Epsom entry Lysander tackles Cocked Hat Stakes

Goodwood's two Listed contests on Friday are traditionally considered trials for Epsom yet have often struggled to produce Classic contenders.

The British Stallion Studs EBF Cocked Hat Stakes (3.20) has only delivered one Derby winner – Troy in 1979 – but 2020 scorer Khalifa Sat enhanced the credentials of the 1m3f event when a 50-1 runner-up at Epsom.

William Haggas is hoping Lysander, his sole Derby entry, can boost his Classic claims. The son of New Approach finished third on his sole start at two but made an impressive return at Newcastle in April, stretching clear of his rivals by eight and a half lengths. 

"I was very happy with his run," said Haggas. "He's taken a bit of time but he ran well and landed the race easily. This is a big jump up in class and it'll be interesting to see how he goes. 

"He's a work in progress and this will tell us what we want to know for his immediate future."

Last year's Cocked Hat Stakes went to Lone Eagle, who beat Yibir before finishing a neck second to Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby.

David Menuisier will be considering the same path for Lionel, who holds entries for the Irish Classic and King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot after finishing third to the reopposing Natural World last time.

The trainer said: "I was delighted with his first run back, even though we felt we were a little unlucky. Hopefully we can resume our improvement and be in a position where we can make the choice between upcoming entries."

Menuisier hoping for rain for Oaks entry Ottilien
Menuisier has his fingers crossed the rain at Goodwood arrives in time for Ottilien in the William Hill Height Of Fashion Stakes (2.10), the 1m2f fillies' trial won by subsequent Oaks star Snow Fairy in 2010. 

Ottilien retains an Oaks entry for Epsom and the Curragh but remains an unknown quantity after two victories in testing ground in France. 

"She's very straightforward and makes her own luck," Meniusier said. "In France, we keep her comfortable into her stride, which is more the British way to run, so I don't think running here will be a problem for her. She's quite flexible, it all depends on the pace. 

"The main concern is the ground and she wants at least good to soft, so I'm hoping it will rain by lunchtime. She just won't be the same on good ground."

Ottilien is one of two Oaks hopefuls alongside the John and Thady Gosden-trained Emotion, but Haggas will be looking to Royal Ascot for Sea Silk Road, who made a winning start to her three-year-old campaign at Nottingham two weeks ago. 

"She won very nicely and this is a step up in class, but she won in the style of a useful filly, so it's worth a shot at this race," Haggas said. "We'll make some plans for her career depending on how she runs but it's going to be an interesting day."