Ebor target for Duke as Seb calls tune on Choir

Amanda Perrett, trainer
Amanda Perrett, trainer
Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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Duke Of Clarence connections are dreaming of Ebor glory after their charge continued his impressive progress at Goodwood.

The four-year-old son of Verglas claimed victory in the one-mile, six-furlong Gordon’s Stakes on Friday evening in West Sussex.

It was the grey colt’s second win in his past four starts, with two runner-up finishes topping up that tally.

The Richard Hannon-trained charge capped his 2012 campaign with a hat-trick of wins.

But jockey Richard Hughes reckons the talent, who will this week be handed a new career-best mark after winning off 90, can still improve.

And he has suggested a tilt at the Ebor Handicap – one of the big races at York’s Ebor Festival in August – as an ideal target.

David Dixon, part-owner of the promising stayer, explained: ‘Richard (Hughes) said we should be thinking of the Ebor because he’s the right type for it.’

Duke Of Clarence, who was sent off joint-favourite, defeated Noble Silk by a neck as he claimed victory in the stamina-sapping race at 7/2.

Elsewhere on Friday evening, there was a victory for Pulborough handler Amanda Perrett.

She saddled Saucy Minx to a 9/2 success over Savanna Days in the Trevor Nelson Fillies’ Handicap, with Pat Dobbs doing the steering.

Perrett described the three-year-old Dylan Thomas filly as ‘very game’.

She said: ‘She keeps pulling out more when challenged.’

Where’s Reiley overcame a poor start under jockey Seb Sanders to justify his 7/2-favouritism in the Three Friday Nights Handicap.

The seven-year-old was hampered after only 100 yards of the six-furlong race but picked up well to beat Chevise by a length.

Jim Duggan, part-owner of the gelding, said: ‘Seb said little went right for him early on but he picked up well from two out.’

Sanders then completed a double on 15/8-shot Rock Choir in the Bibendum Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

The William Haggas-trained three-year-old cruised clear to win by five lengths from Sunbula, with the well-fancied Archive back in third spot.

Barbs Princess won the final race of the evening – the Goodwood Farm Shop Handicap.

A Bahamian Bounty filly, she defeated Red Gift by two-and-a-quarter lengths to seal victory at 9/2.

The first race of the meeting – the MTV Staying Alive Foundation Apprentice Handicap – went to 7/2-favourite Rhombus.

Trained by Ismail Mohammed, the three-year-old son of Authorized made all in the 10-furlong contest.

He was hard pressed by Smileswithhiseyes inside the final furlong but held on gamely to take the victory.

Jockey Oisin Murphy said: ‘He wasn’t doing a lot in the lead up the straight.

‘But he soon picked up when he saw the other horse.’

The next meeting at Goodwood is the five-day Glorious festival, which begins on Tuesday, July 30.