Kings Fete worthy of March Stakes favouritism
Eight runners are set to turn up for this year’s renewal of the Listed March Stakes, run over 1m 6f, and at the moment the market is being dominated by a trio of 3-year-old’s priced between 2’s & 4’s. The only hope of one of those failing to win, in my opinion, is if Songcraft could bounce back to something like his best form but he was disappointing around here last time out and is swerved.
Kings Fete currently heads the lot at 2/1 and I think that he’s a fascinating contender who could really be anything, whilst it’s interesting to see that connections are willing to blow his mark of 99.
They could have taken much handier events than this en route to a possible tilt at the St Leger but I suppose if he’s to prove good enough for a race such as that, getting experience out of handicap company may be no bad thing and there may not have been many opportunities elsewhere either.
It certainly looked as if connections were trying to teach the horse something when he lined up at this track in a handicap at the big meeting earlier this month, as James Doyle dropped him out towards the rear of the field (raced much handier when winning at York previously but was too keen for his own good) and set him a mammoth task. Despite clearly being thought of as well-handicapped by every man and his dog, the colt could never get close enough to land a telling blow and had to settle for second behind a prominent-racing Johnston horse.
Kings Fete will have learnt plenty from that experience, however, and I think that we could see a different beast on this occasion if he’s ridden a little handier. I suppose you could be worried about the trip given his previous keenness and the small-ish field, but there are a few hints of stamina in his breeding and the way he performed last time out was a little bit of encouragement. I don’t really know, to be honest, but I think he’s a really nice horse who, long-term, should be better than these. Alex My Boy is a good sort himself but has looked awkward on occasions and I’m not sure we can trust him, whilst Forever Now needs to step up on his Newmarket run last time and also has it to prove on a track like this. They can’t be ruled out, of course, and are more obvious stayers than Kings Fete, but I’m hoping that potential will shine through and the selection isn’t lacking there. He could be too good.
Selection for the March Stakes (4:40 Goodwood; Saturday, 23rd August):
Kings Fete – 2/1, available generally.
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