Goodwood’s big-race winner set for St Leger bid

Algometer takes the Cocked Hat Stakes / Picture by Clive Bennett

Algometer takes the Cocked Hat Stakes / Picture by Clive Bennett

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Algometer laid down his claims for an attempt at one of racing’s classics with an impressive victory in the Cocked Hat Stakes on day two of Goodwood’s May Festival.

Sussex jockey Jim Crowley did the business on the 13/8 starter to hold off the significant challenge of evens-favourite Prize Money.

The win saw Algometer cut to 33/1 for the Epsom Derby on June 4 but trainer David Simcock said the St Leger at Doncaster in September was a more likely target.

“It would need to rain at Epsom for us to think about running in the Derby, and if it didn’t we would leave it and take him to Ireland (Irish Derby),” said the Newmarket trainer.

“Realistically the Leger is the right race for him later in the year. He’s a horse that gives everything, but today’s race was never going to be run to suit.”

Day two of the festival, like the first day benefitting from fine weather, got off to a thrilling start when Michael Murphy - becoming something of a Goodwood specialist despite still being in the early years of his career in the saddle - edged out Franny Norton on Peachy Carnehan to take the Spitfire Novice Auction Stakes on Quench Dolly (8/1).

Realistically the Leger is the right race for him later in the year.

Trainer David Simcock

David Probert won the Chateau La Gordonne Stakes on Arlecchino’s Leap (7/1) for Lambourn trainer Mark Usher ahead of Sussex handler Gary Moore’s Good Luck Charm.

It was a Cheveley Park Stud one-two in the Goodwood Aero Club Fillies’ Stakes as Frankie Dettori scored on board 11/10 favourite Persuasive, trained by John Gosden, to beat Ryan Moore on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Aristocratic.

That was the first of three second places for Moore - he was also the man on Prize Money in the EBF Stallions-sponsored feature race and then was on She Is No Lady, runner-up in the EBF Breeders Series Fillies’ Handicap Stakes to Luke Morris on the Paul Cole-trained Tioga Pass (11/1).

There was controversy in the Levin Down Stakes with a stewards’ inquiry was called to investigate photo-finish winner Seeking Magic’s violent drift and interference with the horses finishing third and fourth.

After a lengthy inquiry, the race was taken away from Seeking Magic and his jockey Ryan Tate and the win handed to Go Far, who ironically hadn’t been affected by Seeking Magic’s veering run.

The last, the Three Friday Nights Stakes, went to Goodwood ambassador Tom Marquand on 7/1 chance Wiley Post - trained by the track’s current champion trainer Richard Hannon - ahead of Louis Steward on Sir Theodore.

The festival concludes on Saturday when a high-quality card includes two listed races and a £100,000 handicap.

Saturday tips: 2.15 Decorated Knight, 2.50 Bateel, 3.25 Oh This Is Us, 4.00 Moondust, 4.35 Kinema, 5.10 Welease Bwian, 5.45 Sweet Dragon Fly.

See full coverage of the festival in the Chichester Observer next Thursday.

STEVE BONE

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