Invariably the best day of the week when it comes to horse racing and indeed sport in general, this Saturday certainly doesn’t let us down on the racing front, with a clutch of decent cards to get stuck into. Here we run the rule over what looks to be a cracking afternoon of action at Sandown.
1:50 188Bet Extra Place races Handicap (Class 3) 5f
We kick off with what is possibly the most competitive race on the card as the sprinters go at it full throttle in this 5f handicap contest. The hat-trick seeking Rapid Applause will likely be all the rage here going for Michael Easterby in the hands of a certain Frankie Dettori. He’s greatly respected, particularly having been handed a nice draw in stall three, but at the prices we just prefer an each way punt on another in the field.
Looks A Million is interesting at a really big price given her decent efforts in Listed company last season, but our vote goes to the John Gallagher representative, Bahamian Sunrise. This one ran a cracker last week to go down by just a neck at Epsom, despite running from 3lbs out of the handicap. Form figures at the track of 113 also make for encouraging reading. Having won off a mark of 79 as recently as April this year, he must have sound claims of at least making the frame off 77 here.
Tip: Bahamian Sunrise each way at 9/1 with Coral
2:25 Best Odds Guaranteed At 188Bet Handicap (Class 2) 1m2f
Race two serves up our second course of handicapping action, with a contest which looks almost as tough to unravel as our first race. David Menusier’s History Writer and the four-timer seeking Red Force One are two for the shortlist on form. History Writer is on the short side for us here though, whilst Red Force One isn’t sure to be suited by the likely easier ground here.
The one we like is the Paul Cole runner, Rotherwick. This six year old ran with credit on his two previous runs at the track, finding only the talented Jack Hobbs too good back in 2015, before flashing home for third behind Thundering Blue here last year. He’s only 2lbs higher than for that latter run and looks overpriced to hit the frame.
Tip: Rotherwick each way at 20/1 with Ladbrokes
3:00 188Bet Casino Atalanta Stakes (Group 3) 1m
Moving into Group class action for race three and the big event of the day for the fillies. This may only be a small field affair, with just the six runners set to go to post, but there still ought to be plenty of pace on. The well fancied Laugh Aloud likes to make all the running, but so too do Awesometank and New Day Dawn. There must be a danger that a battle for the lead may ensue here and set this up for a closer.
The Godolphin second string Winter Lightning makes some appeal, but on last seasons juvenile form he looks to be well held by the favourite for this race. Hailing from the yard of Sir Michael Stoute – an expert in continually improving horses – it is unlikely we have seen the best of Veracious yet. That must be a little concerning for her rivals as she probably already boasts the best form in this race, having finished third in Group 1 company in her two most recent starts. She’ll be a short-priced favourite but deserves to be for our money and looks the one to be on.
Tip: Veracious to win at 4/5 with Coral
3:35 188Bet Solario Stakes (Group 3) 7f
We are a little reluctant to take on John Gosden’s, Too Darn Hot here. Sired by Dubawi and out of Dar Re Mi, this striking colt is a full brother to So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar and could hardly make much more appeal on paper. A seven length winner on debut at this track, he still looked green when hitting the front that day and really could be anything. Quite whether he deserves to be an odds on shot in this field though we aren’t so sure.
As much as we like the potential shown by the market leader, an each way bet on the Alan King runner, Dunkerron seems a better value option. This one may be a little more exposed than his rivals but does boast the best form in the book and shouldn’t be the outsider bar one here. We suspect time will prove that there was no disgrace in going down by 1¾l to the Mark Johnston runner Dark Vision last time out. He did much the best of those to race up with the pace that day, but may still have just done a little too much early on. If Martin Harley can get the fractions right here, he may just give the favourite something to think about.
Tip: Dunkerron each way at 9/1 with PaddyPower
4:10 188Bet Supports The Nspcc Nursery Handicap (Class 4) 7f
With Barristan The Bold – who did look a little unlucky at Goodwood last time out – taking up so much of the market, and eight runners going to post, this looks the ideal race for an each way punt. Andrew Balding’s Reconnaissance would be one of the more obvious ones for his in-form yard, but he hasn’t been missed by the market and this isn’t the type of race in which Balding excels anyway – only 7% in 2yo handicaps over the past five years.
Take a chance instead on one of the outsiders of the field, Camachess. Other than possibly the jolly, there doesn’t look to be an awful lot between these runners and this filly did at least show she stays this trip well last time out at Chelmsford. Getting chunks of weight from her rivals, she looks worth an each way play.
Tip: Camachess each way at 20/1 with Coral
4:45 188Bet Mobile Bet10 Get20 Handicap (Class 4) 1m
The market would suggest this may well be the most open race of the day, with the first six in the betting all trading at between 5/1 and 8/1. Roller will likely be popular for Michael Easterby with Frankie Dettori taking the ride and does look to be running into form at the right time for this. No I’m Easy meanwhile would be the pick of the three to have won last time out.
It is once again one at double figure odds that catches our eye though. Tony Carroll’s Poetic Force blew it at the start at Goodwood last time out, so we are happy to draw a line through that effort. Prior to that he had finished in the first two in five of his six previous runs. A smooth traveller he doesn’t always put it all in at the business end, but can finish strongly on his day and looks worth chancing at the prices.
Tip: Poetic Force each way at 16/1 with Coral
5:20 Read Silvestre De Sousa at 188Bet Handicap (Class 4) 1m2f
The three year olds have more than held their own in this contest of late with five wins in the past nine years. That fact automatically makes the sole three year old in this years line-up, Dive For Gold, worth a second look, and all the more so when we consider he goes for John Gosden and in the hands of Frankie Dettori. Having finished a weakening last of seven last time out though, improvement will need to be forthcoming for the application of first time blinkers.
Far more solid is the Hughie Morrison runner, Compton Mill. Morrison is flying along at present, operating at an impressive 29% strike-rate over the past 14 days, and may well boost those stats still further here. Compton Mill arrives at the top of his game having won over course and distance last time out, will be well suited by any ease underfoot and won off this mark of 82 in October of last year.