Cumani pair star on final day of the May Festival

The May Festival at Goodwood concludes on Saturday, May 23, with a seven-race card, headlined by two £40,000 Listed contests, the 32Red Festival Stakes (2.05pm, seven runners) over just short of 10 furlongs and the Tapster Stakes (4.05pm, five runners) over 12 furlongs.

Newmarket handler Luca Cumani will launch a two-pronged assault on the opening 32Red Festival Stakes with Afsare (Kieren Fallon) and French import Mobaco (Jim Crowley).

Afsare developed into a high-class performer last season and was last seen out finishing an unlucky second to subsequent Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike in the Grade One Arlington Million in the USA in August. The six-year-old was being prepared for a tilt at the Group One Cox Plate in Australia but was ruled out with a fetlock injury.

Cumani said: “Afsare has done very well over the winter and we are really happy with him. It would be good if he can continue to improve but even if he is at the level he was last year, it would be nice.

“I think he was unlucky in Arlington because, given how the race panned out, it didn’t really run for him. It is one of the races under consideration and he could go back there again this year.”

Mobaco progressed into a classy performer for previous handler Frederic Rossi, annexing two Listed contests and the Group Three Prix Andre Baboin at Marseille Borely on his final start in October. The four-year-old was subsequently purchased by leading Australian racing syndicate OTI Racing but, as a result of his Group Three success, will carry a 6lb penalty on Saturday.

Cumani added: “Mobaco has settled in well and we are happy with him, but we are on a fact-finding mission.

“He is not favoured by the race conditions – having to give weight away – but we have got nowhere else to start him off.

“We will see what level we achieve with him over here before deciding about going to Australia.”

The pair will clash with Windsor Listed scorer Cameron Highland, trained by Roger Varian, Sir Henry Cecil’s consistent performer Stipulate, and 2011 Betfred Mile hero Boom And Bust from the stable of Marcus Tregoning and ridden by Hayley Turner, Goodwood’s Racing Ambassador for 2013.

Reckoning, trained by Jeremy Noseda, and James Toller’s Rewarded complete the line up.

Frankel’s full-brother Noble Mission goes in search of a second Goodwood success in the Tapster Stakes. The four-year-old landed the Group Three Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in July and will face four rivals, headed by Genzy and recent runaway Doncaster winner Moment In Time.

The richest race on the card is the £50,000 32Red Handicap (3.35pm), run for the first time this year. Restricted to three-year-olds only, the seven-furlong event sees 10 contenders go to post including the lightly-raced pair of Breton Rock and Flyman, as well as Sorella Bella and Tamayuz Star, who both showed good form in 2012.

A total of 10 runners will face the starter in the longest race of day, the £25,000 Allans Of Petworth Handicap (3.05pm) over a mile and six furlongs, while a field of 19 line up in the £10,000 Jersey Racing Club Handicap (4.40pm) over six furlongs.

The card is completed by the £8,000 EBF Brighton & Hove Albion Maiden (2.35pm, 12 runners) and the £5,000 concluding Federation Of Bloodstock Agents Fillies’ Maiden (5.15pm, 11 runners).

The three-day May Festival at Goodwood kicked off today. Action also takes place tomorrow before concluding on Saturday.

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