Lady can be a champ at Beverley

First published in Horse Racing News

Lady Macduff should be able to handle a slight drop in trip and notch up another success for Mark Johnston in the Racing UK Handicap at Beverley.

Fifth on her debut at Yarmouth behind one-time Guineas hope Aljamaaheer over six furlongs, she was stepped up to a mile on her seasonal reappearance at Kempton.

On that occasion she looked a cut above her rivals, including an odds-on favourite from the Charlie Hills yard.

Under hands and heels from Silvestre de Sousa, the daughter of Iffraaj was an easy two-length winner and while the favourite has been beaten against since, she ran well in a good Newbury maiden.

Johnston also runs Icelander, so the market may provide a few clues.

The Fun Crusher showed enough on his reappearance at Doncaster to suggest he is worth following in the Remember John "Mother" Hubbard Handicap.

Trained by Tim Easterby and owned by Channel 4 Racing's Jim McGrath, the four-year-old was having just the second start of his life.

He had sprung a 33-1 surprise on his debut at Thirsk over a mile and a half last April but a setback meant he was forced to have the rest of the season off.

In the long term that may have been the best thing for him, as he has already been gelded and is really beginning to fill out his impressive frame.

By Halling, whose progeny tend to come into their own the older they get, he will also be suited by the rain-softened ground.

Some of the stallion's best offspring, like Cavalryman, Opinion Poll and Derby runner-up Hala Bek, all preferred to get their toe in.

As his debut win was over 12 furlongs it was not surprising he was a little short of speed mid-race over 10 at Town Moor, and the fact connections are keeping him over that trip suggest they expect him to strip much fitter.

In time he will be better suited to further but he has race-fitness on his side over his major rivals.

Mick Channon's Rigolleto is able to run off his lowest ever mark in the Hilton Brighton Metropole Supports Sussex Crimestoppers Handicap at the Seaside track.

He has only won one of his 17 races but has been set some very stiff tasks.

On bits and pieces of his form, however, he looks extremely well treated now, such as when he was a close third behind the promising Firebeam at York in July off 87.

He then chased home Sir Henry Cecil's Emilio Largo at Sandown, who ran well in the Spring Cup last week and having blown the cobwebs away at Doncaster, he can go well back in a small field.

The Gradus Lafite Maiden Auction Stakes at Wolverhampton might not take much winning so the fact Alan McCabe has booked Mickael Barzalona for Until It Sleeps could be noteworthy.

Fifth on debut her 12 days ago, she was beaten just over four lengths at 33-1 and should know more this time.

Perth's good meeting continues where Degas Art can bring up a four-timer in the Crabbie´s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Handicap Chase.

A six-length winner at Carlisle last time, he will have to up his game again as he steps out of his novice company, but he looks a thoroughly progressive individual.

Over at Punchestown Voler La Vedette is the value call to get the better of Quevega in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle after her fine effort behind Big Buck's at Cheltenham.

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