Happy Romance steps up in class for Goodwood assignment

Money-spinning filly also trying seven furlongs for the first time.

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Happy Romance steps up in class and trip for the Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

Having landed the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury and Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes at York, the Richard Hannon-trained filly has already earned close to £200,000 in prize-money this season.

On her only outing in Group company to date the daughter of Dandy Man finished fifth of 18 to Campanelle in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, a race which has provided plenty of previous winners – including Wesley Ward’s superstar, who won the Prix Morny last weekend.

“She is in great nick, but this is obviously quite a smart race. I don’t think going seven furlongs will worry her and I always thought she would get it as she is quite relaxed,” said Hannon. “She actually hit a flat spot in the six-furlong race at York the other day.

“I think she should be fine racing just over a week after racing at York, but you never know until a furlong left to run. This is a nice opportunity for her to get some black type and that is the idea.

“I don’t think the track will be a problem for her as she is a well-balanced filly and is very straightforward.”

Hannon also runs Thank You Next, winner of two of her four outings to date for Middleham Park Racing.

He said: “She is a nice filly and she will love that soft ground if it remains like that.

“Thank You Next does have a fair bit to find, but she didn’t like the firm ground on her last appearance at Goodwood. She did well at Newmarket last time and she is pretty consistent.”

Charlie Hills saddles Prado, winner of her only race so far at Salisbury and with Ryan Moore taking over from Jack Mitchell.

“I was very pleased with her work earlier this week and I’m looking forward to running her at Goodwood,” said Hills.

“We were going to go to France for the Prix du Calvados, but the ground didn’t look great so we decided to give it a miss.

“Although she won on firm ground at Salisbury she should handle a bit of ease in the ground as long as it doesn’t become too testing.”

The once-raced Pomelo represents Ralph Beckett, while Clive Cox’s Isabella Giles and the Sylvester Kirk-trained Seattle Rock complete the field.

The Ladbrokes March Stakes has only attracted four runners – but none can be ruled out with any certainty.

Narrow favourite is Roger Varian’s filly Cabaletta, a Listed winner who was second to Enbihaar in the Lillie Langtry last time out.

David Egan has ridden her in all bar one of her races and is upbeat on her chance.

He said: “It was a small field the last day and it is similar conditions this time with the four runners. She deserves to be favourite in the race with Enibihaar going on to win the Lonsdale Cup in impressive fashion and I’m hoping for a nice run.

“She is by Mastercraftsman and most of them like a bit of cut in the ground and I don’t think she is any different. At Haydock it was testing, but I think I rode her wrong. I turned into the straight and Mr Beckett’s filly Manuela De Vega made all and started picking up from the bottom of the straight – I went to go catch her and try win to race and I forced my filly a bit too much.

“I got to know a lot about her that day and the plan was to go to Newbury and ride her a lot colder and let her take me into the race and things worked out perfectly, and she took a step forward again finishing second behind Enbihaar.

“She is back down to a Group Three and should have every chance.”

Mark Johnston’s Subjectivist is Cabaletta’s main market rival, with Celtic Art and Table Mountain also running.

Happy Romance steps up in class for Goodwood assignment

Goodwood 13:50, 29 August 2020

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