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Seeking looks Magic in 32Red Cup

Trainer Clive Cox has a good strike rate with his runners at Goodwood, and his Seeking Magic looks worth siding with in a fiercely competitive renewal of the 32Red Cup (3.50).

The gelding thrived in the second half of 2013, landing a 24-runner contest at over course and distance before going on to be placed in two hot handicaps off 98.

In the second of those, the six-year-old didn’t get the clearest of runs but kept on well to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by Mass Rally at York and the winner is a useful sort on his day who has since finished a fine fourth in a Group 2 off an official rating of 107.

That is strong form in the context of today’s contest, and Seeking Magic looked as good as ever on his penultimate start in the “Dash” at Epsom where he travelled supremely well on the heels of the leaders and looked all over the winner until being denied a clear run at a vital stage.

The son of Haafd had to be switched entering the final furlong, losing at least a length, and then finished off strongly to be beaten just a head.

There is little doubt in my mind that Seeking Magic would have won granted a clear passage, and although not at his best last time out in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot he was far from disgraced in finisnhing a 5 3/4 length 11th of 28 to Baccarat off tofday’ss mark of 101.

Cox has since given Seeking Magic a break to freshen up, and if that has done the trick, a big run looks assured.

There are a whole host of dangers, and Muthmir and Intrinsic both have progressive profiles and are feared most.

The former is trained by William Haggas and made a mockery of his handicap mark when romping home at York last weekend.

The son of Invincible Spirit has to shoulder a 6lb penalty for that success, but could well be a Group horse in the making.

Intrinsic was progressive in maidens last year when trained by Sir Michael Stoute and has won both his starts in good style this season after joining Robert Cowell.

The son of Oasis Dream is a strong traveller who has a potent turn of foot, and also has course and distance winning form to his name.

With the prospect of further improvement to come, and Richard Hughes in the saddle, Intrinsic looks a major player.