Mick Winters is keeping his fingers crossed for some ease in the ground at Glorious Goodwood as Missunited aims to get back on the winning trail in Thursday’s Sterling Insurance Lillie Langtry Stakes.
The seven-year-old has run some tremendous races on the Flat since clinching last summer’s Galway Hurdle, not least when passing the post a close third in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
Winters admits he would have preferred to see his dual-purpose mare defend her Galway crown this week, but can understand why owner Vanessa Hutch is keen to see her valuable asset stick to Flat racing in this Group Three event on the same day.
Winters said: ” She’s in great order and you’d like to think if she goes there in the same form as she went to Ascot that she’ll have every chance.
“I suppose I’m a bit lonesome that she isn’t going to Galway. We went to Galway expecting her to win last year and we’ve kept her back from running over hurdles since to try and go and win it again.
“The owner wanted to go down this route, though, and we’re quite happy to do that. If she goes to Goodwood and wins, it will be good compensation.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of rain in Goodwood to take the sting out of the ground, but she goes on good ground perfectly well.
“A mile and three-quarters is probably a bit on the short side as well, so any rain might just help to slow the others down.
“I think the track should suit her well – the more twists and turns there are the sweeter she is. On a big, galloping track she can become a sitting duck.
“She was given a peach of a ride in Ascot and Jim (Crowley) will ride her again next week, all being well.”
Asked whether Missunited was likely to be retired at the end of the current season, Winters said: “I would imagine she could be, but you never know.
“The owner might be keen enough to go back to Royal Ascot next year and try and win the Gold Cup, so we’ll see.
“Every day you run it could be your last run, so we’ll just see how we go.
“If all goes well at Goodwood and she pulls out well, I’d imagine the race in France she was placed in last year (Prix Royal-Oak) would be the plan.”
Missunited is the highest rated horse among 21 fillies and mares in contention for the one-mile-six-furlong contest, with Ralph Beckett’s Oaks heroine Talent and the John Oxx-trained Tarana among her potential rivals.
Meanwhile, Toormore will bid to get his career back on track when he lines-up for the bet365 Lennox Stakes on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood tomorrow.
The 2013 champion two-year-old has failed to make the grade in the Qipco 2000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes after getting the season off to a flying start with victory in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April.
However, he has been pleasing connections of late and returns to the scene of his Vintage Stakes success 12 months ago.
His trainer Richard Hannon is also represented by the other three-year-old in the 10-strong field, Anjaal, and the year older Professor.
John Gosden’s Gregorian, a fine third in the Darley July Cup, steps back up to seven furlongs over which he defeated Garwsood in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket.
Garswood, trained by Richard Fahey, won this race 12 months ago when he had Boom And Bust back in third.
There is an international flavour with German raider Amarillo, a three-time Group Three winner.
Others declared for the Group Two contest are Es Que Love, Glory Awaits and Here Comes When.
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