LEE WESTWOOD couldn’t keep up his charge to win his first major at The Open - but he might make up for the disappointment with a win at Glorious Goodwood.
Westwood had to settle for tied third place after ending four shots behind winner Phil Mickelson at Muirfield, but he at least has another Goodwood glory bid with Hoof It, who he owns with his agent Chubby Chandler.
The horse will bid for a repeat victory in the £100,000 Stewards’ Cup on the fifth and final day of Glorious Goodwood on Saturday, August 3.
The Mick Easterby-trained six-year-old produced a devastating performance in the 2011 running of the famous six-furlong heritage handicap, shouldering a record weight of 10st to an impressive two-and-a-half length success.
He continued in fine form that season, finishing an unlucky sixth in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes and a close third in the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup, but has only been seen three times since.
The son of Monsieur Bond didn’t replicate his best form in two starts last term and, after two wind operations, returned from a 13-month absence in the Listed City Walls Stakes at York on July 13, coming home seventh of nine over five furlongs. He was beaten two-and-a-half lengths after missing the break but kept on in the closing stages.
David Easterby, assistant to father Mick, revealed: “Hoof It has come out of York okay and will be going to Glorious Goodwood for the Stewards’ Cup.
“He was ring-rusty at the weekend and will improve, but his wind was fine so I was happy with that.
“I still think he retains all of his ability. He had problems in his couple of runs last season, which he took a while to accept, but we have sorted it now, so the future looks rosy.
“He will be going in off 112 as the weights have already been released and carrying top-weight, but that won’t bother him as he showed two years ago.”
Hoof It, allocated 9st 12lb, tops the 121 remaining entries for the Stewards’ Cup and if successful, will become the sixth dual winner and the first since Sky Diver annexed back-to-back renewals in 1967 and 1968.
Other notable contenders include last year’s winner Hawkeyethenoo, trained in Scotland by Jim Goldie, Wokingham scorer York Glory and Dean Ivory’s lightly-raced five-year-old Tropics.
The five-day festival begins next Tuesday, July 30. For tickets please visit www.goodwood.co.uk
Don’t miss this week’s Observer for all the Glorious Goodwood previews - including racecourse MD Adam Waterworth’s exclusive Diary from the Downs column