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19th September 2021

Free Tips and Trends: Sandown (Fri 27th April 2018)

Plenty to look forward to this Friday as the ITV cameras head to Sandown Park to for their opening day of their two-day mixed flat and jumps meeting. We get going on Friday (27th April) with four LIVE flat races on the card that include the Bet365 Mile, Classic Trial, Gordon Richard Stakes and the Esher Cup.





1.50 - bet365 Esher Cup (Handicap) Cl2 1m14y ITV4

15/15 – Carried 9-4 or less in weight
15/15 – Had won no more than twice before
14/15 – Never raced at Sandown before
12/15 – Had between 2-4 runs before
12/15 – Had won just once before
11/15 – Drawn in stall 4 or higher
11/15 – Priced 17/2 or shorter in the betting
10/15 – Carried 8-12 or less in weight
9/15 – Unplaced favourites
9/15 – Had won over at least 1 mile before
9/15 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
7/15 – Won last time out
4/15 – Raced at Kempton last time out
2/15 – Trained by John Gosden
2/15 – Trained by the Hannon stable
2/15 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 11 runnings is 6/1
Note: 2006 was a dead heat

TQ VERDICT: The John Gosden camp have a fair record in the race – winning it in 2009 & 2010 – and with KINGS SHIELD they look to have another good chance of adding to that record. This 3 year-old is 2-from-2 after easy wins at Newcastle and Kempton on the all-weather and despite this being a step up in grade does actually still hold a 2000 Guineas entry – if he’s to take part in that race he’ll need to remain unbeaten here. The first run on turf is a slight unknown but no reason why it won’t suit and he’s actually one of just three proven distance winners over this mile trip in the race. Draw 9 looks fine, with 11 of the last 15 winners coming from stalls 4 or higher, while ALL of the last 15 winners carried 9-4 of more. The Gosden camp are also in decent order at the moment with a 33% strike-rate with their runners at the time of writing. That weight trend rules just Vintager out with 9-7 but the other horse that seems to tick a lot of boxes is the Richard Hannon-trained MOTOWN MICK. The Hannon team are another that have done well in the race in the past – winning twice in the last 15 years too – while Ryan Moore is an eye-catching jockey booking. He’s won three of his 10 starts and finished in the top three in seven. He’s done most of his racing over 6 & 7f but has also won over a mile so the trip is fine. Draw 4 looks ideal and the Hannon horses have started this early part of the season well. Of the rest, with a massive 47% strike-rate with all their runners (from 25th April) then the Charlie Appleby-trained Dream Warrior can’t be overlooked either. Yes, a beaten favourite last time out at Lingfield but that was over 1m2f and he clearly didn’t stay that trip. A good winner on very soft ground over 7f in France last October suggests this drop back to a mile is a big plus. Merlin Magic and Desert Wind are others to consider but I’ll stick with Gosden adding to his good record in this race, with the Hannon horse the main danger.


2.25 - bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 1m2f7y ITV4

14/15 – Had won over at least 1m2f before
14/15 – Officially rated 110 or higher
13/15 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
13/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/15 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
12/15 – Had won a Group race before
12/15 – Had won at least twice (UK) before
10/15 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
10/15 – Placed favourites
9/15 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
9/15 – Drawn in stall 4 or higher
7/15 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
7/15 – Irish bred
5/15 – Had run at Sandown before
4/15 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
4/15 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
3/15 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
3/15 – Trained by John Gosden
3/15 – Won last time out
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 7/2

TQ VERDICT: This has been a very kind race to Sir Michael Stoute in recent years – winning it in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2017 – so his CRYSTAL OCEAN is hard to get away from. This 4 year-old is the clear highest-rated in the field at 118 and that’s 6lbs higher than anything else. He was last seen running a fine second in the St Leger at Doncaster last Doncaster so this step down from Group One company to Group Three level gives him an obvious chance. Prior to that last run he was an easy winner of the Group Three Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and with just six career runs there should be more to come. It’s another good ride for Ryan Moore and although some might cling to the drop back to 1m2f in trip being a negative he was a good winner of the Dante Stakes over this distance last season and should also be suited by the stiff Sandown finish here. The Queen’s Fabricate was an easy winner of the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton last time out over this 1m2f trip and based on that run certainly deserves to take his chance in this higher-graded race. He does have 6lbs to find with the selection based on the official ratings though. Morando is also rated 112 so this Andrew Balding-trained 5 year-old has a squeak too. Formerly with Roger Varian but running for the Balding camp for the first time here he’s been placed twice in Group Three company in the past and should not be far away. If a lot of rain came then course winner What About Carlo must be considered, while the only proven course and distance winner in the field is Spark Plug but he was beaten just over a length by Fabricate over this trip last August so would have a bit of ground to make up on that Bell runner.


