Celebration Mile tops Saturday action at Goodwood - preview and tips

Duke of Hazzard (right) is in the frame for the Celebration Mile / Picture: Getty Images
Duke of Hazzard (right) is in the frame for the Celebration Mile / Picture: Getty Images

Goodwood's August bank holiday weekend festival got off to a cracking start with six races and some spectacular fireworks on Friday night - now things step up a gear with a top-class card on Saturday afternoon.

Sports editor Steve Bone's Friday tips threw up three winners and he and our friends at the Racing Post are hoping for more success today.

The Ladbrokes Celebration Mile is the Group 2 highlight of an excellent afternoon's racing and a crowd of 10,000-plus is expected. You can pay on the day if you have not booked in advance.

The festival concludes on Sunday with the Supreme Stakes the highlight of an eight-race card, plus plenty more family entertainment besides.

Steve Bone's tips for Saturday: 130 Feelinlikeasomeone, 205 Duke of Hazzard, 240 Dark Lady, 315 Pattie, 350 Manuela De Vega, 425 Rotherwick, 500 Never Surrender.

Meanwhile experts at the Racing Post have previewed the card at Goodwood for today's big meeting, speaking to the trainers with runners in the big races.

2.05 Goodwood

Ladbrokes Celebration Mile (Group 2) | 1m | 3yo+ | ITV/RTV

Rossa Ryan has a great chance of landing the biggest pot of his short career when he partners recent course-and-distance winner Duke Of Hazzard for Paul Cole in the Ladbrokes Celebration Mile.

It will be Ryan's first time on the three-year-old, who is stepping up to Group 2 level after beating Turjomaan in the Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and also won at Goodwood last year, and he is excited about it.

Ryan is in his third full season and has had six winners for the stable from only 26 rides. His biggest win to date was on John Quinn's El Astronaute in a valuable sprint handicap at York a year ago.

He said: "I couldn't ask for a better chance of winning a Group race. It's a hot race, but it's a tremendous ride to get."

Cole said Duke Of Hazzard has "never been better" and pointed out that "he loves the course".

He added: "I didn't think we would get a jockey, with York, Newmarket and all the rest on, but Rossa rides for us a bit and has done well. It's a great opportunity for him and I'm sure he'll make the most of it."

Guineas form under scrutiny

William Haggas is looking forward to seeing his Qipco 2,000 Guineas third Skardu back in action and then making plans for the autumn.

The Craven Stakes winner has been mixing it with the best and since the Guineas has been fourth in the Irish equivalent and the St James's Palace Stakes, beaten only a length and a half by Circus Maximus in the latter.

Haggas said: "He's had a break deliberately, and he's coming back with various plans for later in the season. I'm very happy with the way he's worked and I'm hoping he will run a very good race. He's a very nice horse, and he had good form with the best of them in the spring."

Murphy bids for fourth successive win

Oisin Murphy won two Celebration Miles on Lightning Spear and a third last year on the ill-fated Beat The Bank, whose connections he represents again when he partners recent Qatar Sussex Stakes fourth Happy Power.

Andrew Balding is sweet on Happy Power's prospects and said: "Happy Power has an obvious chance. His fourth behind Too Darn Hot in the Sussex was a smashing run, and so track and trip are no problem.

"Bar his blip in the Jersey Stakes, where we probably ran him back too soon, I think he's had a really encouraging second season."

What other trainers say

Richard Hannon, trainer of Beat le Bon

This has been the plan ever since his impressive win in the Unibet Golden Mile and he's absolutely thriving. I couldn’t be happier going into this. Pat [Dobbs] gets on really well with him and he loves the track, therefore I’m very confident he can put up a massive show.

John Gosden, trainer of Turgenev

He's had a busy season and we've freshened him up for the Celebration Mile, which is always a nice race, and hopefully he can get a piece of it.

2.40 Goodwood

Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes (Group 3) | 7f | 2yo fillies | ITV

Richard Hannon hopes to strike for a second time in a race that eluded his father, Richard senior, when he saddles Sweet Solera Stakes third Dark Lady for the Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes.

The stable won the Goodwood Group 3 two years ago with subsequent Qipco 1,000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook, and Dark Lady's Newmarket run behind West End Girl, when Saturday's opponents Romsey was fourth and Ananya fifth, is just about the best form on offer in what looks an open renewal.

Hannon said: "Dark Lady ran well at Newmarket on her first try at seven furlongs last time and a sharp seven around Goodwood should be right up her street. It's a decent little race, but she's in great form and it would be good to get some proper black type."

Hughie Morrison is hopeful of another good run from Romsey, who is entitled to be thereabouts again.

He said: "Romsey has already proved she's up to that sort of level and has been unlucky twice in being significantly interfered with, so maybe her day will come. She's a sweet filly who was born and bred near Goodwood and hopefully she'll be in the first three." The remainder of the nine-runner field are a little less exposed and Boomer, who had Stylistique in third when a good winner of a Newbury maiden, and Shadn, who won a Listed race on the same course, are obvious contenders for top-three finishes.

Tom Dascombe saddles the Kingman filly Boomer for Bert Black's Chasemore Farm and said: "She improved a great deal on her first run to win well at Newbury last time and she deserves her chance in a good quality race like this. I gather she's favourite, or nearly favourite, so let's hope she's got a favourite's chance."

Andrew Balding is equally hopeful of Shadn and said: "She won a Listed race very well at Newbury last time and she won't be bothered by the step up in trip. In fact, the extra furlong should suit her, so fingers crossed."

The least exposed runner is Sir Mark Prescott's debut Epsom winner Alpinista.

Assistant trainer William Butler said: "She's a beautifully bred daughter of Frankel who was impressive on debut at Epsom, so you'd hope she'd handle Goodwood. We are excited and looking forward to running her."

Other tips:

1.30: This may go to form pick FEELINLIKEASOMEONE, who looks to have been found a suitable opening after showing ability in all three starts.

3.15: The vote goes to OH THIS IS US, who will be suited by the return to his optimum trip of 7f and is on a good mark on his very best form.

3.50: This may go to MANUELA DE VEGA, who has run well when fourth in the Oaks and second in a C&D Group 2 this season.

4.25: You're Hired and Rotherwick have solid claims but CHANCE is still progressing and he can make it 4-4 in handicaps

5.00: This can go to NEVER SURRENDER, who took a major step back in the right direction last time and holds every chance off the same mark.