There’s a bunch of interesting youngsters on show at Sandown Park, including some handicap races to have a look at on day one of two at the Esher track coming up. A pair of Group 3 races make up the feature Saturday action, but in the meantime we’ll try to unearth a Friday winner or three…
James Tate’s Across The Sea is well fancied in the opening Nursery Handicap at 1.40pm, an in-form filly who scored handsomely at Ffos Las last time out. She’ll handle the ground and is going the right way, but she hasn’t done much on the clock and others are preferred. Paul Cole’s LI KUI has plenty of early pace and should be able to nudge across a place or two early from stall 6 under Harry Bentley. The son of Poet’s Voice is a nippy customer and boasts experience and form at a variety of tracks, including when 3rd over the course and distance last time out. His speed and stats ratings stack up well and hopefully he’ll give a good account.
Tinto also has a big chance, but it’s hard to know what he can pull off from stall 14.
In the 2.10pm Class 5 handicap over the same trip, the Stuart Williams trained SHAMSHON has to have a big chance of following up his confidence boosting win at Newmarket last time out. This horse represents stacks of smart form for the grade, he’ll handle a bit of cut in the ground and will run a big race if getting the breaks.
The five furlong track at Sandown is tricky at best and tougher to predict with give in the ground for me, but we’ll give it a bash anyway!
We’re back on the main track for Division 1 of a 7f juvenile maiden at 2.40pm, where John Gosden’s Alrajaa is a warm order to follow up his 4th here on debut with a win here. He didn’t achieve a great deal there though, and it’d be no surprise if stablemate Forest Of Dean or another newcomer were sharp enough to cause a minor upset. Tom Dascombe’s Rajinsky is respected on experience, but the stable has a poor hit rate at Sandown, so proceed with caution if you fancy that one.
I’ve been taken by Kingman’s first crop, so Sir Michael Stoute’s SOVEREIGN GRANT has obvious kerb appeal in the Queen’s colours with Ryan Moore booked.
Stoute’s expensive 2yo Almania is a shade of odds-on for Division 2, but again there’s nothing overly intimidating about his debut 4th of 6, where he was never dangerous and produced an RPR of 74; hardly lighting up the world. Holds big race entries and is respected but worth taking an each-way view against. Perhaps Richard Hannon’s DAWN TREADER will be sharp enough first time out. A colt by a sire I like in Siyouni, the stable won both divisions of this race in 2017.
Simon Crisford has trained 8/32 winners in the past 28 days, including 4 from 12 runners in the past 7 days. A man to be on side with when in-form, Crisford has a 24% strike rate at Sandown Park and his GLOBAL CONQUEROR can complete a hat-trick, following recent wins at Leicester and Chelmsford. A typical Dubawi, this 3yo is finding a bit of improvement at the right time and it’ll take a smart performance to deny him in the 3.50pm Class 3 event over a mile.
WHITLOCK and Red Striker are closely matched but have entirely different profiles. In this case, I’m going to side with the recent winning form of the former named John Gosden trained 3yo. Whitlock should be around 4-5lb ahead of his current mark of 81 if repeating his recent narrow success at Newmarket today. He has a good attitude and is going the right way. Red Striker needs cheek-pieces to have a winning effect to break his maiden tag here.
The “lucky last” is a tough affair to predict at 5.00pm so I’ll take a flyer on the outsider, Boreagh Lass, with an eye-catching jockey booking of Jim Crowley for the Ed De Giles runner. She has a big corner to turn, but the handicapper has given her a bit of a chance and she might take to a bit of Summer time good to soft ground around Sandown.
If not, Narjes will probably win.
You can read more from Kevin O’Malley and find the latest form, racecards, free tips & news on GG.CO.UK.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.