William Knight keeps his options open with Aussie Reigns ahead of Goodwood May Festival

Adam Kirby rode Aussie Reigns in the Winter Derby at Lingfield Park.

Adam Kirby rode Aussie Reigns in the Winter Derby.

By Simon Jackson.

William Knight is keeping his options open with Aussie Reigns ahead of the May Festival at Goodwood where the going is currently good, good to firm in places on the round course.

The four-year-old displayed his well-being when finishing third in the Group 3 Winter Derby under Adam Kirby on his return from Dubai; before failing to get a clear run at his next start in the Coral Easter Classic at the All-Weather Championship Finals in April.

Knight’s charge holds entries in the £40,000 Listed 32Red Casino Stakes over 10 furlongs and the £40,000 Listed 32Red Stakes (12 furlongs) on Saturday, but the trainer has yet to confirm the immediate target.

“Aussie Reigns will run on Saturday, but in which race I’m not sure,” Knight admitted. “I just want to see what the competition looks like and then we will make a decision.

“He is in really good form. He has done two nice pieces of work and I could not be happier with him.

“We gelded him at the end of his two-year-old year and he steadily improved last season. Maybe stepping him up from a mile has helped, but probably the gelding more so.

“He has always shown ability and won a half-decent nursery at Glorious Goodwood, but it was just getting him to channel it in the right way.

“I’m a bit mindful he hasn’t had a proper break since last May, but we freshened him up before he went out to Dubai. We have paddocks and things here, so he goes out a bit and seems very happy in himself.”

In other news Goodwood has revealed that they will not water the track ahead of the three day meeting that starts on Thursday after news that rain is forecast for tonight (Wednesday).

The going remains good, good to firm in places on the round course and good to firm on other parts of the track, after avoiding the majority of showers this week. Yet the anticipated rainfall has led to Goodwood clerk of the course Seamus Buckley’s decision to hold off watering despite the predominately dry week.

“There was 1.5 millimetres of rain overnight but, with generally drying conditions, the going is now good, good to firm in places on the round course. It is good to firm on the loops,” Buckley said on Tuesday afternoon.

“In view of the forecast for rain on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, we have no plans to water. The forecast is suggesting there will be between eight and 10 millimetres of rain. There is still plenty of moisture in the ground, which will take the rainfall quite well.”

Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.

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