Estimate ready for Goodwood test
View from connections ahead of Thursday's Artemis Goodwood Cup, which sees the return of Estimate.
The Queen's Estimate returns to action in the Artemis Goodwood Cup on Thursday, despite having been the most high-profile horse caught up in the recent morphine case.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the mare won the Ascot Gold Cup in 2013 and was only narrowly denied by Leading Light in her bid for back-to-back successes in the race in June.
What made that performance all the more meritorious was the fact that Estimate was having her first run of the season at Ascot.
However, her Gold Cup display has been overshadowed after the five-year-old was one of seven horses to have tested positive for morphine, which is thought to have appeared in her system due to contaminated feed.
Estimate is free to run while the British Horseracing Authority continues to investigate the case, with connections banking on further progress at Goodwood.
John Warren, The Queen's bloodstock and racing advisor, told Press Association Sport: "We're heading into this race assuming she can only improve for having had a run in the Gold Cup.
"That was a fantastic performance and we hope she can run another good race.
"Sir Michael has been absolutely delighted with her since Ascot and she has done everything he has wanted her to, she came out of it in such good form having run such a race.
"I don't think she'll have any issues with the track, we don't see that as being a problem.
"The ground should be nice and quick, which is just what she relishes. We're going there hoping she runs another great race."
Cheshire trainer Tom Dascombe is similarly delighted with the condition of Brown Panther ahead of his defence of the Goodwood Cup.
Part-owned by Michael Owen, the former England international footballer has enjoyed his best days on a racecourse thanks to the six-year-old entire, who has won at Royal Ascot and performed admirably in the Melbourne Cup.
Another victory in this race would be particularly poignant for Owen, who bred Brown Panther out of his very first racehorse, Treble Heights, who died earlier in the week.
Dascombe said: "It would be a nice end to the week. Michael's passion for racing is there for everyone to see and he is always absolutely delighted for us to win even the smallest race.
"We are very happy with Brown Panther and I think that he has produced his best ever set of results this season.
"It was a massive thrill to win the Goodwood Cup last year. It's the oldest Group race in the country and a fantastic race to win.
"I just wish that we had more horses able to compete at this level - Brown Panther is our flagship."
Brown Panther has won the Ormonde Stakes and the Henry II Stakes this year before appearing not to stay two and a half miles in the Gold Cup when fourth.
On his most recent outing he was second in a French Group Two.
"Estimate is a very good horse and she beat us convincingly in the Gold Cup. But Thursday is a different day with a different track and a different distance and we are proven over the course and distance, which is helpful," said Dascombe.
"Brown Panther was second in France earlier this month but I think that racing over there doesn't really suit him as he doesn't have that turn of foot that the French horses do.
"His weight is now exactly the same as it was before that run and he seems to be taking his races better than ever these days.
"Everyone seems to t hink that he wants very soft ground yet every time he runs on it he gets beaten. He actually wants good ground and conditions on Thursday should be fine for him."
Owen said: "Brown Panther's in very good form ahead of the Goodwood Cup. He's very versatile in that he'll go on any ground so he should have perfect conditions to retain his crown. We're very hopeful.
"Long term, the Long Distance Cup on Qipco British Champions Day is a huge option for us.
"He seems to relish Ascot, having won at Royal Ascot previously, and there's a big prize available for us."
Saeed bin Suroor has three runners, headed by Cavalryman, who won the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket upon his return to action in this country on July 10.
"Cavalryman (Kieren Fallon) started the year in really good heart in Dubai and won well last time out at Newmarket," Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.
"He was sixth in this race last year but returns to Goodwood in better form. Racing over two miles will be no problem and he is in good order, although it looks a tough race.
"Ahzeemah (Harry Bentley) has been a little disappointing this year, but he didn't stay two and a half miles at Royal Ascot.
"Usually, he improves with his racing and has been working nicely recently. He's ready to go again and I hoping for a better run over a distance that suits him.
"Excellent Result (Jamie Spencer) won over shorter in Dubai but we want to see if he can stay two miles and become a Cup horse.
"I have been really pleased with his work and he has improved since he ran at Newmarket, which was his first start since March."