the mile £35,000 Mobile Casino British Stallion Studs EBF Conqueror Stakes (4.05pm) includes Barefoot Lady.
The Richard Fahey-trained four-year-old came home third in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and finished a creditable fifth behind Midday in the Group 1 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in July.
Richard Hannon is represented by Esentepe, who gamely took the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on April 18.
Hannon, who was leading trainer at Goodwood for a ninth time in 2011, is responsible for Jimmy Elder in the day’s opening race, the £5,500 Betfred Goals Galore EBF Maiden Stakes (1.40pm).
Eight are in the frame for the £25,000 Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap (3.30pm) over a mile and three-quarters with the same number for the five-furlong £15,000 Betfred The Bonus King Bingo Handicap (2.50pm).
The action concludes with the seven-furlong £5,000 Betfred.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes (4.40pm) and the £5,000 Collect Totepool Bets At Betfred Shops Handicap (5.15pm) over just shy of a mile and a quarter.
OUR TIPS: 1.40 Jimmy Elder, 2.15 Polygon, 2.50 Desert Phantom, 3.30 No Heretic, 4.05 Barefoot Lady, 4.40 Poole Harbour, 5.15 Autarch.
We’ll have an opening-day report from Goodwood on this website on Saturday evening.