THE Olympics dominates the landscape and racing goes into something of a lull in terms of quality before the various delights of the five-day Glorious Goodwood meeting and the Galway Festival the following week.
Ascot stage a competitive card, which includes the Princess Margaret Stakes that normally attracts some above-average two-year-old fillies.
York have an attractive evening fixture on Friday, with big screens showing the Olympic opening ceremony.
The main race on the Friday card is the EBF Lyric Stake, while Saturday is sure to see a big crowd on The Knavesmire to watch a programme that is highlighted by the Sky Bet York Stakes.
Both days form part of the Yorkshire Racing Summer Festival, a celebration of the sport in the White Rose county that sees all eight flat courses racing in a nine day period
n GLORIOUS Goodwood is set to be a truly cosmopolitan meeting this year, with Pattern winners from Germany and Japan due to run at the five-day meeting, which takes place from July 31 to August 4.
German owner/trainer Dominik Moser is aiming another raid on Britain with Gracia Directa, who is being targeted at the £55,000 Group Three Oak Tree Stakes over seven furlongs on August 3.
The four-year-old filly posted a half-length success in the six-furlong Group Three Summer Stakes at York on July 13, giving her trainer a fairytale success with his first runner outside of Germany.
Gracia Directa had previously shown a good level of form in Germany, winning a Listed contest over six furlongs at Hoppegarten on May 27 and easily scoring in a Baden-Baden handicap over a furlong further on May 17.
Moser revealed: “We would like to come back over to Britain with Gracia Directa for the Oak Tree Stakes.
“She has travelled back to Germany well and feels good at the moment, so Goodwood is the aim for her now.
“She surprised us with her victory at York because it was a big step up for her to take on sprinters in Britain. German trainers don’t normally target sprint races in Britain as they are very competitive but we wanted to see how good she is.
“I think that she is better over seven furlongs compared to six and we will see if she can continue improving.
“We didn’t know how she would cope with the going at York as we were expecting soft ground, but the going descriptions in Britain are different to Germany - if it’s soft in Germany, then you nearly have to swim through it.
“I love British racing, especially the sporting aspects of it.
“I normally breed horses but started training a few years ago and I love the people who go racing in Britain.
“In France, there is nobody at the racecourse and people run horses for the money but it’s different in Britain.
“One of my friends took me to Goodwood in November one year, when there was no racing, so there wasn’t much to see but I am very happy to be having a runner at Glorious Goodwood.”
*HOYAM is due to step up to six furlongs in search of a first Pattern-race success later this month.
The two-year-old filly, trained by Michael Bell, is heading for the £50,000 Group Three Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes at Ascot on Saturday after getting off the mark at the third attempt at Windsor.
She gained a confidence-boosting first win at short odds after having finished second at the same track on her debut and then in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Bell said: “The Princess Margaret at Ascot. wer’re going to head there - that;s the plan.”