Trainer Ed Vaughan is hoping Dance And Dance, an unlucky second in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot on his last start, can gain compensation in the £125,000 totesport Mile at Goodwood on Friday, July 29.
Entries are revealed today for the famous handicap and Dance And Dance is one of 77 hopefuls engaged.
The progressive five-year-old, who landed an extended mile handicap at Epsom’s Derby meeting earlier this month, was badly hampered in the Royal Hunt Cup although he still managed to finish only half a length behind the winner Julienas.
“I thought he was very unlucky at Ascot,” reflected Vaughan. “He was only beaten half a length but lost a length when he got bumped and that’s before you take into account the momentum he lost.”
Weights for the totesport Mile are announced next week on Wednesday, July 6, and Vaughan is hoping that Dance And Dance does not head the handicap.
“We’ve made the entry at Goodwood and the plan has been to go for the totesport Mile. But we’ll look at the race and see what’s running and how he is nearer the time. We have got another option for him in France and he’s a small horse so I wouldn’t be that keen to run him off top-weight at Goodwood,” added Vaughan.
“He’s as tough as teak and we keep saying every time that we don’t know if he can improve again but he keeps pulling out a bit more.
“He goes well fresh and would go straight to Goodwood, there would be no prep race beforehand. He’s had plenty of runs already this season and we’ve got him up to a decent level of fitness. I let him down slightly after Ascot and he was too fresh so I had to start with him again sooner than I intended. He’s in terrific form at home.”
The Royal Hunt Cup form is well-represented in the totesport Mile entries via the likes of Invisible Man, Pendragon, Eton Forever, Start Right, Kyllachy Star and Fareer, who filled the places from third to eighth at Ascot.
Invisible Man, the 2010 Royal Hunt Cup winner and totesport Mile runner-up, is one of six entries in the Goodwood contest owned by Godolphin, who won the race in 2004 with Ancient World.
Trainer Mark Johnston is the most successful trainer in the totesport Mile’s history, with four victories including the last two runnings with Sea Lord (2010) and Laa Rayb (2009). He has two chances of adding to that record this year with Master Of Arts, who has not appeared since running at Meydan in February, 2010, and Tartan Gigha.
Beckhampton handler Roger Charlton is another with an impressive totesport Mile record, winning the race in 2007 with Third Set and a year later with Fifteen Love, and he could be represented by last year’s fourth Proponent.
A trio with Royal Ascot-winning form this year are the Tom Dascombe-trained Rhythm Of Light, who landed the Listed Sandringham Handicap on her latest start, Manassas from Brian Meehan’s stable and winner of the Buckingham Palace Handicap, and Sagramor, who Hughie Morrison sent out to win the Britannia Handicap.
North Yorkshire handler Richard Fahey won the 2003 totesport Mile with Lady Bear and he looks set to launch a powerful assault on the 2011 running with no less than eight entries this year. Three-year-old Las Verglas Star won a mile handicap at Haydock on June 18 by three and a half lengths while his stablemates Pleasant Day and Viva Ronaldo also scored on their latest outings.
The William Haggas-trained Green Destiny finished only seventh when sent off a red-hot 6/4 favourite for the Listed Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot and he is one of several totesport Mile entries who could make an appearance in a handicap at Sandown on Saturday.
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