Goodwood's May Festival is a scorcher

Mori (Ryan Moore) wins the Height of Fashion Stakes / Picture by Clive Bennett
Mori (Ryan Moore) wins the Height of Fashion Stakes / Picture by Clive Bennett

In weather that could barely have been any better, the first two days of Goodwood's May Festval have been hailed a big success.

Race-goers have been basking in glorious sunshine and summer temperatures on the Downs and have seen plenty of horses that look a good bet to go on to further success over the flat season.

They've also seen one more winner than they've seen races - after Apphia, the 2/1 favourite, and Hadeeqa (7/1) could not be separated in a photo finish in the Oriens Aviation EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes on day one.

The rare dead heat meant jockeys William Buick and Jim Crowley and trainers Hugo Palmer and Simon Crisford shared the honours.

The feature race on Thursday was the listed Markel Height Of Fashion Stakes for fillies, seen as a trial for the Epsom Oaks, which is coming up in a fortnight. It went to the 15/8 favourite Mori, ridden by Ryan Moore for Sir Michael Stoute.

But the man of the moment is trainer Henry Candy, who has taken an impressive lead at the head of the Goodwood trainers' standings for the fledgling season with a day-two treble.

He saw Noble Peace (6/1), Queen of Time (11/2) and Rebecca Rocks (3/1 joint fav) all prevail in the second, third and seventh races of a hot Friday afternoon's action.

Day two's feature was the Derby trial, the EBF Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes, which was claimed by Frankie Dettori on Khalidi (100/30) for trainer John Gosden.

The racing action has been absorbing - and it has been nicely complemented by a food festival showcasing plenty of locally-produced food and drink.

There's more racing - and food festival action - on Saturday, when the seven-race card's highlights include the Festival Stakes and the Tapster Stakes.

Sports editor Steve Bone's Saturday tips: 2.00 Abdon, 2.35 Madeline, 3.10 Aardwolf, 3.45 Second Step, 4.20 Angel Gabrial, 4.55 Morache Music, 5.25 Deleyla.

STEVE BONE

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