Nagano bidding to go the distance in March Stakes

Roger Varian is optimistic Nagano will be see out the mile and three-quarters of the tote March Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

The son of Fastnet Rock showed he stays a mile and a half well when landing a handicap over the course and distance a month ago.

He now steps up in class as well as trip – but Varian feels Nagano will do himself justice in a trappy five-horse affair for the Group Three contest.

“He’s in good form. He’s been progressive all year and he looks like he’ll get the trip. He’s obviously trying a mile and six for the first time,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“He’s got track form, he’s not ground dependent. He’s a very laid-back horse at home, but we’re very happy with his condition and hopefully he’ll run a nice race.”

Andrew Balding believes Classic Lord will not be out of place as goes up in grade.

The Land Of England colt – who holds a St Leger entry – proved his effectiveness over the trip when winning a four-runner race in game fashion five weeks ago.

“He’s stepping up in class, but he’s been very consistent and improved all year. It was a good performance last time and I’d hope he run well,” said the Kingsclere handler.

Gavin Cromwell is hoping the booking of Frankie Dettori can help bridge the gap between White Pepper and the four other runners on ratings.

The Irish challenger is the outsider of the party on handicap marks, but she did got off the mark at the 13th attempt when tackling a mile and a half for the first time at Tramore on her latest start.

“She’s an awful lot to find with the others in the race, but obviously a bit of black type would be great for her. We’ve a good jockey booking, so we’re hoping for the best,” said the County Meath trainer.

Two northern raiders, Mark Johnston’s Dancing King and the David O’Meara-trained Juan De Montalban, complete the five-strong field.

Daneh was a creditable third on her first try in Group Three company and bids to improve on that effort in the tote Prestige Stakes.

The Dubawi filly, trained by Ed and Simon Crisford, was only beaten a length and three-quarters by Oscula in the Prix Six Perfections at Deauville earlier this month, after making a wining debut at Kempton.

“She’s got a great chance, she’s a good filly. It was a good run at Deauville last time and she’s entitled to be one of the favourites,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

“She’s working very nicely, she’s in good form and let’s hope she can run a big race.”

Balding expects his two contenders, Wilderness Girl and Star from Afarhh, to put up good shows.

“Wilderness Girl won well at Goodwood at the big meeting, so the distance, track and trip are no problem,” he said.

“Star From Afarhh was disappointing last weekend, but we think she was unsuited by the slower ground. She’s returning to a faster surface and she’s a filly we like.”

John and Thady Gosden’s Tinderbox – whose form was given a major boost by Silk Romance at Newmarket on Friday – and the David Loughnane-trained Hello You are among the other runners in what looks an open affair.

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