07/29/2008 12:00AM

Yeats meeting fellow Goodwood heroes


Yeats, three-time winner of the Ascot Gold Cup, returns to action at Goodwood on Thursday in a renewal of the $199,000 Goodwood Cup that features the last three winners of the two-mile Group 2 contest.

Yeats manhandled a strong field in the 2 1/2-mile Gold Cup on June 19, when he drew off to a five-length victory. A 7-year-old son of Sadler's Wells, Yeats was the winner of the Goodwood Cup by five lengths two years ago. He must carry a five-pound penalty for his victory in the Group 1 Gold Cup, meaning that he will spot his 10 rivals between three and five pounds while cutting back a half-mile in distance. Trainer Aidan O'Brien will give Johnny Murtagh a leg up on Yeats.

Opposing Yeats will be the winner of last year's Goodwood Cup, Allegretto, and the 2005 winner, Distinction, both trained by Michael Stoute. Allegretto was fourth, 11 1/4 lengths behind Yeats in the Gold Cup, while Distinction won a two-mile listed race at Sandown in his most recent effort.

O'Brien will also saddle Honolulu, the winner at Royal Ascot of the 2 3/4-mile Queen Alexandra Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths over Distinction.