Powell hopes Dark Emerald will prove a gem at Goodwood

Kieren Fallon wins the Rudimental Stakes at Goodwood's last Friday-night event  Picture by Clive Bennett
Kieren Fallon wins the Rudimental Stakes at Goodwood's last Friday-night event Picture by Clive Bennett
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Goodwood Racecourse plays host to the second of Three Friday Nights this week (Friday, June 14) with Andy Cato of Groove Armada taking to the decks after racing when a quick change of scenery will transform the parade ring into a huge dance floor.

Cato has recently released an 18-track collection album entitled “Time and Places”, an audio reminder of the history over the past 20 years of British dance music culture.

Tickets were available today (Monday) from www.goodwood.com but booking in advance is strongly advised to avoid disappointment.

The first of Goodwood’s Three Friday Nights on May 31 was a huge success, with Rudimental performing to a sell-out crowd.

The third in the series on June 21 features DJ Trevor Nelson and is proving very popular. Again, booking in advance is strongly advised to avoid disappointment.

A six-race card commences on Friday at 6.20pm, with the final contest scheduled for 9.05pm. The highlight is the £12,000 Bibendum Handicap (7.25pm) over just short of ten furlongs for three-year-olds.

A total of 25 horses have been entered including a number of lightly-raced performers such as the William Haggas-trained Danal Al Atheer, Epsom maiden scorer One Pekan from the stable of Roger Varian, and Persepolis, trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

Brendan Powell will be represented by dual winner Dark Emerald providing the Lambourn handler can secure the services of former champion jockey Kieren Fallon, who steered the colt to victory on his seasonal return at Yarmouth on April 30.

The son of Dark Angel failed to build on that win when tackling 10 furlongs for the first time at Sandown Park on May 23, finishing fifth under William Buick.

Powell said: “If Kieren Fallon can ride Dark Emerald, which I think he will be able to do, then the horse will run in the Bibendum Handicap.

“He has been in great form since his run at Sandown but I felt William (Buick), having not ridden the horse before, probably didn’t make enough use of him. I think he was worried about getting the trip but I can see Dark Emerald staying a mile and a half in time.

“When Kieren rode him for the first time at Newbury last year, he came back and said we need to make plenty of use of him because all he does is stay.

“He went a right good gallop at Yarmouth and every time a horse came to him he found a bit more. He is lazy like that at home but very genuine and needs something with a bit of speed to take him along.

“He was second to Olympic Glory at Goodwood last year and ran against some other nice types but always put up a good performance despite being quite weak still.

“Since Sandown, his work has improved and I have always thought he would be better than an 88-rated horse. I’m still sure he will be and he could be a horse to take abroad for some Listed races later in the season.”

Fallon is Goodwood’s top jockey so far this season with five wins to his name already.

Other notable entries include the William Knight-trained Goodwood Mirage, owned by the Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group, and Rock God from the yard of Eve Johnson Houghton, whose best performance came when narrowly beaten by Steeler in a maiden at Glorious Goodwood last year.

Frankie Dettori enjoyed his first British success at Goodwood on June 9, 1987, on Lizzy Hare and this is remembered by the Frankie’s 26th Anniversary Maiden (8.35pm, 19 entries) over a mile.

The famous jockey, who partnered his first winner on Thursday, June 6, since returning to action on May 31, could ride at Goodwood on Friday.

The four remaining races on the card are the opening Gordon’s Apprentice Handicap (6.20pm, 15 entries), the Advance Resource Managers Auction Maiden (6.50pm, 23 entries), the Crimbourne Stud Handicap (8.00pm, 25 entries) and the concluding TFM Handicap (9.05pm, 17 entries).

Seamus Buckley, Clerk of the Course at Goodwood, said today: “I am calling the ground good on the straight course and good to firm, good in places on the loops.

“We have been watering the course since our last raceday on May 31 and there is plenty of moisture in the ground.

“The course is in excellent condition and we are looking forward to another excellent evening of entertainment on the second of our Three Friday Nights.”

See the Observer - out on Thursday - for a preview, and this website on the days for tips and a racing report.