Muthmir would appear to have his ideal conditions at Goodwood
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 8:00AM 29 JUL 2016
MUTHMIR will attempt to end a winless streak that has extended to six runs as he bids to emulate the great Lochsong by winning a second Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood on Friday.
Since beating another former winner, Take Cover, by a head a year ago, Hamdan Al Maktoum’s horse has contested three Group 1s, a Group 2 and two Listed prizes without getting his head back in front.
But each time Muthmir has run the ground has been good or slower, and trainer William Haggas hopes Friday’s quick surface will assist him in a race not won two years running since Lochsong in 1993 and 1994.
“Muthmir has rarely had his conditions since he won last year but he should have them here,” said Haggas.
“He doesn’t like soft ground but he ran very well last time on ground too loose for him.”
Goldream in opposition
The good to firm ground has also lured Goldream, last year’s King’s Stand Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye winner, for his first start of the year in Europe.
“We’ve been waiting for the ground the whole time and it just hasn’t been right at all,” said trainer Robert Cowell.
“It looks like we’re going to get it. He’s a dual Group 1 winner who is not penalised now so he has more options. Ideally I would like to wait for the Nunthorpe because I don’t know how he will handle Goodwood – we’re taking it on trust that he may do.”
Goodwood had just enough rain yesterday to make it unpleasant, but not enough to materially change the ground, although Ryan Moore described it as “loose on top”. It is expected to be dry on Friday and Saturday, so further watering is possible.
At the end of racing on Thursday, clerk of the course Seamus Buckley said: “We’ve had approximately a millimetre and I would have preferred more. The trouble with the type of rain we’ve had is that it lies on top and made the ground quite slippery in places, but it rode good to firm, as advertised.
“The small amount we had hasn’t done any harm and, although I was going to water the straight, I’m not going to now. We’ll review things through Friday to see if we need to water again for the final day.”
Buckley added that fresh ground would be provided on the lower bend for today’s Betfred Mile. His groundstaff were taking the rail down as soon as racing was over.