Goodwood in line for Epsom Oaks and Derby pointers

Lady of Dubai wins the 2015 Height of Fashion Stakes / Picture by Malcolm Wells

Lady of Dubai wins the 2015 Height of Fashion Stakes / Picture by Malcolm Wells

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Race-goers could get some pointers for the upcoming Oaks and Derby at Goodwood’s May Festival, which starts on Thursday afternoon (May 19).

Two of the four listed races to be staged over the three-day meeting are trials for the big two contests at Epsom in a fortnight’s time.

Of nine declared runners for today’s Veolia Height of Fashion Stakes (4pm), four also have entries in the Oaks.

Last year’s winner Lady of Dubai went on to finish third in the Epsom race over the same distance.

George Scott’s Cajoled, Ralph Beckett’s September Stars, John Gosden-trained The Black Princess and Charlie Hills’ Zaakhir all have entries in the Height of Fashion and the Oaks.

Friday’s Goodwood feature is the EBF Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes can be a warm-up for the Derby though only four were left in after final decs.

Saturday’s final day of the Goodwood Festival could be the strongest of the lot, with two listed races – the Festival Stakes and the Tapster Stakes – followed by a £100,000 handicap on a day when prize money totals more than £250,000.

Racecourse manager Alex Eade said staff hoped to greet close to 30,000 race-goers over the three days.

“We’re all set. Entries looks very good and the fine weather has meant the racecourse looks a real picture, much more so than even a couple of weeks ago when we first raced.

“We’ve been doing a bit of watering of the course.

“Advance ticket sales have been strong and this is one of those meetings when the quality of the racing really does speak for itself.

“There’ll be some horses who people might pick out as ones to watch for the Qatar Goodwood Festival and we’re looking forward to it.”

Admission is available on the day – see www.goodwood.com for more. The forecast is dry for Thursday and Friday.

Thursday tips: 1.50pm Yalta, 2.20 Arnold Lane, 2.55 Rayvin Black, 3.30 Jim Dandy, 4.00 The Black Princess, 4.35 High Hopes, 5.05 Regal Parade.

- STEVE BONE

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