Contradict aiming to scale the Height Of Fashion at Goodwood’s May Festival

Goodwood’s May Festival gets underway on Thursday, May 23, with the fillies taking centre stage in the £40,000 Height Of Fashion Stakes (3.45pm), which has attracted 11 runners.

The Listed contest, run over just shy of 10 furlongs, has proven a springboard for future stars since being introduced in 2007, with Royal Ascot winners Michita and Moneycantbuymelove featuring in the roll of honour along with dual Classic winner Snow Fairy.

This year’s renewal features several unexposed fillies including the Mick Channon-trained Contradict, who bids for a quick return to the winner’s enclosure after posting an impressive six-length success in a 10-furlong fillies’ handicap at Salisbury on May 16.

The daughter of Raven’s Pass, who was bred by her owner Prince A A Faisal, stayed on well to take third in a handicap, run over the course and distance of the Height Of Fashion Stakes, at Goodwood’s opening Saturday fixture on May 4.

Ted Voute, racing and bloodstock manager to Prince Faisal, commented: “We were very pleased with Contradict’s victory at Salisbury last week. Mick is always bounding with enthusiasm and he was very sweet on her beforehand, but it’s nice when they go and do it on the racecourse.

“She is a slight filly, who probably doesn’t take a lot of racing, but we saw this race as a good opportunity to get some black type. She’s rated 81 and deserves her chance in a Listed contest.

“She was with Sir Michael Stoute last year and was placed a few times for him before coming back to our stud. She had a stomach ulcer over the winter but we had it treated and I think that’s part of the reason for her improvement so far this season.

“We have always felt that she could win a race and getting black type would be a bonus. She ran well over the course and distance at the start of the month and we are hopeful that she can make the frame.”

Elik, from the stable of Sir Michael Stoute, was an unlucky fourth in the Listed Cheshire Oaks, while Irish trainer Ger Lyons sends over Harmonic Note, who was also fourth in Listed company on her latest start.

The in-form trainer/jockey combination of Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes are represented by Heading North, who was second to leading Investec Oaks contender Liber Nauticus in a mile maiden at Goodwood in September.

Valtina, who made a winning debut for William Haggas at Haydock in April, aims to bounce back from a disappointing recent run in a Newbury Listed contest while John Gosden has declared Trapeze, who was runner-up in a mile fillies’ handicap at Goodwood on May 9.

The line-up is completed by Contradict’s stable companion Harbinger Lass, Of Course Darling (Ed Dunlop), Glenreef (Mark Johnston), High Time Too (Hugo Palmer) and Starlight Symphony (Eve Johnson Houghton).

Thursday’s card also features the £20,000 Wright Joinery Company Handicap (3.10pm) and a field of 10 for the seven-furlong contest includes Chandlery, who won the Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in 2011. Other contenders include Betfair Summer Double International Heritage Handicap winner Field Of Dream and course specialist The Confessor.

Future QIPCO 1000 Guineas heroine Sky Lantern made a winning debut in the £6,000 British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (2.00pm, nine runners) last season. Her trainer Richard Hannon saddles the unraced pair of Mildenhall and Royal Connection this year.

Goodwood maiden winner Zamoyski heads eight runners for the £10,000 Winner Plant UK Handicap (2.35pm), while talented stayers Montaff and Cosimo De Medici are among a field of 14 for the day’s longest race, the £10,000 Hippo Handicap (4.20pm) over two miles. The racing action is completed by the £5,000 Construction Raceday Apprentice Handicap (4.55pm, 13 runners).

The three-day May Festival at Goodwood continues on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25.

Ground

The going at Goodwood remains good.

Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley reported today: “There was some drizzle around this morning which was expected and it is currently dry and overcast, which means the ground is not drying out.

“There is still plenty of moisture in the ground and the going remains good. We will see what the next 12 to 18 hours bring but the course is in great condition at the moment and hopefully we will be racing on some lovely ground for the May Festival.”

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