Sea Moon out to justify Royal appointment

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Sea Moon has been tipped to star at Goodwood this afternoon.

Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old colt will put his Royal Ascot ambitions on the line in the Listed Tapster Stakes (4.25pm).

Victory will pave the way for a shot at the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes during the famous Berkshire festival.

And confidence is high in the Sea Moon camp ahead of the one-and-a-half mile contest on the Downs.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, said: ‘He’s in good form and he’s been working nicely up to this.

‘We had hoped to take him to Chester but this looks like a good place to start off.

‘His training has been straightforward and we’re looking forward to what we hope will be a big year for him.’

Sea Moon completed his juvenile campaign with one win and a second to his name.

He reappeared last June, winning at York before returning to the same track to claim victory in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes on the Knavesmire.

The son of Beat Hollow was then a luckless third in the Doncaster Classic – the St Leger – before signing off with a fine second to St Nicholas Abbey in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

On the evidence of that form, this afternoon’s race should be little more than a penalty kick – regardless of his aborted return in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester.

Then next on the agenda will be Royal Ascot, with connections admitting the Coronation Cup on Derby day at Epsom next Saturday will come too soon.

‘We’re very pleased with the way he has progressed over the winter,’ added Grimthorpe.

‘If all goes well today, we will probably look towards the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

‘I think the Coronation Cup will probably just come a little bit too soon.’

This afternoon’s card brings the curtain down on Goodwood’s three-day May festival.

Racing begins at 2.15pm, with the Listed Festival Stakes due off at 2.45pm and the final contest at 5.35pm.

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