Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Goodwood and Beverley on Saturday. View selections below.
FUN MAC (3.10) disappointed his many backers when withdrawn at the start of the Betfred Ebor Handicap at York last Saturday but compensation awaits in the 888sport March Stakes at Goodwood. Soft ground is forecast on the Sussex Downs and Hughie Morrison’s stayer was only beaten on the nod by Yakooum in the Goodwood mud last October. Fun Mac has rocketed through the ratings, having started this campaign off a mark of 84 before blowing his handicap mark by scoring by 11 lengths at Salisbury over today’s trip of 1m 6f.
Runner-up William Of Orange has since finished third from a 6lb higher mark at Glorious Goodwood and Fun Mac’s subsequent 14lb hike seemed justified when he chased home Clondaw Warrior at Royal Ascot. He is up another 4lb for that effort so it makes sense to target this Listed contest. Marzocco was quite well backed for the marathon Queen Alexandra Stakes at the royal meeting but was beaten out of sight behind Oriental Fox. Enigmatic Rawaki doesn’t win as often as he threatens but ran well when splitting Ayrad and Eye Of The Storm, while Mark Johnston’s three-year-old Vive Ma Fille, fourth in the Queen’s Vase, ran with credit behind Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup.
The feature Doom Bar Celebration Mile looks at the mercy of hot favourite KODI BEAR (3.45). Veteran French rider Gerald Mosse keeps the mount after steering Clive Cox’s stable star to an emphatic victory in a Group 3 at Salisbury, making all to rout Dark Emerald and Custom Cut. Kodi Bear had earlier finished fourth to top-class Territories in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly in July and should prove a cut above. Very testing ground would suit Breton Rock.
Course winner Belvoir Bay boasts an obvious chance in the 888sport Prestige Stakes after mopping up a nursery at the Glorious fixture. Third horse Unilit defied a big weight to score at Leicester earlier this week but, on the downside, all Belvoir Bay’s best form so far has come on a sound surface. FIREGLOW (2.00) has been taking on a better class of filly, running Blue Bayou close in the Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket, having earlier dished out an emphatic beating to Dessertoflife at Sandown. Fireglow is another yet to encounter softish terrain but her sire Teofilo handled it fine. Dutch Heiress is bred to cope with conditions and she made a valiant effort to concede 17lb to Johnston’s Bathos in a Beverley nursery, only giving way in the final strides. Sir Mark Prescott applies cheek-pieces for the first time.
888sport also sponsor a cracking seven-furlong handicap, with Richard Fahey saddling four runners. Recent Doncaster winner Farlow is joined by consistent Rene Mathis, Withernsea and TATISLU (2.35). The latter ran out of his skin to finish a close third to progressive stablemate Don’t Touch in the William Hill Great St Wilfrid at Ripon and Tatislu goes well with ease underfoot, chasing home Poyle Vinnie in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at muddy Hamilton. He also boasts course form, having ran third to Barnet Fair last year in an 18-runner handicap at Glorious Goodwood. Suzi’s Connoisseur is running better than his form figures suggest and Stuart Williams has his yard in good form after a quiet spell.
Some smart sprinters line up in the totescoop6 Beverley Bullet and Irish raider MAAREK (2.20) should go close if there is some cut underfoot. He finished fourth to speedball Mecca’s Angel at Longchamp in May and gave Mustajeeb a scare at the Curragh the same month. Maarek reappeared in the Phoenix Sprint at the Curragh earlier this month and wasn’t beaten far in fifth behind very smart British raider Mattmu. Five furlongs is on the sharp side these days but his class should carry the day under Jamie Spencer.
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