Sandown 12.20 – Different League
Having been bought for 1.5m in the Winter, there were fears last year’s Albany winner might not have trained on, but she has been moving forward steadily and posted a really decent effort in the King’s Stand last time, hitting the line strongly. This stiff 5 furlongs on fast ground should suit ideally and she gets a very handy set of allowances here as a three year old filly.
Sandown 12.55 – Via Serendipity
This horse was always well regarded by former trainer Hugo Palmer and looked a smart prospect when not beaten far in Barney Roy’s Greenham. As such, I don’t think he’s reached the ceiling of his ability for new trainer Stuart Williams, for whom he’s been progressive and consistent, including a tidy win over this track, trip and ground last time. He’ll be pushing the pace, but sees this trip out really well and should be in the mix even from a 4lb higher mark.
Sandown 1.30 – Di Fede
A really trappy race which might go to Di Fede. Her Leicester win is quite smart form and I fancied her to run well at Royal Ascot. Truth is, she probably did run pretty well given how hard she attended an overly strong pace and still wasn’t beaten miles. There should be a more conventional rhythm to this race, the track will suit well and the ability of the market leaders is quite hard to assess.
Sandown 2.10 – Happily
The heart has been ripped out of the Eclipse with the defection of Masar, but Happily can become only the third filly in history after Pebbles and Kooyonga to win this great race. It is true she needs to find a little more, but she has already beaten colts (including Masar) at Group One level last year, looks a middle distance filly and is completely unexposed at this distance. The older horses in this race are either out of form or not particularly good, and there are some indications that the fillies may be a stronger group than the colts in the classic generation (Alpha Centauri, Laurens, Magic Wand).
Haydock 12.35 – Rude Awakening
Sir Mark Prescott is hitting full stride and there may be quite a bit more to come from this horse judged on his romp at Doncaster. Admittedly, he’s up in class and up a chunk in the handicap, but he’s not exposed, goes well on fast ground and appeared to take a good leap forward for the application of a visor.
Haydock 1.10 – Mrs Sippy
This is an interesting filly and time may tell she faced an impossible task attempting to run down Sea of Grace at Newbury earlier in the year. She travelled nicely through that race, however, and has been brought along steadily by her excellent trainer. The two at the head of the market – Horseplay and God Given (same ownership as the selection) – are both very talented, but the former didn’t hold her form last year, while the latter might well want a bit more ease in the ground.
Haydock 1.45 – Wingingit
This filly has been flying under the radar for this race but – to my eye – she would have won a Listed race at Pontefract last time with anything like a clear run and starting to hit peak form. Last season at Newbury, she finished a running-on sixth in a Group 3 at Newbury, a strict reading of which would make her look extremely well treated here off a mark of 96. This is her first run in a handicap for Andrew Balding and she’s just the type of horse that he gets the most out of.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.