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Dancing King clings on for March glory

Dancing King made every yard of the running to provide Mark Johnston with a third successive win in the tote March Stakes at Goodwood.

Following on from the half-brothers of Sir Ron Priestley and Subjectivist winning the Group Three, Dancing King added his name to the race run in memory of John Dunlop.

Despite Joe Fanning dropping his reins close home and the fact the odds-on favourite Nagano loomed up looking sure to go by, Dancing King (100-30) just kept on pulling out more and won by a head.

Johnston told ITV Racing: “It’s our style of running to allow them to roll along so we don’t complicate things.

“This lad is in the Cesarewitch but it’s a condition of all the Kingsley House partnerships (syndicate who own Dancing King) that the horses go to the October Sales.

“It’s a shame, but they have hit the jackpot with a few cheap purchases and this looks like being another.”

Fanning said: “I actually haven’t ridden this lad for a while but he’s very straightforward and was always doing enough.

“I was going well all the way, he was running around a bit so I knew I had plenty left and when the other one came to me, he kept galloping.”

David Egan had to settle for second on Nagano but had already won on the Clive Cox-trained Aratus, who continued his rapid progression when clinging on in the tote Quadpot Starts Here Handicap.

The three-year-old finished second on his debut last September but is now unbeaten in four races since.

He broke his maiden in good style at Kempton in November and returned with a victory at Doncaster in July. A winner off a mark of 94 at Newbury, he defied a 4lb rise on this occasion.

Having gone clear inside the final furlong the veteran Escobar did close to within a neck of the 2-1 favourite but the line came too soon.

The Charlie Hills-trained Willoughby Bay (100-30) was a clear-cut winner of the tote Placepot First Bet Of The Day EBF Fillies’ Restricted Novice Stakes while General Lee (9-4) claimed the tote.co.uk Handicap for Paul and Oliver Cole.

To top a great day for James Ferguson, who won his first Group race when Mise En Scene took the Prestige Stakes earlier, he also landed the closing Access Tomorrows Placepots Early At tote.co.uk Handicap with Snowalot (11-8 favourite) ridden by Daniel Muscutt.