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Sandown Park Preview – Racing Tips

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Sandown Park… 07/07/2023

Sandown Park hosts the first of its 2 Day Eclipse meeting this Friday, with the feature race at 4:15, the Listed Davies Insurance Solutions Gala Stakes. We also have the Listed Coral Marathon and the Dragon Stakes, at 3:05 as well as some competitive handicaps. Our team have looked through the card and have found a few of selections to get the weekend off to a winning start. Don’t forget that we have our “Money back if 2nd to the SP Favourite” offer for both days of the Eclipse meeting at Sandown. (Terms Apply).

3:05 Coral Marathon (Registered as the Listed Esher Stakes)

Whilst all the runners in this race have proven themselves capable of winning a race at this level and the vast majority have confirmed their stamina over this extended trip, it is hard to say that they are an improving bunch. Indeed, with most of the field aged 6 and over, this race does have a Veteran’s feel to it. Although it is a 2-mile contest, there isn’t a great deal of early pace and it may be left to the likes of Estacas or Divine Jewel to go forwards, but it seems unlikely that this will be turned into an end-to-end gallop, and it is more likely to become a sprint up the Sandown hill once they turn for home. For that reason, it is very hard to get away from Yibir.

Although he was 6th in the Ascot Gold Cup (beaten 10-lengths), he was never really involved and was ridden like a horse with suspect stamina. He kept on well under a gentle ride and the drop back to 2-miles, in a race that is unlikely to be a strong test, should setup perfectly. He is clear of most of this field on ratings and should really have too much class for them in the closing stages. We expect him to be given a more prominent ride than he was in the Gold Cup, and he should find himself within 3 or 4 lengths of the lead as they head down the back straight. From there, it should be a relatively straight forward task for William Buick to pull him into the clear at the 2-furlong pole and quicken past the field. He has winning form at the track and the drop in class looks likely to be enough to help him get his head in front for an 8th career success.

4:15 Davies Insurance Solutions Gala Stakes (Listed Race)

A lot has been made of the ride that Frankie Dettori gave to Saga in the Wolferton at Royal Ascot, in fact, that ride is the reason that he is not riding at Sandown Park, but despite the booking of Ryan Moore, it is still hard to make a case for the royal runner. He has won just once in his 11-race career and although he often travels strongly into the latter stages of a race, he has found winning difficult and in a small field he is going to need a very clever ride to win. Instead, we will take a chance on Poker Face, who should be suited by the return to a more galloping track and a smaller field. There are valid excuses for his recent form, as he wasn’t suited by an aggressive ride on soft ground at Chester and he had no chance when being held up and racing wide in the Wolferton. His best form has come at Newmarket and Pontefract, where he was suited by a strong test of stamina and this race should setup perfectly for him. He should be expected to be doing his best work in the closing stages and ought to have more at the finish than his rivals.

5:25 Vintage Acquisitions Whisky Chaser Handicap (For Lady Amateur Riders)

Serena Brotherton has already ridden 3-winners and 5 placed horses from just 11 this year and she looks to have a great chance of adding a 4th win with the hat-trick seeking Marsh Benham. Trained by George Baker, he has taken a significant leap forwards this season, benefitting from a more patient riding style to win a pair of handicaps at Chester and Brighton. Although he is up to a career high mark of 70, he is still improving, and he galloped strongly through the line at Brighton to suggest that the stiff finish here will not cause any problems. In a race where very few look to be in top form, he makes a lot of appeal.

*Prices subject to fluctuation.

Don’t forget to check out our Blog and Social Media Channels when our team will be back with their thoughts on the Eclipse card.

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