Goodwood is this afternoon’s feature meeting where, after a brace of third place finishes, I expect Fearsome (1.50) to shed the maiden tag at the third time of asking. The Makfi colt has shown promise on both starts for trainer Ralph Beckett, and has placed in competitive maidens at Lingfield and Windsor. Oisin Murphy takes the ride, his only one of the day, and should make the trip worthwhile with Fearsome likely to take all the beating opener.
The two other maidens on the card look much trickier however, with a chance taken on Highland Sky (2.40) on debut for the David Simcock yard. The colt is one of the first crop of 2yo from first season sire Camelot and is sure to improve next season as a 3yo however, looks smart enough to go close on his first visit to a racecourse. The selection is a half-brother to former Ballydoyle runners Utah and At First Sight (runner-up to Workforce in the 2010 Derby at Epsom and after costing connections €360,000 at last year’s sales can hopefully make a winning debut under Jamie Spencer.
The feature 2m Handicap was won 12 months ago by St Michel, who has since placed twice in Gp company, and I expect connections of Aurora Grey (3.50) will hope to get some black-type for the filly before the end of the season. After finishing third in two marathon handicaps at Pontefract Hughie Morrison’s filly has then finished second in higher grade at first Newbury and then Goodwood. She is just 6lb higher at the weights but is clearly improving and is a confident selection to earn a deserved success under Champion Jockey Jim Crowley.
The forecast good-to-soft ground at Hamilton should help Melaniemillie (3.35) follow-up her recent Catterick success for the in-form yard of Ruth Carr. She is another filly to be a revelation this term, and has finished in the front two on her last four starts. She was hampered when a beaten favourite from a 2lb higher mark last time out at Catterick, and should remain competitive once more.
There’s £20,000 on offer for the feature with Mick Appleby’s mare Guishan (4.45) fancied to relish the cut in ground for the 6f Flower of Scotland Fillies’ Handicap. The 7yo took advantage of a plundering mark when making all last month at Nottingham, and followed-up last time out when causing a 25/1 upset just 10 days ago at Chester. The mare is clearly thriving and looks a class apart from her seven rivals and can defy a 3lb rise at the weight accordingly.
There are disappointing field sizes at Hexham, including just six runners for the 2m Handicap Chase, where recent course and distance winner Miss Conway (4.35) can continue her rich vein of form for trainer Mark Walford. The mare completed the hat-trick in emphatic style last time out at the track, bolting-up by six lengths under Jamie Hamilton, and can complete the four-timer from just a 9lb higher mark.
Always Archie has finished second on his last three starts and I think he can likewise complete a four-time of runner-up efforts in the 3m Handicap Chase when bumping into Peter Niven’s Brian Boranha (3.25) under Brian Hughes. There was no disgrace in chasing home Lovely Job here last month over course and distance, and shouldn’t find anything of that ilk in his way this aft.
The best bet of the day comes this evening at Kempton where Noble Masterpiece (6.50) can defy a penalty under Stevie Donohoe. The selection made a winning handicap debut for trainer Sir Michael Stoute last time out at Yarmouth, travelling well before quickening readily, and is a confident selection to follow-up on the all-weather.