Top racing tips for Saturday’s action live on ITV. The Group 2 tote Celebration Mile sees the return of Godolphin’s Benbatl, the mount of champion jockey Oisin Murphy
Image: Action Images via Reuters)
BENBATL is the right favourite as Saeed bin Suroor’s evergreen seven-year-old makes his return to action in Goodwood’s Group 2 tote Celebration Mile (3.35).
The entire son of Dubawi has come out on top in 10 of his 22 career starts, with no fewer than seven of those coming at this level or in Group 1 company.
We haven’t seen Oisín Murphy’s mount since his one-length third to Kameko – the champion jockey was aboard the winner – in the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket.
But Benbatl’s 337-day absence from the racecourse is anything but a negative – he has an exemplary record after a break.
Drying ground in West Sussex is also a plus for my selection, who is at his happiest when able to race on decent ground.
And the form of the bin Suroor team is another plus for Benbatl, who is expected to live up to his status as the best horse in the nine-runner line-up according to British Horseracing Authority ratings.
The chance to tackle a mile and three-quarters for the first time should show NAGANO in his best light yet in the Group 3 tote March Stakes (In Memory Of John Dunlop) (3.00).
Roger Varian thought long and hard before giving the son of Fastnet Rock his blessing to compete on the South Downs’ rain-drenched terrain last month, but the decision to run was the correct one – Nagano came home strongly to beat Siskany by three-quarters of a length.
On that evidence, the step up from 12 furlongs is what David Egan’s mount needs, and Nagano is expected to make a seamless move out of handicaps.
There was much to like about the debut of MISE EN SCENE at Haydock Park and James Ferguson’s filly makes plenty of appeal in the Group 3 tote Prestige Stakes (1.50).
The well-related daughter of Siyouni sprinted away to beat six opponents by four lengths and more – and there is plenty more where that came from.
DAKOTA GOLD gets the vote to repeat his victory of 12 months ago in the Listed William Hill Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes (3.15).
Michael Dods’ seven-year-old is without a win in three starts this season, most recently when coming home 10th behind Winter in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York eight days ago.
At the start of last month, Dakota Gold went under by a couple of lengths to this afternoon’s rival – and 2019 Beverley Bullet hero – Judicial in Chester’s Listed Queensferry Stakes.
The Roodee didn’t play to the strengths of Connor Beasley’s mount however – Dakota Gold hung to his right throughout the race – and a 3lb pull will aid his bid to turn the tables.
The opening William Hill Handicap (2.05) presents a good opportunity for FARHAN to score for the first time in 2021.
A neck second to Rewired at Sandown Park at the beginning of the month rates a personal best for the John Butler-saddled son of Zoffany – and there should be more to come on the ninth attempt of his career.