Rivals reunite in Chesterfield Cup
A rematch between John Smith's Cup one-two Johnny Drama and Cockalorum is one of several underlying storylines making up an intriguing opener, the Chesterfield Cup, at Goodwood on Tuesday.
The Andrew Balding-trained 9.50 Johnny Drama finished a head in front of Roger Fell's 13.00 Cockalorum at York on that occasion in a thrilling finish.
Duelling pair off higher marks
Both have risen substantially with the handicapper since then, which will make life tougher against a full field featuring 16 other rivals.
He (Johnny Drama) can never be dismissed when in good form.Andrew Balding
The opposition is headed by the Mark Johnston-trained Maydanny - a dominant five-length winner of this race last year - and the David Menuisier-trained Migration, who was an exciting prospect as a three-year-old before injury forced him off the track for almost two years.
The ground at Goodwood has dramatically altered over the weekend after 33.1mm of rain fell at the track on Sunday, with the going now officially described as soft, good to soft in places having been good on Sunday morning.
Connections clearly confident
However, connections of Johnny Drama and Cockalorum both believe conditions will suit their charges.
Alastair Donald, racing manager for King Power Racing, owners of Johnny Drama, said: "He should like the ground and has run well at Goodwood before. He can never be dismissed when in good form and it was a really good effort off a break in the John Smith's Cup.
Meanwhile, North Yorkshire trainer Roger Fell said of Cockalorum: "The ground will really suit him. We've found the key to him this year as he seems to love front-running. He just keeps finding and finding – he's as hard as nails."