Al Baz heads field for Goodwood’s Peter Willett Stakes: preview and tips

Peter Willett at Goodwood a year ago, with trainer Mark Johnston  Picture by Malcolm Wells 122905
Peter Willett at Goodwood a year ago, with trainer Mark Johnston Picture by Malcolm Wells 122905

The £25,000 Peter Willett Conditions Stakes (3.30pm) is the highlight of an exciting seven-race card at Goodwood tomorrow (Tuesday, September 3). A field of six will face the starter for the seven-furlong contest, headed by the James Tate-trained Al Baz, who gained a second career victory with a gutsy front-running performance at Wolverhampton on July 29.

The race is named in honour of a stalwart of horse racing and of Goodwood itself, who is due to be there to present the prizes.

The son of Sixties Icon was badly hampered when last of five in a nursery at Newmarket’s July Festival, but got off the mark at the fourth time of asking in a seven-furlong Redcar maiden on June 22, scoring by five lengths.

Tate, who has acquired the services of former champion jockey Ryan Moore, said: “Al Baz is a game and consistent two-year-old. Obviously, he is not short of experience and the fast ground, seven furlongs and undulating track will all be to his liking.

“There are a couple in there who have probably achieved a little bit more than he has on the form book, but it’s a £25,000 race and we will be trying our best.

“If you ignore his run at Newmarket, he has been progressing nicely and these sort of tracks probably bring out the best in him whereas the straight track at Newmarket probably didn’t.”

Al Baz’s five rivals include course winner and Group Two Coventry Stakes seventh Wahaab, the first foal of Group One heroine Indian Ink,and Mick Channon’s Rossa Corsa, who was fourth in the Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 31.

Newmarket maiden winner Lyn Valley, trained by Mark Johnston, Salisbury victor Intermath and the once-raced Classified Weapon complete the line up.

Other highlights on the card include the £20,000 Royal Sussex Regiment Handicap (4.40pm, nine runners) over two miles, in which the William Jarvis-trained Argent Knight is seeking a hat-trick, and the £15,000 Badger Ales Nursery (4.05pm, seven runners) over six furlongs. The first race is due off at 2.20pm, while the gates open at 11.30am.

OUR TIPS: 2.20 Martian, 2.55 Tea In Transvaal, 3.30 Wahaab, 4.05 Memory Styx, 4.40 Broxbourne, 5.10 Johnny Castle, 5.40 Swift Blade.

Goodwood attracted a record attendance of 27,988 adult racegoers for its three-day August Bank Holiday meeting, with healthy increases on all three days contributing to a rise of 3,438 compared to 2012.

Goodwood also races on Wednesday, September 25, when the £40,000 Listed Greene King Foundation Stakes is the highlight, and stages the season finale on Sunday, October 13.

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