Cameron Highland is on course to start his season on the final day of the May Festival at Goodwood, Saturday, May 25, in either the £40,000 Listed 32Red Festival Stakes over just short of 10 furlongs (2.05pm) or the £40,000 Listed Tapster Stakes (4.10pm) over 12 furlongs.
The son of Galileo, who is trained in Newmarket by Roger Varian, disappointed when last seen out in the Group Three Arc Trial at Newbury in September but had previously landed a Listed contest at Windsor by four and a half lengths.
Varian said: “Cameron Highland is a very likely runner in one of the races but I haven’t decided which race yet. He is versatile in regards to trip and ground so we will just have a look at the entries and weigh it up closer to the time.
“He has been in great form and I am very happy with him. He has strengthened up over the winter and I think he has improved.
“I think we can safely put a line through his run at Newbury because it didn’t compare to any of his previous runs and I imagine he had just gone over the top after a long season.
“If you ignore that, he looked quite a nice horse and we were minding him a bit last year because we always thought he would be a better four-year-old. Hopefully, we will be proved right.”
A total of 16 entries have been received for the 32Red Festival Stakes headed by the Luca Cumani-trained pair of Afsare, runner-up in the Grade One Arlington Million in Chicago in August, and French import Mobaco, a Group Three scorer at Marseille Borely on his latest start in October.
Beatrice Aurore, who won the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood in 2011, could have her first start for Ed Dunlop, while the Hughie Morrison-trained Coquet, who landed the same contest last year, could return to the West Sussex course after finishing sixth on her reappearance in the Betfred The Bonus King EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes.
The Tapster Stakes has attracted 11 entries including Frankel’s full-brother Noble Mission, who landed the Group Three Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes over the course and distance at Glorious Goodwood in 2012, as well as classy pair Vow and Songcraft.
Wentworth, highly-regarded by trainer Richard Hannon, is among 24 entries for the richest race on the card, the £50,000 32Red Handicap (3.35pm) over seven furlongs, which is run for the first time this season. The son of Acclamation could clash with eye-catching Chester runner-up Breton Rock and Sir Michael Stoute’s lightly-raced daughter of Magical Romance, Love Magic.
The seven-race card is completed by the £8,000 European Breeders’ Fund Maiden (2.35pm, 27 entries), the £25,000 Allans Of Petworth Handicap (3.05pm, 15 entries), the £10,000 Jersey Racing Club Handicap (4.45pm, 24 entries) and the Federation Of Bloodstock Agents Fillies’ Maiden (5.20pm, 17 entries).
Eight entries for Cocked Hat Stakes
Group Three winner Fantastic Moon heads eight possibles for the £40,000 Listed CASCO EBF Cocked Hat Stakes over 11 furlongs on the second day of the May Festival at Goodwood, Friday, May 24.
Jeremy Noseda’s charge could clash with Group Three Dee Stakes runner-up Contributer, trained by Ed Dunlop, Sir Henry Cecil’s Disclaimer and Feel Like Dancing from the stable of John Gosden, who has won the last two renewals.
The CASCO EBF Cocked Hat Stakes has been a good pointer to future stars in the past with the last three winners - Michelangelo (2012), Masked Marvel (2011) and Rewilding (2010) - all going on to win or place at Group One level.
The ground at Goodwood is currently good. Seamus Buckley, Goodwood’s clerk of the course, said: “The course is in great condition with a GoingStick reading of 7.5, which is indicative of lovely ground.”