RED-HOT sprinter Tropics is reported to be in “cracking form” as he attempts to land an audacious double by taking the Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood just seven days after a hard-fought short-head success in York’s Sky Bet Dash.
It is a tough task – the Dean Ivory-trained tropics has a 6lb penalty for last Saturday’s win but the York-Goodwood double is not impossible after being completed by Hoof It two years ago. Co-owned by golfer Lee Westwood, the Mick Easterby-trained horse carries top weight today as he seeks his first win since his Goodwood success in 2011.
“It is very exciting,” said Ivory. “The quick return is a concern as he did have a hardy sort of race at York, but he seems to have come out of the race well.”
Tropics will be ridden by Jim Crowley, who began his racing career over jumps at the Bingley stable of Sue and Harvey Smith.
Two other riders steeped in National Hunt racing have fascinating rides in this six-furlong cavalry charge.
Bedale-based Graham Lee, the 2004 Grand National winner, seeks back-to-back successes in this race with Jim Goldie’s Hawkeyethenoo – no horse has completed the double since Sky Diver in 1967 and 1968.
A very recent convert to the Flat is Brian Hughes with the former champion conditional partnering Tiddliwinks, one of three runners for Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan, who also saddles Blaine and York Glory, who won Royal Ascot’s Wokingham Handicap on his last outing.
He will have to carry 9st 9lb – just 3lb less than Hoof It.
Yet the best of the Yorkshire runners could be Racy. Luckless when second on his last outing at Ascot, the six-year-old only squeezed into the field on Thursday and only has 8st 9lb to carry.
“He goes there in fantastic form,” said Racy’s Malton-based trainer Brian Ellison.
Champion jockey Richard Hughes recorded his sixth winner of this year’s Glorious Goodwood when driving home Wentworth in the Betfred Mile Handicap – yesterday’s feature race for his father-in-law Richard Hannon.
The Group Two King George Stakes went to North Yorkshire trainer Bryan Smart’s Moviesta under Paul Mulrennan. Co-owned by football manager Harry Redknapp, this horse was ironically balloted out of the Stewards Cup – a fortuitous decision in light of this prestigious win. Just three, Moviesta is destined for top sprinting honours.
Camelot could return to action in either the Juddmonte International Stakes at York or in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has given last year’s dual Derby winner plenty of time off since his fourth-placed finish in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He said: “He’s in good order. He’s back after a break and he’s starting to progress.”