Goodwood Racecourse welcomes in the new season at its opening meeting this Saturday, May 4, with a pair of Listed races for fillies and mares as the highlights of a classy seven-race card..
Trainer Ralph Beckett is looking forward to getting Moonstone Magic back to racing in the mile £40,000 Listed Betfred Mobile Casino British Stallion Studs EBF Conqueror Stakes (4.05pm).
The four-year-old daughter of Trade Fair has not been sighted on a racecourse since trailing home 15th of 16 in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6 last year, but had previously posted an impressive success in the Group Three Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury and also won on her only other start, all with jockey Jim Crowley aboard.
Beckett revealed: “It will need to rain at Goodwood but if it did, Moonstone Magic might run on Saturday.
“She picked up a pin-prick wound on her foreleg, which became infected and that’s why she didn’t run at Doncaster a few weeks ago. It was just one of those things. I was very happy with her going into Doncaster and I was disappointed we could not run because she was in good nick.
“She is a huge filly and the injury she picked up last year could be a blessing in disguise. It was a fractured pelvis and they always come back from those. It shouldn’t hurt her this year but I do think ground is important to her. I think she needs it good or slower.
“The Conqueror Stakes looks like the right sort of race for her starting off and, although I’m not convinced whether she will cope with the course, she should be fine on good ground.
“The margin between Group Three winners and Group One winners is not much but she was bought as a breeding prospect and has done her job in that respect. If we could pick up another race or two at the level she has already achieved, that would be something.”
Other notable entries include Starscope, trained by John Gosden, who finished second in last season’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas, and the William Haggas-trained pair of Sentaril and Arsaadi, who have both been placed in Group company last year.
Saturday’s card also features the £40,000 Listed Betfred The Bonus King EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes (2.20pm) over a mile and a half and the 12 entries include a pair of contenders from the in-form stable of Hughie Morrison.
Coquet bravely captured the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood’s May Festival last year before going on to finish sixth in the Investec Oaks, while Shirocco Star was beaten a neck in the Epsom Classic and also filled the runner-up spot in the Irish Oaks and a pair of Group Two races.
Jehannedarc, second in the Group Three Blackrock Fillies’ Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for Alain de Royer-Dupre last season, is set to make her debut for Ed Dunlop, while Listed winners Souviens Toi and Semayyel may line up for Marco Botti and Clive Brittain respectively.
Last year’s Betfred Mile second Mabait is among 21 entries for the seven-furlong £30,000 Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap (2.55pm), along with Glorious Goodwood winner The Confessor, who was a close third in the Betfair Summer Double Second Leg Heritage Handicap at the August Bank Holiday Weekend at Goodwood.
Sprinters get their chance to shine in the £15,000 Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap (3.30pm) over the minimum distance of five furlongs and the 13 entries include Captain Carey, successful in a valuable handicap at the Curragh in Ireland in 2011, and the well-bred Duke Of Firenze.
Racing starts at 1.50pm with the £6,000 Betfred TV EBF Maiden Stakes, which has attracted 12 juveniles including a quartet from the powerful stable of Richard Hannon – Expert, Thunder Strike, A Childs Dream and Suite.
The action is completed by the £5,000 Betfred ‘Still Treble Odds On Lucky’s’ Median Auction Maiden Stakes (4.40pm, 13 entries) and the £5,000 Collect Totepool Bets At Betfred Shops Handicap (5.15pm, 34 entries).