Oldest of all Glorious battles promises to be a thriller

C121006-10 Goodwood Ladies Day''Saddler's Rock leading the field in the Artemis Goodwood Cup.C121006-10
C121006-10 Goodwood Ladies Day''Saddler's Rock leading the field in the Artemis Goodwood Cup.C121006-10
Megan Nicholls (left of picture) was the Silk Series trophy winner last year / Picture by Dan Abraham-racingfotos.com

Silk Series is coming to Goodwood racecourse

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It is the oldest race of them all.

A battle royale, steeped in history and attracting the finest stayers in training.

And Godolphin are going all out to regain its famous trophy.

The Maktoum family are weighing up a four-pronged attack on this year’s Goodwood Cup.

It is a crown they won in 2011 with Opinion, having previously tasted success with Schiaparelli (2009) and Kayf Tara (1999).

Now Colour Vision, Ahzeemah, Lost In The Moment and Cavalryman are all in the shake-up as Newmarket trainer Saeed bin Suroor prepares the owners’ challenge.

But Irish handler John Oxx is not about to loosen his grasp on the gold cup without a fight after taking the 200th edition of the contest with Saddler’s Rock last term.

And a French raid is brewing, too, as Christophe Ferland is eyeing another triumphant trip across the Channel with his improving filly Gloomy Sunday.

Regardless, it is Godolphin who have strength in numbers.

And while their racing manager Simon Crisford does not expect the entire quartet to line up, he is confident they have all bases covered.

‘We have four possibles for the Goodwood Cup but it is stretching it a little to think they will all run,’ he said.

‘Colour Vision will definitely go for the race. A visor for the first time at Royal Ascot seemed to definitely do the trick and he ran really, really well (to finish fourth in the Gold Cup).

‘I think Goodwood will suit him and we look forward to him running.

‘Ahzeemah ran a really good race in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (second) at Newmarket earlier this month and could go for it.

‘He has the Melbourne Cup as a long-term target but to get into that race nowadays you need to be 115-plus and he is just falling short of that level.

‘Lost In The Moment never normally wins but he did the other day because he got into trouble and managed to get himself out.

‘But he does like Goodwood which can suit quirky horses. He is in the mix.

‘And Cavalryman is running as well as he can but you would have to be a bit surprised if he could figure in the Goodwood Cup finish.’

Oxx, meanwhile, has shrugged off Saddler’s Rock’s disappointing eighth in the Gold Cup.

And he is hoping a return to the Downs will see his charge back to his very best.

The Irish trainer said: ‘He’s had a good interval now, so hopefully he can run up to his best at Goodwood.

‘We know he likes the track there, so we’ll see what happens.’

Ferland will be making his maiden voyage to Glorious Goodwood.

And he is licking his lips at handing the lightly-raced daughter of Singspiel, Gloomy Sunday, a third start in staying company after a stunning win in the Seymour Pierce Henry II Stakes at Sandown in May.

‘Gloomy Sunday looks fantastic and worked very well recently so she is on course for the Goodwood Cup,’ he said.

‘We were not sure what to expect when we sent her to Sandown.

‘She was my first runner in Britain but she had run well at Saint-Cloud before that on her first try at two miles.

‘She has a lot of quality and will be my first runner at Glorious Goodwood.

‘I am really looking forward to coming over.’

Brown Panther, owned by former England striker Michael Owen, is another stayer in the mix for the highlight of the festival’s third day.