International raiders plotting for glory at Goodwood

Glorious Goodwood is set to be a truly cosmopolitan meeting, with Pattern winners from Germany and Japan due to run over the five days.

German owner/trainer Dominik Moser is aiming another raid on Britain with Gracia Directa, who is being targeted at the £55,000 Group Three Oak Tree Stakes over seven furlongs on Friday, August 3, the fourth day of Glorious Goodwood.

The four-year-old filly posted a half-length success in the six-furlong Group Three Summer Stakes at York on July 13, giving her trainer a fairytale success with his first runner outside of Germany.

Gracia Directa had previously shown a good level of form in Germany, winning a Listed contest over six furlongs at Hoppegarten on May 27 and easily scoring in a Baden-Baden handicap over a furlong further on May 17.

Moser revealed: “We would like to come back over to Britain with Gracia Directa for the Oak Tree Stakes. She has travelled back to Germany well and feels good at the moment, so Goodwood is the aim for her now.

“She surprised us with her victory at York because it was a big step up for her to take on sprinters in Britain. German trainers don’t normally target sprint races in Britain as they are very competitive but we wanted to see how good she is.

“I think that she is better over seven furlongs compared to six and we will see if she can continue improving. We didn’t know how she would cope with the going at York as we were expecting soft ground, but the going descriptions in Britain are different to Germany - if it’s soft in Germany, then you nearly have to swim through it.

“I love British racing, especially the sporting aspects of it. I normally breed horses but started training a few years ago and I love the people who go racing in Britain. In France, there is nobody at the racecourse and people run horses for the money but it’s different in Britain.

“One of my friends took me to Goodwood in November one year, when there was no racing, so there wasn’t much to see but I am very happy to be having a runner at Glorious Goodwood.”

Curragh-based trainer Takashi Kodama is also hoping to be represented at Glorious Goodwood by a pair of Japanese Graded winners.

Shadow Gate enjoyed his finest hour with victory in the Group One Singapore International Cup in 2007 and the veteran performer, twice successful in Grade Three contests in his native country, could line up in the £60,000 Coutts Glorious Stakes over a mile and a half on Friday, August 3.

Kodama commented: “I am trying to get Shadow Gate to Goodwood and I am looking at possibly running him in the Coutts Glorious Stakes. He is in good form - we missed Royal Ascot with a minor problem but he is back in full training now.

“He is a better horse than Pop Rock, who ran for me in 2010, and we hope that we can run him in some Group races this year. His form in Japan and Singapore was very good and he would prefer a little cut in the ground nowadays.

“He’s a 10-year-old but he is a very fresh horse who acts like a two-year-old. He is very keen to remain in training and is certainly not fed up yet.”

The trainer is also aiming to run fellow 10-year-old King’s Trail, a Grade Two winner in Japan, who could contest the £45,000 bet365.comHandicap over just short of a mile and a quarter on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood, Tuesday, July 31.

Kodama added: “King’s Trail disappointed in the Royal Hunt Cup (Royal Ascot, June 20) but he had a problem with his breathing and his blood wasn’t quite right afterwards. He’s a much better horse than he showed there and I am looking to step him back up to 10 furlongs.

“He could line up in the Handicap. I thought that he was a good ground horse but the going looked a little quick for him at Ascot, so a bit of give might suit him.”

Glorious Goodwood runs from Tuesday, July 31 to Saturday, August 4.