3.00 - bet365 Classic Trial (Group 3) Cl1 1m2f7y ITV4

12/14 – Won between 1-3 times before
12/14 – Never raced at Sandown before
12/14 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
10/14 – Had won over at least 1m before
9/14 – Placed in the top 2 last time out
8/14 – Raced at Leopardstown (2), Curragh (2) or Newbury (4) last time out
8/14 – Irish bred winners
7/14 – Horses drawn in stall 4 that finished in the first 3
6/14 – Won last time out
4/14 – Winning favourites
4/14 – Trained by John Gosden
3/14 – Winners from stall 4
3/14 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
2/14 – Ridden by William Buick
2/14 – Winners from stall 3
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 13/2

TQ VERDICT: With trainer Aidan O’Brien winning this race in 2012 and the fact he’s bringing one over – Hunting Horn – then it goes without saying this horse is going to be popular. Ryan Moore rides this 3 year-old, who won last time out at Naas over this 1m2f trip and is clearly thought to be up to Group class. All runs to date though have been in much softer ground and he did seem to only scrape home last time at Naas (neck) – this will be harder. The Martyn Meade-trained Chilean sets a fair standard off a mark of 106 and was a tidy Group Three winner at Longchamp three weeks ago. That did, however, come in heavy ground and is also up another furlong here. With four career runs he’s the most experienced in the field but that also means he’s prone to something that is lesser exposed improving past him. The Charlie Appleby team could not have their horses in better form at the moment so their Ispolini is another to consider. This 3 year-old has only raced twice but got off the mark last time when winning well at Kempton over this trip. He’s another that steps up in grade but holds some fancy Group One entries – including the Epsom Derby – so is clearly well-regarded. The Charles Hills yard were doing well a few weeks ago but with just 2 winners from their last 26 (as of 25th April) then their form has tailed-off a bit. They have course winner – Wafy – and Jetstream – in the race with the first-named of the two looking their better chance. Come On Tiger, Stephensons Rocket and Sovereign Duke are others that come here off the back of wins but would require to improve so that leaves us with SEVENNA STAR. From the John Gosden team that won this in 2008, 2010, 2014 and last year then this is a race this powerful yard love to target. He could not have been more impressive in winning at Windsor last time out by 14 lengths and despite this being an obvious step up he’s a horse that has had the benefit of a recent run this season and has also clearly done very well over the winter. Frankie gets the leg-up and he’s another with some fancy entries that include the Dante Stakes and Epsom Derby.


3.35 - bet365 Mile (Group 2) Cl1 1m14y ITV4

13/14 – Had won a Group race before
13/14 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the betting
11/14 – Had won 5 or more times before
11/14 – Had won over a mile before
10/14 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
10/14 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
8/14 – Trained by the Hannon stable
8/14 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
8/14 – Placed favourites
7/14 – Aged 4 years-old
6/14 – Winning favourites
5/14 – Raced at Newmarket last time out
5/14 – Horses drawn in stall 3 that finished second
5/14 – Had run at Sandown before
4/14 – Previous Group One winners
2/14 – Ridden by Pat Dobbs
2/14 – Trained by David O’Meara
2/14 – Won by Sir Michael Stoute
2/14 – Won by a previous winner of the race
2/14 – Won last time out
3 of last 7 winners have come from stall 1
Sovereign Debt won the race in 2017
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 3/1

TQ VERDICT: The Ruth Carr-trained SOVEREIGN DEBT took this race 12 months ago and off a mark of 114 is the second-highest rated in the field so must have a decent chance of successfully defending his crown. He does return from a 195 break though and last year he’d had the benefit of two previous runs too. Having said that, he’s a horse that goes well fresh and despite his advancing years (9 years-old) he’s sure to make a bold bid – this would have been a target for him and I expect him to not be far away. HERE COMES WHEN is the highest-rated in the line-up on 116 and based on this is certainly another interesting contender. Yes, he’s another that returns from a break but it’s worth noting he won first time out last season, while his form running off a break reads 1-2-1-2-1. He’s a proven Group One winner after landing the Sussex Stakes last season so this slight drop in grade makes him a big player and he looks another value call against the likely hot-pot – Addeybb. Of course, this 4 year-old from the William Haggas yard went into many a notebook when romping away with the Lincoln Handicap last month but this company will be much tougher. There is no denying he did it well that day though and Group and Listed races certainly look his level now but he’s still got 7lbs to find on Here Comes When, plus 5lbs to find with the likes of last year’s winner Sovereign Debt and Robin Of Navan. Course winners Aljazzi and Stormy Antarctic are others to note, while with Ryan Moore booked to ride Khafoo Shememi, who is another proven course and distance winner in the race, then if the dead eight run then he’s sure to attract each-way support.

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