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Griffiths bathes in Goodwood spotlight with Take Cover

Take Cover catapulted the largely unknown David Griffiths into the Glorious Goodwood spotlight by using his blistering speed in the Betfred King George Stakes.

Born in Cheshire but based at Bawtry in South Yorkshire, the 40-year-old rode around 100 winners as an apprentice for Ian Balding and Reg Hollinshead but this Group Two counted as by far his biggest success either in the saddle or in his four seasons doing the saddling.

Take Cover was certainly no outsider at 6-1, having improved from handicaps to finish eighth in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot, and had blitzed home from the front in a Listed event at York last month.

This time he had another speed merchant in Caspian Prince to contend with but managed to hit the line a neck and a short-head in front of Extortionist and last year's winner and 9-2 favourite Moviesta.

"I'm delighted, it's unbelievable," said Griffiths. "He's my first Group winner, and my first Goodwood winner. We've always said he was good and he's that quick he burns them off and keeps going."

Pether's Moon was rewarded for his consistency by taking a hard-fought Coutts Glorious Stakes in which Encke made a highly satisfactory reappearance.

A handicap winner at this meeting 12 months ago, the Richard Hannon-trained Pether's Moon was the 11-10 favourite after very creditable efforts at Royal Ascot and the Newmarket July meeting.

While Encke entered the race full of running, Richard Hughes made the most of his mount's fitness and kicked a length and a quarter clear.

Hannon said: "This was nothing more than he was due, and I don't think this track really suits him."

Wannabe Yours (7-1) would have been an unlucky loser of the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes had he not found an extra gear at the right time and the colt was spoken of in notably glowing terms by trainer John Gosden.

"It was a very classy performance, I even managed to drop my stick and we still won so I owe him a favour," said Buick.

Gosden said: "It's Goodwood, we said we'd sit in there, if the gap comes take it, and if it doesn't, we understand.

"He's a very nice horse, he's won his maiden, he's won a handicap, and now he's won the last Group Three for three-year-olds over a mile in Europe.

"There's a Group Two back here, the Celebration Mile, that's a very obvious race."

Hors de Combat's rider Freddie Tylicki was found guilty of careless riding and was handed a four-day (August 15-18) suspension.

Last week's International Stakes winner Heavy Metal was denied a very quick major handicap double when short-headed by Red Avenger (12-1) in the Betfred Mile.

Trainer Ed Dunlop said: "I've noticed Aidan O'Brien fits a lot of his War Front's (Red Avenger's sire) with blinkers so I thought we'd put a pair on and it made a huge difference.

"Today he had it in his favour, fast ground, blinkers, he's a pretty good horse."

The Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day is an option being considered, but winning jockey Jimmy Fortune was given a nine-day ban (August 15-23) and fined £2,300 for using his whip above the permitted level and after the winning post.

Fortune bounced off the canvas to complete a 103-1 double when pouncing late on J Wonder (7-1) in the Group Three L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (Oak Tree) Stakes.

Trainer Brian Meehan said: "I thought Jimmy got a rough deal with that ban in the handicap earlier, but I'm pleased to see him win again and he knows this filly so well.

"Things haven't gone her way in the French Guineas and Coronation Stakes, but she's back to where she belongs and races like the Matron Stakes, the Sun Chariot and the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland would all be options."

Son Of Africa (7-1) made virtually all the running in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Nursery Handicap while Gary Moore's Tall Ship (10-1) sailed in the Betfred Mobile Handicap.

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