Dean Ivory hoping for tropical showers ahead of King George Stakes at Goodwood
Last Updated: 31/07/14 12:18pm
Tropics: Lines up on the back of a fine July Cup run
Views from connections ahead of Friday's Betfred King George Stakes at Goodwood, including Dean Ivory on Tropics.
Trainer Dean Ivory is keeping his fingers crossed for some ease in the ground at Glorious Goodwood on Friday as July Cup runner-up Tropics bids to go one better in the Betfred King George Stakes.
The six-year-old has always been a talented sprinter, but was enduring a disappointing campaign before bouncing back to form with arguably a career-best effort to chase home Slade Power at Group One level almost three weeks ago.
He drops back to the minimum distance for the first time in his career on the Sussex Downs, but it is ground conditions rather than the drop in trip that is worrying Ivory.
"He's going there in great form, but I have to be honest and say the ground is a little bit of a concern. I'll walk the track in the morning and make a decision from there, but I don't want to set him alight on fast ground," said Ivory.
"He's coming back to five furlongs, which is a little bit of an unknown, but he seems to have bags of speed and he's a horse who can hit the front a little bit too early.
"Coming back to five furlongs, they'll go that stride quicker and it should set it up perfectly for him.
"If the ground was right I think he'd have a massive chance."
The Bryan Smart-trained Moviesta looked destined for the top of the sprinting ranks when running out an impressive winner of the Group Two prize 12 months ago, but he has not yet rediscovered that level of form this season.
Part-owner Ritchie Fiddes said: "He's been a bit unlucky this year, he's not had his right ground or he's had a little niggle.
"He ran a fantastic race at Newmarket (in the July Cup) I thought as he was only 95% fit.
"There's a bit more in his favour now, though, he's working well and we all feel he's a better horse than when he won it last year.
"He bruised his foot just before Ascot which meant he couldn't run there and then forced him to miss a couple of weeks which left him short for the July Cup. Despite that I think if the ground was good to firm he could have got in the money.
"There are some good younger horses in this but like we did last year, they now have to step up against their elders.
"We're drawn in the same stall again (five), so we're happy with that."
The leading three-year-old contender in the field is Extortionist, who claimed his second victory of the season with a dominant display in the Coral Charge at Sandown recently.
Trainer Olly Stevens admits he has been surprised how well his youngster has matched up against his elders.
Stevens said: "He's in good form and this race was the natural progression for him, so we'll see how he goes.
"Going into every race this year we've been mindful of the fact three-year-olds are up against it in the sprinting division, but he's done really well and the form of his last win at Sandown looks solid.
"If he can reproduce that sort of run tomorrow, hopefully he'll run a big race.
"At the end of the day the only two races for him over five furlongs in this country were this and the Nunthorpe.
"When they're in good form, you've got to run them."
The David Griffiths-trained Take Cover and David O'Meara's G Force were first and second respectively in the City Walls Stakes at York three weeks ago and renew rivalries on Friday.
G Force carries the familiar colours of Middleham Park Racing and bloodstock manager Nick Bradley said: "It's probably not the ideal race for him as it's a fast five furlongs at Goodwood and he prefers a stiff five, but he's in good shape and we decided to let him take his chance.
"We thought about waiting and going straight to the Nunthorpe with him, but there is no Slade or Sole Power tomorrow and we thought it was worth taking the chance.
"David says he has done a lot of work with him in the stalls and he expects him to be a bit quicker away than he was last time.
"I'm sure he'll be doing his best work at the finish and we'll see where it gets him.
"He got hit in the face last time when he was about to go by the winner, so hopefully that won't happen again."
Stepper Point, 2009 winner Kingsgate Native, Ladies Are Forever and Hamza all feature in a fiercely competitive 16-runner field.