As far as Thursdays go, today’s racing has a little something for everyone across seven UK & Irish meetings, starting with the 1.50pm at Yarmouth and finishing over seven hours later with the 9.00pm lucky last at Newcastle. We turn our attentions to Sandown Park and Leopardstown, both hosting interesting flat cards and there’s a few horses worthy of mention through the night…
Sandown – 7.10pm
John Gosden’s Mister Ambassador is a warm order for this 1m2f, 3yo handicap and has been steadily progressive in novice races so far. But he’s done nothing special on the clock and for all his connections and profile perhaps demand him to be favourite, I think he’s the wrong price.
The horse to back is the Ian Williams trained JACK REGAN, who won his second race of 2018 last time out at Nottingham – seven days ago – clocking a solid RPR of 87 and Topspeed rating of 77 in the process. He runs with a 6lb penalty here, but a mark of 81 may not be enough to stop him going in again. He has course and distance form, is versatile in regard to the ground and at the prices, this Rock Of Gibraltar gelding appears to be a worthy adversary to the market leader.
Sandown – 8.15pm
William Muir’s DATA PROTECTION is a decent price for this 10-runner handicap over a mile to close the Sandown card. It may pay to side with a horse that has some form with cut in the ground, with rain forecast throughout the day in the London area and this 3yo won on good to soft at Ffos Las this time last year. He won by 9 lengths at Epsom two starts back, before fluffing his lines at York last month when going off at 5/2f over nine furlongs.
He’s worth forgiving for that effort, because he was progressive before that and remains handily handicapped on a mark of 74.
Leopardstown – 7.00pm
This is a fiendishly difficult handicap over a mile, but CORECZKA could be overpriced at double figure odds to finally get off the mark on turf, having not scored on grass thus far in his career.
A Dundalk specialist, Coreczka is not without risk as a betting proposition around Leopardstown and she is up in trip too. But she’s gone close on two occasions this term, including when finishing a respectable 4th over 7f here last time out. Her mark is very workable on the evidence of that effort and if the step back up to a mile suits, she should run very well.
Leopardstown – 7.35pm
This rated 7f contest is worth 17,500 Euro in prize money and is a valuable but tricky affair. Johnny Murtagh’s Sirjack Thomas is improving and looks dangerous after a mid-summer break. Ice Cold In Alex seems to be finding some consistency now and should also run well.
I’ll take a chance on Sheila Lavery’s Mr Ormsby, under 7lb claimer Gavin Ryan. This 5yo hasn’t won since March, but has been progressing notably through his last three starts, posting an RPR of 87 and a Topspeed figure of 65 when running off a mark of 77 over the course and distance last time out in June. Running off the same mark here, he looks a decent punt at around the 5/1 mark…but it is a trappy affair.
Leopardstown – 8.35pm
In the lucky last, it’s actually the favourite SMALL BIT OF LOVE who looks the value play in an ordinary enough looking handicap over just shy of two miles. The Willie Mullins trained 4yo has responded well to being gradually stepped up in distance and scored nicely at Ballinrobe last time out. The stable has a 33% strike rate in the past 28 days, netting 31 winners from 94 runners,hopefully this filly can add to that tally.
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.