The best evening flat card of the year takes place at Sandown Park tonight (Thursday) with two listed races and a pair of Group 3’s on the six-race card.
It is hard to get away from the prospects of Full Authority (6.35) in the listed National Stakes having won by 6L on debut at Chester on soft ground. As a son of Kingman today’s faster surface should suit, he has the plum draw in stall one and should make it two out of two for David O’Meara and put him spot on for a crack at the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.
Mark Johnston saddles half the six-runner field in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes with recent Chester Cup winner Making Miracles stepping up in grade. Impressive as he was on the Roodeye he is a son of Pivotal and a bit of juice in the ground is likely to be key to his chances in Pattern company going forward.
Dee Ex Bee won well enough at Ascot in the Sagaro Stakes last time, but he received weight from the other principles on his reappearance and last year’s Derby runner up must give the winner of this corresponding race 12 months ago Magic Circle (7.05) 2lbs this evening.
The selection ran moderately at Chester on his reappearance and has a bit to prove tonight, but underfoot conditions are ideal and he is 14/1 at BetVictor to land the Ascot Gold Cup next month with Dee Ex Bee currently priced at 10/1 for the same contest.
I am a big admirer of Elwazir (7.35) and am sure that Owen Burrows lightly-raced four-year-old is better than he showed at Haydock on his last start back in August when he looked ill at ease on the fast ground. He had won his two previous starts including over C&D when I earmarked him down as one to follow.
Sir Michael Stoute is carrying all before him of late and his Regal Reality looked ready for a step up in trip when third here over a mile in Group 2 company last time. If he gets the additional quarter-mile he will be difficult to beat, but I would be disappointed if Elwazir did not run a big race.
Walkinthesand (8.10) is drawn out on the wing in stall 8 in the listed Heron Stakes but he receives 3lbs from the returning Sangarius who is fitted with a first-time tongue-tie for his seasonal reappearance.
The each way selection has finished second in both starts so far this season over 9f and 10f and he will need an end-to-end gallop returning to a mile this evening. That said he won over 7f here as a juvenile and Sean Levey will be aware that he cannot afford to let it turn into a crawl. Sangarius finished fourth in the Dewhust in his last juvenile start having won his first two starts but must give away 3lbs to his seven rivals tonight.
I hope it is a good night for Owen Burrows as his Kitaabaat (8.40) is taken to land the concluding Whitsun Cup. The selection won over C&D here as a juvenile and has been gelded since running a good race in a Classified 0-90 at Ascot back in October. He is another each way recommendation.
At Goodwood this afternoon, Hulcote (3.20) looks as if she is ready for a step up to today’s mile-and-a-half having met trouble in running when third on her reappearance at Doncaster back in March. Clive Cox has his string in good form and Adam Kirby is again in the saddle.
The listed Height Of Fashion Stakes is the feature contest and I feel John Gosden’s highest-rated pair Shambolic and Muchly are vulnerable to a potential improver. The once-raced Aloe Vera (4.20) came with a wet sail having been slowly away at Chepstow on debut and she gets the narrow each way vote even though she already looks ready for an additional quarter-mile.
As well as Sandown trainer Owen Burrows has fancied runners at a number of today’s cards including at Chelmsford this evening where I hope to see his Muraad (6.55) follow up his recent win at Wolverhampton. That form has already been franked by the runner up and the selection has a cracking draw in stall two.
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