Goodwood hosts a seven-race card this Saturday and, in the feature Group 2 Celebration Mile (14:05), Duke Of Hazzard can follow-up on a taking course and distance success.
Paul Cole’s stable star is unbeaten in two starts at the Sussex venue. The three-year-old Lope De Vega colt landed a Listed race at Deauville on his final start as juvenile and had the French 2000 Guineas as his main spring target.
Duke Of Hazzard was far from disgraced in back-to-back runs at Longchamp at the start of this season when third and fifth to Persian King.
A drop back to 7f for the Group 3 Jersey Stakes then saw Duke Of Hazzard outpaced, but he kept on well to be beaten just three lengths in fifth behind Space Traveller.
When eased in grade to Listed level and back up in trip to a mile, however, he resumed winning ways.
Belying a starting price of 10/1, Duke Of Hazzard quickened to lead inside the final furlong at Newmarket and ran on strongly for a 2 1/2 lengths victory over Momkin.
He has nothing to fear from the re-opposing fourth horse home Turgenev, who re-opposes on exactly the same terms.
Duke Of Hazzard then took the step back into Group 3 company by following-up in the Thoroughbred Stakes here during Glorious Goodwood.
After being restrained, he closed and was then twice denied a clear run. Duke Of Hazzard still found a way to the front, however, quickening under pressure and he ran on to hit the front close home.
Given how the race panned out, it’s a performance which can be upgraded.
Granted better luck in-running, Duke Of Hazzard looks well worth a wager to complete his hat-trick at 11/4 with Bethard now again on the upgrade.
Skardu a clear Celebration Mile danger
William Haggas has an in-form team, so a freshened up Skardu is feared most in the Celebration Mile.
This highly-tried three-year-old son of Shamardal won his sole juvenile start and returned to Newmarket where he landed the Craven Stakes.
That punched Skardu’s ticket to the first Classic of the season on the Rowley Mile. He ran a fine race in the 2000 Guineas, winning his group and leading home the main body of the field.
Skardu was unlucky, however, in that a strip of ground up the stands’ side rail was the place to be.
He was 4 1/4 lengths behind Magna Grecia in third who just so happened to be drawn on the quickest part of the turf.
Although Skardu reversed form with the winner in the Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh, he finished a 3 3/4 lengths fourth to Phoenix Of Spain when losing third close home.
Again, that Classic form is open to question. Skardu was 2 1/4 lengths in front of the winner in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot won by Circus Maximus.
He lacked the pace to challenge here, but was closer to Irish 2000 Guineas runner-up Too Darn Hot. That one then landed consecutive Group 1s, including the Sussex Stakes over course and distance.
Now given a break and down in grade, this is the easiest assignment Skardu has had all season.
As he’s lacked the foot to quicken when it matters, however, he is taken on in the Celebration Mile despite odds of 9/4 with Betfair and commanding plenty of respect.
Happy Power is top rated on his run behind Too Darn Hot in the Sussex Stakes, meanwhile, and Beat Le Bon is out to prove himself better than a handicapper.
Boomer your best bet for a Prestige punt
In an open-looking renewal of the 7f Group 3 Prestige Stakes for juvenile fillies (14:40), the progressive Boomer may have more to offer than most.
Trained by Tom Dascombe, this daughter of Kingman came on for her debut at Haydock when a ready winner at Newbury last time out.
After racing keenly and pressing the leaders, she led two out, but then showed signs of greenness.
Reminders from jockey Richard Kingscote were all Boomer needed to put the race to bed as she ran on strongly for a 3 1/2 lengths victory over Winter Snow.
She has nothing to fear from the re-opposing third filly home Stylistique on that evidence.
What Boomer beat is questionable, but the immediate response when asked a question and the way she put the race to bed was very taking.
The form of her bow when a 3 1/2 lengths fourth of five to Path Of Thunder looks good.
As the winner has since followed-up, and both the second and third home at Haydock also came out and won, plenty has been done to advertise that race.
With Boomer obviously open to plenty more progress, she’s a top-price 3/1 chance with Betfred for the Prestige Stakes.
Plenty of others have claims here. Shadn is a Listed winner over 6f stepping up in trip, while Sweet Solera third Dark Lady looks a solid each-way bet at 6/1 with Paddy Power.
That Newmarket Group 3 from earlier this month is a key piece of form for a few re-opposing in the Prestige Stakes.
As the Cheveley Park Stud owned daughter of Dark Angel finished ahead of Romsey and Ananya there, she should confirm the form on Celebration Mile day.
Manuela De Vega worth another chance in March
Just five got in the Group 3 March Stakes over 1m 6f (15:50) for three-year-olds, and Manuela De Vega could go one better than when runner-up over course and distance last time out.
Trained by Ralph Beckett, this daughter of Lope De Vega has run some fine races in defeat this season.
They include when chasing home Mehdaayih in the Cheshire Oaks on reappearance. Manuela De Vega then finished a 2 1/2 lengths fourth to Anapurna in Epsom Oaks.
She was short of room at a key stage in the Classic, but stayed on. After coming fifth in the Irish equivalent at The Curragh, connections stepped her up in trip.
As Manuela De Vega lost little in defeat when beaten five lengths in the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes here at Glorious Goodwood earlier this month, she looks worth chancing again now down in grade.
This is much easier than battling thriving John Gosden filly Enbihaar, whose yard have been in-form throughout the season.
The March Stakes is also much calmer waters than running in Classics, so Manuela De Vega is 11/4 with BetVictor to finally resume winning ways.
There is a Gosden filly opposing here in the lightly-raced Promissory.
This beautifully bred daughter of Dubawi out of an Authorized mare progressed after being denied a clear run and then eased when a nine-length third on debut at Haydock.
When stepped up to 1m 4f at Doncaster in a novice event last time out, Promissory bolted up by five lengths.
She had those in-behind strung out like washing and stayed on really strongly.
With the extra couple of furlongs looking sure to suit, Promissory rates a real danger if progressing again at 11/4 with 888Sport in the March Stakes. She’s preferred to Sir Ron Priestley.