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sandown park york 17 06 2023 sport preview

Sandown Park & York 17/06/2023 – Top Picks

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Sandown Park & York – Saturday 17th June – Saturday from 2:50pm

With Royal Ascot just 4-days away, this Saturday has a slightly underwhelming feel in terms of quality, but our team have looked through the 2 feature meetings at York and Sandown Park to find their 4 best bets to get your Ascot week off to a winning start.

Sandown Park

2:50 – Moulson Cours Scurry Stakes (Listed Race)

The unexposed pair of Tajalla and Havana Pusey are worth a try at this level, but both will need to find 20lbs of improvement in order to trouble the principles if they run to their best, so it is probably best to focus on the runners with more experience. Perdika has been well placed to pick up some decent prize money and the form of her win at Chantilly at the start of this month sets a fair standard. However, she may struggle to match the power and speed shown by the improving GREAT STATE, who arrives here in search of a four-timer for Richard Fahey. He travelled extremely strongly on the stands side of a decent looking Listed sprint at York last time, finding well for pressure and galloping away from the field in the final furlong to win by over 2-lengths. Oisin Murphy retains the ride and although he has a 3lbs penalty to carry for that York success, he recorded a timeform rating of 110 when winning there which puts him clear of this field. He is a powerful gelding by Havana Grey who should be ideally suited by the stiff finish on the sprint course at Sandown and he should prove to have too much speed and power for his rivals on these terms.

3:25 Watch Racing TV Free for 31 days Handicap

For the grade, this looks to be a relatively weak handicap, which is perhaps not surprising given the proximity of Royal Ascot, but proven form at this level is in very short supply. The unexposed pair of All-Weather novice winners, Owl Island and Nails Murphy are worthy of respect on their handicap debuts, especially the former who represents the Crisford team who have a 22% strike rate at the Esher track. However, neither looks to be thrown in on their opening handicap marks and so we will stick to some more established form and forgive HE’S A MONSTER for a poor run at Epsom. He has won 3 of his 5 starts for Archie Watson, including when dominating a handicap at Kempton in April. Things didn’t go to plan in the Surrey Stakes on Derby Day when he was dropped in and didn’t seem to handle the bends or the camber in the home straight at Epsom, hanging in the closing stages. For such an imposing type, that is perhaps not surprising, and he wouldn’t be the first horse not to handle the Epsom downs, so he is best judged on his previous form on the all-weather. He returns to handicaps on a mark of 92, which still looks workable and the switch from Hollie Doyle to Hector Crouch shouldn’t cause any concern as he was on board for his Wolverhampton win March. The stiff finish at Sandown should suit him as it will allow him to use his long stride and we expect him to bounce back to form on Saturday.

York Racecourse

2:00 – Queen Mother’s Cup Handicap (For Lady Amateur Riders)

These races can be difficult puzzles to solve. With the higher riding weights and the puzzle of following both the jockeys record and the horses handicap form, it can be a little confusing but the horse who ticks most of the boxes for us is SARATOGA GOLD. Let’s start with the jockey. Although Kayleigh Stephens does not take too many rides these days (in fact she has ridden just once under rules since 2018) she is good value for her 5lb claim and she has finished in the first 4 on 7 of her last 10-rides. Perhaps more importantly, she has a good record with the horse, having ridden Saratoga Gold to win an amateur riders’ contest at Newbury in August last year, which was her last ride. Saratoga Gold brings his own claims, having finished 3rd on his seasonal return at Newmarket last month. He travelled very strongly into that contest and looked the most likely winner as they reached the dip before tiring into 3rd in the closing stages. That was his first start since October and so he can be forgiven his tired finish, but the form looks very solid as both the 2nd and 5th have gone on to win since. The handicapper has dropped him a pound to 89 and with Kayleigh Stephens claim he is effectively 6lbs lower in a weaker race. This looks like it has been the target for the early part of his campaign, and he makes a lot of appeal.

3:40 Oakmere Homes Supporting MacMillan Sprint Handicap

It hasn’t been an easy start to the year for James Horton, but now that his horses have returned to the track they are running well and that makes Pure Angel interesting here. She shaped extremely well on her seasonal return when 2nd to Ferrous at Goodwood, keeping on well from the rear despite being bumped in the closing stages. She looks like a filly who will be suited by this big field as she travels very strongly and does her best work in the closing stages. The form of the Goodwood race took a boost when the fourth placed Desperate Hero won at Windsor next time and this looks to be a logical next step for her. James Horton has had 3 winners from the 6-runners that he has sent to York in his sort training career and on a mark of 86, PURE ANGEL has a good chance of making that 4 from 7.

Our team will be back on Tuesday with their best bets on the opening day of the Royal Ascot meeting so keep an eye on our Blog and Social Media channels for tips and special offers.

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