Seeking Magic in the Stewards'
Man On The Spot provides a guide to Saturday's card at Goodwood plus two races from Newmarket which are live on Channel 4.
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Punters will rarely get as tough a start to a card as this 28-runner handicap as several arrive in decent form. Stepping Out is on a hat-trick after victories here and at Pontefract. Extrasolar is another course and distance winner but has a penalty for a recent success over the minimum trip at Bath. Daylight bids for swift compensation after finishing fifth here over 5f here on Tuesday while Shore Step has claims on his defeat of Trader Jack at Ascot. Barnet Fair, Huntsmans Close and Mission Approved are others who catch the eye but the vote goes to TATLISU. Richard Fahey has won two of the last four renewals and his four-year-old, whose Newcastle win in June has worked out well, has surprisingly been left on the same mark as when just failing to catch Blaine in a competitive sprint at Hamilton last month.
There's plenty with a shout in a tough opener. Ticking Katie got her head in front on the line at York last time and is only upped 3lb while Outback Traveller beat Red Pike when scoring over track and trip in June but has been beaten since. Marmoom won his maiden over course and distance and that looks stronger form than Mr Bossy Boots' winning debut at Lingfield. The former should be thereabouts again but ENRAPTURED is preferred. She's another course and distance winner and John Gosden's filly drops in class after a comeback fourth in a competitive handicap at Newbury.
Rainbow Rock was unlucky here on Thursday and will be fancied to go one better, though this is a tougher heat. Kings Fete is progressing at a rate of knots and on a hat-trick after cosy wins at Sandown and York. He has entries in the Great Voltigeur and the St Leger so will have to go close in this if he's to fulfil those obligations. But the Stoute colt was beaten by SECOND STEP on his debut at Newbury and Luca Cumani's gelding hasn't gone backwards either. He won over this trip last time and, though the runner-up has let the form down since, can score again here before having his sights raised. As well as Rainbow Rock, Mark Johnston runs Double Bluff and Master Of Finance and the pair have each-way claims while Satellite is lightly-raced. Pack Leader and Oasis Fantasy are consistent types and Adventure Seeker was impressive at York in May but hasn't raced since.
An impossible handicap on the face of it, though the favourite has won the last two renewals and the unbeaten NEW PROVIDENCE is likely to start somewhere near the head of the betting. She won her handicap debut with the minimum of fuss at Doncaster, beating Cajoling in the process, and can complete the hat-trick. Panda Spirit failed to land the odds over 7f here last time while Dittander steps up in trip having won both starts over 5f. Savoy Showgirl is upped 8lb for a cosy win at Ascot but Prize Exhibit makes her handicap bow after dotting up on the all-weather and is interesting. East Coast Lady beat Lacing easily enough over track and trip last month while both Enlace and L'Addition made winning debuts and are others to consider along with Feeling Easy.
John Gosden's stable is bidding for a hat-trick in this Group 1 and are doubly represented this year. William Buick has chosen Sultanina, even though the four-year-old lost her unbeaten record last time in the Lancashire Oaks. Stablemate Eastern Belle won a Listed contest at Newbury in June but appears to have a bit to find with some of these including fellow three-year-olds Lustrous and Amazing Maria. Ed Dunlop had reservations about the latter's stamina in the Oaks and his fears were justified but she won twice here as a juvenile and is well regarded. Venus De Milo has been second on three occasions at the highest level and deserves a win so must be respected while Mango Diva bounced back to form at the Curragh last month. But the one to beat may be Alain De Royer-Dupre's NARNIYN if she can reproduce her best form on this quicker surface. She pulled too hard and didn't get home over 1m4f at Saint-Cloud last time and is worth another chance.
Rex Imperator is only 4lb higher than when winning this last year but would have preferred an easier surface. It looks like the handicapper now has a grip on course and distance winner Ashpan Sam while York Glory has been out of sorts this year. Stablemate Blaine has a penalty for last month's hard-fought success at Hamilton and Sir Maximilian also carries extra after winning a competitive affair at the Curragh. Others with an additional 6lb for recent victories are Discussiontofollow and Muthmir, though the latter still looks fairly treated and should be prominent against the far rail. Intrinsic, who beat Ashpan Sam here in May, may yet have more to offer but we're expecting a big run from SEEKING MAGIC with the stands' rail to help. He gets little respite from the handicapper but was desperately unlucky at Epsom in June and won the consolation race on this card 12 months ago when starting from a similarly high berth. Hoodna and Joey's Destiny could be the pick of the remainder.
LETHAL LEGACY had Fieldsman behind when a staying-on fourth in what looked a decent maiden at Newbury just over two weeks ago. His stable has three in this but he looks the pick ahead of Maftoon and Silver Quay with Richard Hughes in the saddle and, with obvious scope for improvement, can open his account today. Dutch Connection was third on debut at Salisbury but beaten six lengths when second at Haydock subsequently. Ascot third Rotherwick appears to be progressing, however, and Secret Brief will have learned plenty from his third at Ripon. Dance Of Fire showed definite promise at Sandown and is another likely to pay his way.
Richard Hannon's yard has won three of the last seven renewals and will be expecting a big run from the hat-trick seeking When Will It End. He's gone up 6lb since landing a nursery at Newmarket but can't be ignored. Stec has won his last two over this trip and is another heading in the right direction while Home Cummins, Guiding Light, Shaakis and Special Venture are others arriving off the back of recent victories - all four make their handicap debut today. Muqaawel won on debut at Leicester but was then beaten at long odds-on at Haydock. The latter's trainer, Mark Johnston, has already enjoyed a terrific week and it's too soon to write off GRIGOLO. The Shamardal colt may have been let in lightly on a mark of 72 here having had excuses in two starts since a debut third at Haydock.
There will be no hanging about in this finale as a few of these like to race prominently. One is top weight Peterkin, who has been much improved since dropping back to 5f and is only a pound higher than when scoring at Chester last month. Money Team is going well and looks the stable pick with Ryan Moore in the saddle but is closely matched with Online Alexander on Redcar running while Desert Ace has more on his plate than when scoring at Bath and Nottingham. WAR SPIRIT looks the one to beat as he goes from strength-to-strength and had the re-opposing Captain Myles behind when completing his hat-trick at Haydock having comfortably held off Groundworker at Newmarket earlier. Royal Brave may be the pick of the remainder.