Afarris justifies favouritism for William Haggas and Jim Crowley at Goodwood

‘I fancy him going up in grade at some point’

Up to £40 in bonus funds

Alfarris got favourite-backers off to the perfect start at this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap.

The William Haggas-trained four-year-old was the 13-2 market leader for the 15-runner contest and jockey Jim Crowley was content to bide his time, settling his mount in midfield and wide of his rivals.

Alfarris was asked to go about his business racing inside the final two furlongs and quickened up smartly to take over the lead from Plutonian.

The latter did not go down without a fight, but Alfarris passed the post half a length the the good, with Original Choice back in third.

Haggas said: “It was very good and I’m very pleased. He’s grown up and he’s a different horse to what he used to be.

“He had a very high testicle, which we thought was bothering him last year, and he had a pretty big operation to get it out.

“He’s matured a lot this year. Things have not gone right for him. We had to delay his (seasonal) debut and he just got beat at Sandown last time, but he’s made up for that today.”

The Newmarket-based Yorkshireman said: “He’ll probably go to York as he likes the northern air, like his trainer!

“I fancy him going up in grade at some point. I think he’s decent.”

Haggas went on to complete a double after 9-2 favourite Move Swiftly came from last to first in the concluding Matchbook Time To Move Over Fillies’ Handicap under jockey-of-the-moment James Doyle.

The trainer’s wife, Maureen Haggas, said: “She had a fairly troubled passage and she did well to get out.

“She’s a funny, gassy filly but she’s definitely heading in the right direction.

“It was a typical messy Goodwood race and it was lucky that she got out and picked up as well as she could.”

Watan made a seriously impressive debut for Richard Hannon in the Nginious! Swiss Gin EBF Maiden Stakes.

From the first crop of the trainer’s top-class miler Toronado, the Al Shaqab Racing-owned two-year-old was a 6-1 shot for his racecourse introduction and routed his rivals by two lengths in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Hannon said: “He is a lovely colt. He has just taken time to quicken up, but this horse had been showing up for a long time.

“It is nice for Sheikh Joaan and his outfit as they bred him and own the stallion.

“He has not done loads of work, but is a colt that we like. The Sheikh asked me if he was as good as his dad and my first answer was ‘no’, but you are not so sure now!

“We were talking about putting him in the Prix Morny or the Francois-Boutin. He is a nice horse to have.”

The Ron Harris-trained Under The Covers (16-1) shot clear to win the five-furlong Chelsea Barracks Handicap under PJ McDonald.

Last year’s winner El Astronaute was best of the rest in second.

Harris said: “I thought she was in with a nice weight and she’s a filly that’s improved all year.

“We’ve just been waiting for the ground and we thought it might even be too quick for her today, but we took a chance.

“If she can get her toe in, she’s a very quick filly.

“We’ll try and get some black type for her.”

Afarris justifies favouritism for William Haggas and Jim Crowley at Goodwood
Sign up to bet365. Click to View Bonus Code Details
Up to £30 in free bets
Get £20 in free bets
£20 Risk Free First Bet
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £40 in Bonus funds
100% Bonus up to £100
£20 Free Exchange Bet
Get a £10 risk-free first bet

Existing User?

Forgot your password?

New User?

Sign up using our simple one-page form and you'll be able to access free video form, tips and exclusive content straight away.