DAVID Griffiths reports Take Cover to be on course to make his fifth appearance in the King George Qatar Stakes at Glorious Goodwood next week.
Successful in 2014 and 2016 as well as finishing second in 2015 and fourth last summer, the evergreen 11-year-old looks likely to get his favoured fast ground when he makes his annual visit to Sussex.
Griffiths believes his stable stalwart is coming back to his best following his latest run at York where he was fifth to Mr Lupton in the City Walls Stakes.
Slightly disappointed by the run, Griffiths believes the track at York was over-watered prior to the recent John Smith’s Cup meeting.
And while Take Cover has yet to show the form that saw the veteran win four high-profile races last year, including the Beverley Bullet, the Bawtry trainer is hopeful of a bold show because of the horse’s uncanny ability to handle Goodwood’s undulations and camber.
“Take Cover goes for the King George. The quicker the ground, the better for him,” he said. “It will be his fifth time in the race. We’ll try for a third win if we can.
“He’s well. He ran okay at York. He was just coming to himself and that run has put him spot on. He’s ready to go. It’s his track.”
He added: “Obviously last year’s winner Battaash is the one, but he wouldn’t like it too fast, which is hopefully what we’ll get. He wouldn’t be as good on fast ground, I’d have thought, even though he is a really good horse.
“The forecast is for the dry weather to continue for a while longer.”
Meanwhile, William Haggas admits he has got “lots to think about” as he considers future plans for his Darley Irish Oaks heroine Sea Of Class.
Following successive Listed triumphs at Newbury, the daughter of Sea The Stars claimed Classic glory with a last-gasp victory at the Curragh under a masterful ride from James Doyle.
The three-year-old holds entries in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the Yorkshire Oaks next month, while a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp in October has also been mooted.
However, Skipton-born Haggas is keen to let the dust settle on their weekend success before committing to definite targets.
“What a great ride he (Doyle) gave her. She’s a good filly,” said the Newmarket-based trainer.
“I don’t think they went that fast and she did well to come from the back of the field, but it was mighty close.
“I don’t really know what the plan is yet. All the fillies’ races that are coming up and the Arc [are possible targets]. I need to have a regroup, see how the filly is and then decide what to do.
“We need to think about next year as well. If we’re going to keep her in training do we overdo her this year? Or do we forget next year and crack on this year whilst she’s in good shape? We’ve got lots to think about.”
Frankie Dettori’s 10-day careless riding ban, incurred at Newmarket earlier this month, has been reduced by four days on appeal. However, he will still miss a number of high-profile rides, including Ascot’s King George meeting this summer and the first two days of Goodwood’s high-profile meeting next week.