08/24/2006 11:00PM

George Washington returns


After a three-month absence, George Washington returns to the wars at Goodwood on Sunday in the Group 2, $190,000 Celebration Mile.

Last year's champion juvenile in Europe, George Washington made his 3-year-old debut a big one when he landed the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6, but a combination of soft ground and a colt named Araafa denied him a classic mile double three weeks later in the Irish 2000.

It was later learned that George Washington had suffered pulled muscles to his hip at the Curragh, and he has been sidelined ever since. On Sunday he will be ridden for the first time by Michael Kinane, who will be filling in for the banned-in-Britain Kieren Fallon.

With good ground forecast, George Washington should be in his element at Goodwood, but his task is hardly straightforward. Laying in wait is course specialist Soviet Song, the 6-year-old James Fanshawe-trained mare who has won Goodwood's Group 1 Sussex Stakes once and finished second twice, most recently on Aug. 2. The third-place finisher in the Sussex, Rob Roy, who won the Group 2 Sandown Mile in May, will start for trainer Michael Stoute. The Godolphin stable will send out Caradak, a two-time Group 3 winner.

* At the Curragh on Sunday, Fallon has chosen the Jeremy Noseda-trained Simply Perfect over an Aidan O'Brien-trained maiden, Diamond Necklace, in the $385,000 Moyglare Stud Stakes, a seven-furlong Group 1 for 2-year-old fillies. Both are owned by Mrs. John Magnier, but Simply Perfect, placed in Group 2 and Group 3 events at Ascot, is much more accomplished. The race winner, however, may emerge from the trio of Supposition, a recent seven-length maiden winner at Galway, and the first two from the Group 2 Debutante Stakes, Gaudeamus and Dimenticata.