TWO years ago David Probert steered Dancing Star to a thumping success in the Stewards’ Cup, landing some hefty bets and evoking memories of Lochsong’s win in 1992.
This weekend Probert is back in the purple and blue silks of owner Jeff Smith and he seeks another win in the £250,000 handicap on Foxtrot Lady, a half-sister to Dancing Star.
We spoke to Probert about his prospects of another victory in Goodwood’s feature contest.
Foxtrot Lady is your headline ride on the final day of Glorious Goodwood. How do you rate her prospect in the Stewards’ Cup?
It was a good effort from her and I’d say she has to have every chance – in fact, I think she’s the one to beat. Last year’s winner Lancelot Du Lac is back but I think she’s improving and she’s consistent. She’s had a nice bit of time from her win at Newmarket to now and she seems really well in herself at home.
You won the race on her half-sister Dancing Star a couple of years ago. How do the two compare?
Dancing Star had the same sort of profile, but had done more winning at this point comparatively. They’re both speedy fillies and have great attitudes. It’d be brilliant to win the race again on her sister.
Having won the race in the past, tell us what a horse needs for the Stewards’ Cup?
I think you need to be able to stay a little further than six furlongs and you need a lot of speed too. A nice draw is important too, and I think we have that in eight.
Foxtrot Lady is trained by your main backer Andrew Balding. What is he like to work with?
He’s a very straightforward guy and it’s great to ride for him. He’s given me a lot of opportunities over the years and he has a lot of horses, and good horses, that you can ride. He loves a winner at Goodwood too.
Of your other rides on Saturday, who are you most looking forward to?
Duke Of Hazzard has run some really good races this season. He was third in the Chesham at Royal Ascot, and I think he’s got a leading chance in the maiden (4.15).
Tip Two Win finished last in the Lennox Stakes on Tuesday. What did you make of that?
He was a little bit disappointing. He’s been on the go since December and we think he’s come to the end of his tether this year. I was speaking to his trainer Roger Teal after the race and I think he’s going to finish for the year with the aim of coming back next year.
What has it been like to be associated with him this year?
He’s been a great horse to be a part of. He was an exciting horse over the winter and we thought he would be capable of coming back and making a mark on the scene in Britain, and his run in the 2,000 Guineas was amazing. It’s a shame he couldn’t get his head in front but he’ll be back next year and I’m sure he’ll make that right.
You won the Lancashire Oaks on Horseplay last month. What is the plan for her?
I’m not exactly sure what the plan is for her. She’s a possible for the Yorkshire Oaks, although I’m not convinced we want to take on Enable if she goes there. There’s the option of a Group 1 in Germany if she doesn’t go there. She’s a very nice filly and was tough when she won last time. She’s seeing the trip out much better this year.
And, finally, as we move into the second half of the season, who are you most looking forward to riding?
I think Foxtrot Lady is potentially a very useful filly and I hope she can go from strength to strength this season and beyond.