Log In

Reset Password

Covid regulations force Spirit Of Bermuda to skip French engagement

Spirit Of Bermuda’s handlers have been forced to go back to the drawing board after plans to race in the South of France had to be scrapped this week.

The three-year-old filly, just off a storming victory at Newmarket, was earmarked to go up in trip over the mile distance on Sunday at the Le Teste-De-Buch racecourse in Gironde, about 40 miles south-west of Bordeaux.

Spirit Of Bermuda, seen here winning on July 10 at Newmarket, is back in action on Tuesday at Glorious Goodwood after a planned trip to France to race in Listed company was cancelled (Photograph by John Hoy/Hoycubed Photography)

But, with France moving on to the “amber plus” list owing to the prevalence there of the Beta variant of Covid-19, connections have decided to steer clear of leaving terra firma while seeking firm ground elsewhere.

The prestigious Glorious Goodwood meeting — now known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival for sponsorship reasons — was originally seen as a preferred destination after Spirit won the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa Fillies’ Handicap by three quarters of a length on July 10, and is again the destination of choice.

Simon Scupham, the principal of owner Bermuda Racing Ltd, said: “We’re looking at three different races for her at Glorious Goodwood. There is a mile fillies handicap (0-95) on the Tuesday, there’s the Qatar handicap on the Saturday, which is 0-105 over seven furlongs. Both of those are fillies only, aged 3 and older, so she gets some weight allowance.

“Then there’s the Oak Tree on Friday but that may be hard to get into because it’s normally 100-plus in the ratings.”

It was because the Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes is a step up in class as a Group 3 race that Listed company in France — just a step below — was the option sought initially.

“For her to get in at 88 — she was only put up two pounds for that last win, which was quite surprising — that might be a bit of an ask. And also to run in it might be a bit too progressive for her at this point.”

As a result, she has been declared among 21 runners for the Unibet Fillies' Handicap over a mile for horses aged 3 and over on the opening day of the festival. There is prize money of ₤13,085 for the winner, with the ground expected to be good, good to firm in places.

The Qatar Goodwood Festival runs from Tuesday to July 31.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published July 23, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated July 23, 2021 at 7:45 am)

Covid regulations force Spirit Of Bermuda to skip French engagement

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon