OK, howsabout we forget all about the footy for a cotton-pickin’ minute and concentrate on the racing, which today comes from Sandown and Haydock.
Feature of the Esher card is the Group 1 Coral Eclipse at 3.35, which has cut up badly to leave just 4 runners. However, 3 of those are closely matched and top class, so a fascinating tactical battle could ensue.
Favourite at 11-8 is the sole 3-y-o, St Mark’s Basilica, which has already pouched the French Guineas and Derby and whose proven turn of foot may prove decisive in this field. Have a decent win bet and hope it can Kane the opposition.
Televised coverage starts with the Coral Charge at 1.50, a Group 3 over the minimum Trip(pier) and we have to go with Arecibo in this.
Second in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes on unsuitably firm ground was a much improved run and with more give this afternoon, we can (hopefully) rely on Frank to bring home the bacon. 11-2 are the odds.
At 2.25 we get the Coral Challenge Handicap over a mile and in this we fancy another Mount to be given the Spencer treatment, name of Orbaan.
David O’Meara‘s 6-y-o came back from a short break and a wind op to run a race full of promise at Newcastle nine days ago and showed its liking for big field handicaps by taking one at York last season. Still competitively weighted, we hope for a Sterling performance at a juicy 16-1.
The Coral Distaff at 3.00 completes the Sandown coverage and, in this, there is no doubting the credentials of the favourite Statement.
Martin Meade‘s filly returned from an 8th in the 1000 Guineas to run a good 3rd in an Epsom Group 3 a month ago and will (G)realish the underfoot conditions. We recommend a win bet at 2-1.
Another runner which may go well is the Richard Hannon trained Shine For You, a likely improver after only five runs, so we suggest an each way ‘saver’ on this one at 9-1.
Oop at Haddock, three races are on view, starting with the bet365 Handicap at 2.05, which has a field of 12.
Our trusty pin has landed firmly on Reverend Hubert, another from the Richard Hannon stable. This horse was unlucky at Doncaster last time out when trying this trip for the first time and we are Shaw it’s overpriced at 16-1.
Have an each way bash on it.
The Group 2 bet365 Lancashire Oaks is next up at 2.40 and Alpinista is the fav at 9-4. Not seen since winning at Goodwood at the end of April, we don’t quite see this one and prefer the chances of La Lune, trained by Henry Candy.
Two from two this season, including a Group 3 over CD 5 weeks ago, let’s hope she will Rice to the occasion and go close at 15-2.
And finally, the simple matter of the bet365 Old Newton Cup at 3.15, which has 17 runners standing their ground. Our selection for this is Scarlet Dragon from the stable of Alan King.
A winner at Royal Ascot last year, this sprightly 8-y-o showed a return to its best was imminent last time out, also at the Royal meeting, finishing 6th.
We don’t think this horse has Stones in hand but it could well Walker way with this seemingly hot event & represents a cracking each way punt at 20-1.
Apologies to the ones that didn’t get a mention, but there are limits.
Arecibo 1.50 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 11-2
Orbaan 2.25 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (5 places Hills/Skybet)
Statement 3.00 Sandown 3pts win @ 2-1
Shine For You 3.00 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 9-1
St Mark’s Basilica 3.35 Sandown 4pts win @ 11-8
Reverend Hubert 2.05 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 16-1
La Lune 2.40 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 15-2
Scarlet Dragon 3.15 Haydock 1.5pts e/w @ 20-1 (5 places)