Bigger test lies in store for Dashing Willoughby in Qatar Goodwood Cup

ANDREW Balding is tempted to test the staying powers of Dashing Willoughby by stepping him up in trip and class in the Qatar Goodwood Cup.

Dashing Willoughby - pictured winning at Royal Ascot under Oisin Murphy - could reappear at Goodwood.

The trainer favours running the three-year-old over two miles for the first time in the Group One contest on July 30, rather than the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket next week.

After filling the frame on his opening two starts this season, the son of Nathaniel scored for the first time since his winning Wolverhampton debut when he took the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot under Oisin Murphy.

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Balding said: “I’m sure he would stay two miles, and the three-year-olds get a healthy weight-for-age allowance, which makes the Goodwood Cup quite attractive.

“You are taking on the best stayers – but given the prize money, I would think that is the most likely option.”

Meanwhile, Charlie Hills hopes Battaash can return to his brilliant best by securing a record-breaking third victory in the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood.

Having claimed the Group Two prize in both 2017 and 2018, the son of Dark Angel will bid to make it a hat-trick of wins in the five-furlong dash on August 2 after finishing second to the now retired Blue Point in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Recent dual winners of this sprint include the legendary Lochsong – and the now retired Take Cover for Bawtry trainer David Griffiths.

Hills said: “Battaash came out of Ascot really well, and the plan with him now is to go back to Goodwood to try and win the King George Stakes.

“He likes it at Goodwood. He has been down there twice and won twice, so hopefully the same will happen this time.

“I thought he ran really well at Ascot. We were not as far forward as wanted to be, and he was slightly dragged out of the race.”

Dubawi Fifty’s excellent effort in the Northumberland Plate has presented his connections with several attractive options to consider in forthcoming handicaps.

The two-mile Marsh Cup at Newbury on July 20, the Qatar Summer Handicap over a mile six at Goodwood on August 3 and the Sky Bet Ebor at York on August 24 are all on the minds of trainer Karen McLintock and owners Paul and Clare Rooney.

“We haven’t made any definite plans,” said McLintock, after Dubawi Fifty was denied by the Tom Marquand-inspired Who Dares Wins in the final strides.

“We are considering Newbury; there’s an open handicap at Goodwood over a mile six, and I intend to put an entry into the Ebor.”