Lion ready to roar at Goodwood

Lion Of War and Urban Sprawl both look set to bypass Newmarket’s July meeting next week as Charlie Johnston makes plans for a strong team at Glorious Goodwood.

The Middleham yard is invariably one to follow at the Sussex Downs track and next month’s meeting should be no exception.

Qatar Racing’s Lion Of War was narrowly beaten by Burdett Road in the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot, having previously landed the Edinburgh Cup.

However, drawn wide, he put plenty into the 10-furlong contest at the Berkshire track and Johnston is keen to give him a little more recovery time.

He said: “I was quite tempted to bring him to Newmarket. He lost a lot of weight for that run at Ascot. He had a tough race and it was a big ask to try to win where he was.

“Now it is looking like he will skip Newmarket and go straight to Goodwood. He will go to a mile-and-a-quarter handicap there.

“He ran at Newmarket last year in the Superlative and he is always a horse who I’ve personally thought a huge amount of, and probably wasn’t quite delivering on my expectations.

“Thankfully, between Musselburgh and Ascot, he started to show what he’s really made of. We’re looking forward to Goodwood with him.”

Meanwhile, Urban Sprawl, who was a fine third to Docklands in the 29-runner Britannia Stakes, will also miss the July meeting and return to the scene of his valuable handicap win in May.

The son of Iffraaj was well held when an odds-on favourite for a seven-furlong handicap at Newmarket on Thursday.

Johnston said: “Urban Sprawl ran a cracker at Ascot. It is easy with the benefit of hindsight, but we got a bit greedy and ran him back on Thursday and it came too soon for him.

“We have probably used our bullet for the July meeting and given how he ran, we’ll just give him a bit of time now.

“He’s a seven-furlong winner at Goodwood, at a good level, and he will be working back from Glorious Goodwood.”

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