The David Griffiths-trained Take Cover, winner of the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on both 2014 and 2016, is set to tackle the race for the fifth time when lining up for the five furlong dash on August 3.
The remarkable 11-year-old beat Extortionist to score in the 2014 renewal, lost out by just a head to Muthmir in 2015, regained his crown 12 months later when outpointing Washington DC by a neck (see below), then last year finished a brave fourth on unsuitably soft ground to Battaash, the current hot favourite to retain his crown.
Take Cover shows blistering speed to win our big sprint, the Qatar King George Stakes, for a second time. https://t.co/BPp7tnThYa
— Goodwood Racecourse (@Goodwood_Races) July 29, 2016
There’s something about the downhill Goodwood dash that brings out the very best in the gelded son of Singspiel, a winner of 14 of his 44 career starts, and who his handler believes still has it in him to make his presence felt in this high-class sprint despite having finished only fifth last time out in a listed sprint at York won by Mr Lupton. The faster the ground, the better his chance, and according to those closest to him, the admirable veteran still enjoys his racing and his will win to remains as strong as ever.
“The forecast is for the dry weather to continue for a while longer, hopefully,” said Griffiths. “He’s well. He ran OK at York. He was just coming to himself and that run has put him spot on. He’s ready to go. It’s his track.”
“Obviously last year’s winner Battaash is the one, but he wouldn’t like it too fast, like hopefully we’ll get. He wouldn’t be as good on fast ground, I’d have thought, even though he is a really good horse.”
Take Cover is a top priced 20/1 with William Hill to land a third win in the race. Battaash, second in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, is the clear 7/4 favourite with Ladbrokes, while the 2015 winner Muthmir (16/1 with Bet365) and 2016 runner-up Washington DC (14/1 with 888sport), are others hoping the return to the beautiful Sussex venue brings a change of luck.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.