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Quartz aiming to sparkle

Thu, 02 August 2012

Robert Cowell believes Spirit Quartz has plenty going for him in the Gordon's King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Friday.

The Italian import is enjoying an excellent first season in Britain despite failing to get his head in front. He has run superb races in defeat in fiercely contested affairs such as the Temple Stakes at Haydock and the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot .

"I hope he's going to run very well and I think the sharper five furlongs at Goodwood should suit him. The ground should be fine for him. He's a horse who handles most ground but I just think softer ground on a stiff five furlongs like Sandown was too much for him last time," said Cowell.

"He's a horse who travels very smoothly and he should have things to suit, fingers crossed. I have always said he's a horse who is really going to have a really good year next year. He's still learning the ropes at the moment, but we know he's definitely got a big engine."

Bryan Smart has two major contenders for the race in Tangerine Trees and Excelette. Last year's Prix de l'Abbaye winner Tangerine Trees has yet to rediscover his best form in two starts this year, but Smart feels he is slowly finding his feet again.

He said: "Tangerine Trees is in good form and it has just taken a while to get his fitness right this year as he's a big, stuffy horse now. He seems in good form with himself and I'm happy with him at home, so fingers crossed he runs very well.

"Excelette will like the ground and she's in good order. I think she deserves to take her chance in a race like this. Neither have them have been to Goodwood before and we all know it's a funny track. We'll have to see whether they handle it and we won't know until we give it a go."

Jane Chapple-Hyam's Secret Asset was a close second behind Tangerine Trees in France and has since finished a close third in a Singapore Group One event. The grey disappointed in the King's Stand but his Newmarket-based trainer expects better this week.

She said: "Secret Asset has come out of his disappointing run at Royal Ascot in good form and a little bit of give in the ground probably didn't suit him there. I will be hoping it doesn't rain at Goodwood but the horse is in good order and I will be looking for a strong run from him.

"He is a course and distance winner so that has got to help. Admittedly that was in a handicap and on Friday he will be stepping up to Group Two company, but he has done all his gallops and he is fit and well."