Racing: Hopes are high for Duke Of Venice

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The Independent Online

Duke of Venice will try to maintain the Godolphin yard's tremendous run of form and also the boost his St Leger prospects in tomorrow's Group Three Gordon Stakes on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood.

Course officials continued their extensive watering programme yesterday and the going was described as good, with the round course having good to firm places.

Duke Of Venice, the mount of Frankie Dettori, is a 10-1 chance with Ladbrokes for the Doncaster Classic on 11 September after his six-length win in the Queen's Vase over two miles at Royal Ascot.

He will face seven rivals as he drops back to 12 furlongs. Aidan O'Brien saddles two with Curragh Cup third Mikado and Go For Gold both taking their chances. After the Queen's Vase, Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, said: "We came here slightly guessing - we didn't have any idea whether he would get two miles or not. He had never even been tried beyond a mile and a quarter. He had good form against Hazyview, which stacked up very well in the mile-and-a-quarter races, but trying him over two miles was completely new. However, over the last two furlongs he was running on strongly and the St Leger is the plan."

Sir Michael Stoute runs Maraahel, who finished second in the King George V Stakes last time, while David Elsworth runs Newbury maiden winner Massif Centrale. Urs Suter sends Lyonels Glory from Germany for the £50,000 event. Marcus Tregoning's pair, Predominate Stakes winner Manyana and the once-raced Remaadd, complete the line-up.

Trade Fair will bid to make it a quick double in another of tomorrow's feature events, the Group Two Betfair Cup. The Roger Charlton-trained four-year-old won the Group Three Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on 18 July and will try his luck again in this race.

Godolphin will be double-handed in the seven-furlong contest with Jersey Stakes winner Kheleyf, the mount of Frankie Dettori, and Byron.

Mick Channon will also have two runners in Naahy and Royal Millennium while John Hammond sends Crystal Castle, who was beaten a head by Fayr Jag in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, across from France. The Marcus Tregoning-trained So Will I, Andrew Balding's Vanderlin and Suggestive from the William Haggas yard complete the nine-runner field.

Balding yesterday confirmed that Passing Glance is on course for the Cantor Odds Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday. Passing Glance has been targeted at the one-mile Group One contest ever since he won the Diomed Stakes at Epsom on his reappearance. The trainer reported that the five-year-old was working well, saying: "He has won at the course, was beaten a head there in the Celebration Mile last year, and went down by the same margin in a Listed race as well. So Goodwood is his track and I hope he can perform well. I am really pleased with him, but it is a tough race."

Antonius Pius, trained by Aidan O'Brien, will be in the line-up along with Refuse to Bend, Soviet Song, Haafhd, Nayyir, Tillerman and Le Vie Dei Colori.

Martin Dwyer missed his five booked rides at Ascot yesterday after hurting his hand in a fall at Salisbury on Saturday night, but hopes to return to action today.

The trainer Alan Berry, jockey Paul Bradley, blacksmith Steve O'Sullivan and amateur rider Dale Jewett will appear before the Jockey Club disciplinary panel today to answer charges over the running of Hillside Girl at Carlisle on 15 June, 2003. The panel will consider whether Berry, Bradley and O'Sullivan were guilty of, or conspired with each other, for the commission of a corrupt or fraudulent practice.

* Simple Exchange gave Irish trainer Dermot Weld a second successive win in the American Derby at Arlington, near Chicago, on Saturday night.