Goodwood in Glorious condition for evening meeting

Hayley Turner on Boom Or Bust
Hayley Turner on Boom Or Bust
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Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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With Glorious still fresh in the memory, Goodwood stages the first of its four August meetings tonight.

It may be low-key compared to the festival but the course’s last evening meeting of 2011 still promises absorbing action.

The track has recovered well after five days of Glorious in which 500 horses were in action.

And the going is expected to good for a seven-race card.

There are two chances for Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon to extend their impressive leads at the head of the top jockey and top trainer Goodwood standings for 2011.

They team up with Aldwick Bay in the Southern Daily Echo Stakes at 6.30pm and First Cat in the Westerton Stakes at 7.05pm.

Hughes has already notched 15 wins at the course this season, with Frankie Dettori his nearest challenger on seven.

Meanwhile, Sussex-born Hannon has sent out 12 winners – seven more than the second-placed trainer John Dunlop.

Arundel-based Dunlop might fancy his chances of cutting the gap with Knightly Escapade in the Chichester City Maiden Stakes at 6pm.

One of the heroes of the festival is back – top female jockey Hayley Turner.

She was a popular winner of the totesport Mile on Boom Or Bust and rides Sweet Ovation for Mark Usher in the Kennels Stakes at 5.30pm, Kings Bayonet for Alan King an hour later and the Andrew Balding-trained Arabian Star in the Golf At Goodwood Stakes at 7.40pm. The action kicks off at 4.55pm with the Ladies Night Maiden Auction Stakes.

Racing finishes with the Goodwood Handicap Stakes at 8.10pm.

Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley said last week’s rain had helped the surface get over the festival.

He added: ‘We have had 45mm of rain since the festival and the lads have worked really to get the track looking nice again.

‘We’ve not needed to water and may even get a shower during the day but hopefully not during racing.’