Northumberland Plate hero Calling The Wind will head to the Sussex Downs on Friday for the £75,000 Coral Goodwood Handicap ahead of a potential Ebor tilt.
Richard Hughes has identified Goodwood’s two-and-a-half-mile contest – which he won two years ago – as a springboard to York as he bids to follow up success in the Pitmen’s Derby.
Calling The Wind gained just reward at Newcastle following near-misses in the Cesarewitch, Queen Alexandra (twice) and the Ascot Stakes, handing the former jockey his biggest success to date as a trainer.
Hughes was not present at Gosforth Park to see Neil Callan produce a superbly-timed ride on the all-too-often luckless seven-year-old, but watched on from home with delight.
“Neil gave him a good ride. I was watching him on my phone and he got to the furlong pole and I thought, ‘he’s run great again, but he’s always placed and never wins’,” said the three-times champion jockey.
“You need to ride him to get beat – and he put it in at the death.”
Six wins and eight runner-up finishes in 35 races have contributed to earnings of £262,000 for owner Jo Wakefield, and Hughes is keen to target the £300,000 to the winner Sky Bet Ebor next month, where victory would earn automatic entry to the Melbourne Cup.
“He is going to end up in the Ebor, but we are going to go to Goodwood if the ground is good,” added Hughes.
“He has 9st 5lb in the Ebor and if he won at Goodwood, he’d get a small penalty. We can’t give up Goodwood then the ground be fast at York.
“There’s plenty of money up for grabs and the timing between Goodwood and York is great. It’s perfect.
“He is in great form and it looks like the ground will be in his favour.”