07/31/2008 12:00AM

Yeats up there with the best


Yeats confirmed yet again that he is the best stayer in the world with a thoroughly overpowering seven-length triumph in the $198,000 Goodwood Cup on Thursday. Indeed, in duplicating his 2006 victory in this two-mile Group 2 contest hard on the heels of his third consecutive 2 1/2-mile Ascot Gold Cup win, Yeats must be ranked as one of the very best stayers of all time.

Allowed by Johnny Murtagh to chase clear leader Tungsten Strike in second, the 8-15 Yeats cruised up alongside at the three-eighths pole and soon swept clear, unchallenged and untouched. Tungsten Strike held off last year’s Arc third Sagara by 1 1/4 lengths for second, with 2005 Goodwood Cup winner Distinction fourth, 11 3/4 lengths behind the winner. The time for the two miles on good to firm ground was 3:25.75, 4.20 seconds off the track record Yeats had set when winning this race two years ago.

An Aidan O’Brien-trained 7-year-old son of Sadler’s Wells, Yeats has now won 13 of 20 starts, including five Group 1’s, three Group 2’s and one Group 3, for earnings of $2,065,337.

Earlier on Thursday, Lael Stables’ speedy Enticing broke a seven-race losing streak by winning the $138,000 King George Stakes, a five-furlong Group 3 sprint, by a length from Masta Plasta. Also ridden by Murtagh, the 9-1 Enticing was clocked in 56.63.

Look for Lush Lashes

On Saturday at Goodwood, Lush Lashes can add her name to the glittering roll call of recent 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Nassau Stakes winners. The Jim Bolger-trained winner of the 1 1/4-mile Group 3 Musidora Stakes in May, Lush Lashes bounced back from a fifth-place finish in the English Oaks to take the one-mile Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot by 3 1/4 lengths. She should be perfectly suited by this $396,000 race, which has been won in the last three years by Peeping Fawn, Ouija Board and Alexander Goldrun, the last named trained by Bolger himself.

O’Brien will saddle Irish 1000 Guineas winner Halfway to Heaven in her first try beyond a mile. The best older females in the 10-runner field are the Michael Stoute-trained Heaven Sent, the winner of the 1 1/8-mile Group 3 Dahlia Stakes in May but only third last time in the one-mile Group 1 Falmouth Stakes, and Passage of Time, a Henry Cecil-trained filly who was only fourth in the Dahlia but who beat colts last time in a 1 1/4-mile listed race at Newbury.

* Bolger told the Racing Post on Thursday that his Epsom Derby winner New Approach will have two more races this year. They will be chosen from among the Juddmonte International, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders’ Cup Turf.