Goodwood Turf Talk: Atzeni’s Tuesday four-timer boosts Betfred Mile bid aboard GM Hopkins

GM Hopkins (front) was pipped by El Hayern in The Coral Challenge at Sandown last month. PIC: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire
GM Hopkins (front) was pipped by El Hayern in The Coral Challenge at Sandown last month. PIC: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire
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Andrea Atzeni can savour more glory at Goodwood by winning the Betfred Mile aboard GM Hopkins.

Suitably inspired by a wonderful four-timer on Tuesday, the Classic-winning jockey will rightly fancy his chances of further big-race honours with John Gosden’s inmate.

Jockey Andrea Atzeni. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire

Jockey Andrea Atzeni. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire

It feels like GM Hopkins has been around for an eternity, yet he is only six years of age and should never be discounted in these sorts of rough-and-tumble handicaps.

The 2015 Royal Hunt Cup winner had looked in a tailspin since he secured a Listed victory at Ascot last April.

But GM Hopkins suddenly returned to form in the Coral Challenge at Sandown last month and is seemingly coming back to hand nicely for this assignment.

The gelded son of Dubawi went down by only a neck to the progressive El Hayem, to whom he was giving a lot of weight, at the Esher circuit – with the third horse home, Muntazah, never nearer.

Marsha, ridden by Luke Morris, winning the Longholes Palace House Stakes ahead of Washington DC and Goldream on day one of the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket in May. PIC: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

Marsha, ridden by Luke Morris, winning the Longholes Palace House Stakes ahead of Washington DC and Goldream on day one of the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket in May. PIC: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

GM Hopkins has gone up 3lb for the Betfred Mile, but he is still better treated than when he won at Royal Ascot and was once rated as highly as 114 just over a year ago.

He will also appreciate the more forgiving terrain at Goodwood, while it barely goes without saying that the white-hot Atzeni must also sweeten the deal.

Feature race on the penultimate day of the Goodwood Festival is the Qatar King George Stakes, which looks a belter.

Few horses in the line-up can be ruled out with any degree of optimism, but it could be worth keeping faith in Marsha. After twice being turned over at short odds, it is fair to say Sir Mark Prescott’s Group One-winning sprinter has not quite quickened pulses since she made a classy seasonal debut at Newmarket.

Be that as it may, it was hardly a disaster to finish third in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, while she simply bumped into a very determined horse in Caspian Prince at the Curragh.

TURF TALK TIPS

BANGOR: 1.30 Jazz Thyme, 2.00 Cape Of Glory, 2.35 Rebel Rebellion, 3.10 Spring Steel, 3.45 Mister Universum, 4.20 Celestial Path, 4.50 Howaboutnever.

BATH: 5.30 He’s Our Star, 6.05 Seamster, 6.35 Stoneyford Lane, 7.10 Seafarer, 7.40 Tyrell, 8.10 Stellar Surprise.

GOODWOOD: 1.50 Frontiersman (treble), 2.25 Beat The Bank, 3.00 GM HOPKINS (NAP), 3.35 Marsha (next best), 4.10 Rufus King, 4.40 Sainted, 5.15 Walton Street.

MUSSELBURGH: 5.40 Canny Style, 6.10 Phoenix Lightning, 6.45 Curzon Line, 7.20 Fumbo Jumbo, 7.50 Camacho Chief, 8.20 Twiggy, 8.50 Kodimoor.

NEWMARKET: 5.20 Peace Dreamer, 5.55 Rowlestonerendezvu, 6.25 Warsaan, 7.00 Brorocco, 7.30 Mr Bossy Boots, 8.00 Good Business, 8.30 Love Oasis.

THIRSK: 1.40 Jean Paget, 2.10 Time Trail, 2.45 Palmer, 3.20 Mitchum Swagger, 3.55 Vindicator, 4.30 Take A Turn, 5.00 Canford Bay, 5.35 Burtonwood.

Trainer Hugo Palmer.

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