x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Skyline can be bright dawn

Today sees the start of the five-day racing carnival set against the backdrop of rolling Sussex countryside at Goodwood.

Frankie Dettori leads Emirates Skyline to success in the totesport BetXtra Rose Bowl Heritage Handicap at Epsom earlier this year.
Frankie Dettori leads Emirates Skyline to success in the totesport BetXtra Rose Bowl Heritage Handicap at Epsom earlier this year.

GOODWOOD // King Edward VII of England described Goodwood's famous festival as "a garden party with racing tacked on". With Britain enjoying soaring temperatures, at least by their standards, it is fitting that today sees the start of the five-day racing carnival set against the backdrop of the rolling Sussex countryside.

Goodwood is a course that has fond memories for those associated with the Emirates. Just over 21 years ago a young Italian named Lanfranco Dettori rode the Luca Cumani-trained Lizzy Hare to victory for his first winner in Britain. Frankie Dettori, now the retained jockey to the Dubai-based operation Godolphin, has gone on to ride 150 more winners here. He rides in the meeting's curtain-raiser, the Bank of Scotland Investment Service Stakes (5.15pm), aboard Emirates Skyline, a fidgety mount, who is generally caught best fresh.

His talent was for all to see last month at Epsom, when he sauntered away with a handicap at the Derby meeting. Things have not gone so well since, and he finished ninth in a field of 10 in the Wolfreton Stakes on firm going. It remains to be seen whether he can do better than last year's sixth in this race, especially with Championship Point, his conqueror, in the line-up. Handicaps are all very well, but Godolphin's relentless drive in the pursuit of excellence has seen them generally concentrate on loftier ambitions and Il Warrd is carrying the royal blue banner in the Group 2 Betfair Cup (6.30pm). Il Warrd went close in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at the Royal meeting, but despite that setback behind the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned Aqlaam, his trainer Saeed Bin Suroor believes the son of Pivotal is ready for the step up in class. "Il Warrd worked well on Friday. He is a tough horse that really tries his best," he said.

"Seven furlongs suits him well and he's ready to take his chance." @Email:sports@thenational.ae