Spanish eyes could be smiling for Dunlop at Goodwood

ARUNDFEL trainer john Dunlop can field another Goodwood winner on Saturday in the shape of Spanish Duke.

Dunlop saw Beatrice Royal take the track’s Oaks trial, the Height of Fashion Stakes, in impressive fashion in midweek and he can strike again here.

The four-year-old Spanish Duke appears to be an animal of potential judged by his triumph in the City And Suburban at Epsom.

Spanish Duke beat of Resurge as the official verdict of a length barely does justice to the ease of his win. He clocked a decent time that day, too, and a hike to 105 in the handicap may have slightly forced Dunlop’s hand as he switches his sights to Listed company.

Spanish Duke is still expected to go well in the ITWCP Festival Stakes (3.20pm), especially as he has shown he can handle undulating tracks.

The ITWCP Festival Stakes, for four-year-olds and upwards over one mile and one furlong, is the highlight of the card.

Clerk of the Course Seamus Buckley said: “I’m very pleased with the programme of racing and that the Listed race has stood up so well. It looks a pretty strong race and the support has been great from the leading trainers.”

The two Godolphin runners look of particular interest and Al Zir has been mentioned by Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford as one to watch for the season. Their other leading contender is Prince Seigfried.

The ground is looking good and just after walking the coure on Friday morning, Buckley said: “I can’t emphasis enough on how hard the team have worked during this dry spell - they have worked endless hours watering the course and getting such nice ground.

“The course is riding good to firm, good in places and I’m sure it won’t ride much different to Wednesday’s meeting, when everyone was pleased with it.”

The Southern Daily Echo Tapster Stakes is the other Listed event on the card, and Roger Teale’s admirable warrior Steele Tango is taken to score.

Gates open at 11.30am with the first race under way at 2.15pm, the last at 5.35pm.

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2.15 Take Ten, 2.45 Beachfire, 3.20 Spanish Duke, 3.50 Bronze Angel, 4.25 Steele Tango, 5.00 Gower Rules, 5.35 Yasmeena.