There is a high profile evening flat meeting at Sandown on Thursday with some big races in one of the most expensive cards of the season. ITV4 are broadcasting four races from the Esher racetrack and we have gone through them and picked out the best bets. Here is our preview of each of them.
6.35 Sandown: National Stakes
A cracking 2 year old Listed sprint over the minimum where a low draw has proved crucial in recent years. It surprises me, therefore, that Blown By Wind & Konchek are the current market leaders as they will occupy the 2 highest stalls.
It’s hard to pass over a Mick Channon 2 year old these days so Kinks has to be feared from stall 6 whilst Fahey’s Sabre from stall 3 ran away with a Newcastle sprint on his debut & will probably be in the mix.
However, I’m siding with the horse with the rail draw, Vintage Brut. A northern raider, he was totally unfancied on his debut but scooted clear at 25/1 to win by 7 lengths. He recorded the highest debut RPR of any in this field that day & that performance could turn out to be one of a future star. The 2nd, 3rd & 4th that day have all run again, finishing 1st, 2nd & 2nd; our selection was between 7 and 10 lengths in front of them over the 5 furlong trip.
He has the best of the draw, is open to masses of improvement & is the yards only runner in the south over the next week. The stable jockey also travels down for the ride so looks to be a great each way bet to nothing.
WON – Back Vintage Brut (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 6.00 Bet365 BOG (¼ odds 1-3)
7.05 Sandown: Heron Stakes
9 runners here & let’s face it, Without Parole could be miles ahead of his rivals here but he’s no odds on shot on what he’s achieved so far. He has won very easily on both of his starts last term & was fancied for the Guineas but missed out with a stone bruise to his foot. That’s a niggling doubt too.
2 runners are rated higher than Without Parole & I’m going to chance both of them at rewarding odds. Dream Today makes his reappearance but won on his first start as a 2 year old, winning a £44K maiden at the Ebor Festival. He’s since run in 3 Group races with his best run when 2nd to Ghaiyyath in the Autumn Stakes. 3rd that day was Purser who’s won twice since. His 2 slightly disappointing runs have come on softish ground which has enhanced his price. A repeat of his 2 runs on good ground will put him right in the mix here.
Gabr was 2nd in that York maiden after also finishing 2nd on his debut. Both of those runs were promising & he’s pretty closely matched with our first selection on that run. After then winning an average Yarmouth event, he finished 5th in the Racing Post Trophy behind Guineas winner Saxon Warrior & Dante winner Roaring Lion. He’s shown he can mix it at the highest level. His trainer suggests he’s working well & he should go well on his seasonal reappearance.
Back Dream Today (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 19.00 Bet365 BOG (¼ odds 1-3)
PLACED – Back Gabr (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 11.00 Betfair BOG (⅕ odds 1-3)
Back it here:
7.35 Sandown: Henry VII Stakes
2 miles, 8 runners & an interesting renewal. Magic Circle comes here off the back of a win in the Chester Cup & Time To Study, who was 5th, reopposes & should be much closer today. Mount Moriah, Sheikhzayedroad & Montaly all have claims but I think that Weekender is a deserved favourite & is very much on the upgrade.
Unexposed & a last time out winner when accounting for Higher Power, the Northumberland Plate winner, Weekender could prove hard to beat but I’m going to sit this one out.
8.10: Brigadier Gerard Stakes
Only 5 runners but it looks a match between Poets Word & Fabricate. I can’t really oppose the favourite, Poets Word, who brings top Group 1 form to the table having finished 2nd in 3 of his last 4 starts, all in the highest possible grade. He might be an 8/11 shot but I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him.