The 2020 Fortune Stakes takes place over one mile at Sandown Racecourse on Wednesday 16 September. This Listed Race is the highlight on the card and has attracted an interesting field of seven runners.
Bless Him last won off a mark of 97 and has struggled off his current mark of 105 this season, beaten at least four lengths in a mixture of handicaps, Listed races, and Group races. The filly Posted is also rated 105 but she’s been beaten in her last seven races in Listed or Group company.
Lavender’s Blue is a course winner who ran well when third in a Group 3 over course and distance last time. She gets a handy 5lb off the boys, but the form of her stable is a worry.
The chances of the 5-year-old Zaaki can’t be dismissed. He won two Group 3 races last season and has been far from disgraced at a similar level this year. He didn’t stay 10-furlongs last time and could ideally be suited to the stiff Sandown mile. His trainer Sir Michael Stoute is also currently sending out plenty of winners. However, Zaaki finished behind Lord Glitters on his second run this season and that form leaves him with a bit to find with our tip.
Motakhayyel was an impressive winner of two lucrative 7-furlongs handicaps earlier this season but ran no race at Salisbury last time. His stamina remains a doubt at this longer trip at a course with an uphill finish, but his trainer Richard Hannon has won two of the last three runnings of the Fortune Stakes.
Interestingly, Motakhayyel beat Sir Busker giving him 3lb at Royal Ascot, while Montatham was getting 3lb when just pipping that horse at York last time. But Montatham has also won over course and distance, which is probably why Jim Crowley has chosen him over the Hannon runner.
Montatham was also getting 6lb from Dark Vision when beating him a short head over course and distance, so it’s interesting that another of today’s field finished four-lengths in front of Dark Vision last time.
Epic Hero was the horse that finished in front of Dark Vision last time and he also beat Lord Glitters by over a length that day. Both those pieces of form give him a leading chance for the in-form stable of Simon and Ed Crisford and, with possible further improvement to come, he’s our Fortunes Stakes tip.
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