We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
A good midweek card from Haydock Park this afternoon and if there is a future star on show it could be Spanish City (2.40) who makes his debut in the 6f maiden for Roger Varian.
The colt was taken out of his intended racecourse debut at Ascot a couple of weeks ago when the ground went against him and he wouldn’t want any more significant rain.
The selection won’t be knocked about on debut but has shown enough at home to receive entries in a couple of Group races later in the year. Varian has his string in excellent form and often sends a decent juvenile to Haydock Park; indeed he saddled the winner of this corresponding race back in 2012 when Ribaat made a winning debut.
Pyjama Party (4.10) had the third eight lengths back when runner up to Decorated Knight at Sandown last week and the William Haggas-trained colt has been raised the small matter of 8lbs for that effort.
The selection can race off the same mark as at the Esher track this afternoon, however, and must go close in what looks a cracking heat with David O’Meara’s Glad Tidings 5lbs better off with the Haggas runner for the five lengths he was behind at Ripon last month.
It was only a modest four-runner race that The Kid (5.10) finished runner-up in on his reappearance but that followed a 12 month absence from the track and he remains unexposed at staying distances.
Trainer John Quinn has had a number of winners over jumps of late and looks to have given his four-year-old enough time (19 days) to get over his first start in a year. He is entitled to come on for that effort and is only 1lb higher in the weights.
Passover (5.40) has been hugely impressive in winning his last two starts for Andrew Balding including at Nottingham under today’s talented amateur and he is 11lbs well-in on official figures for tonight’s Sandown opener.
Carrying the famous Mill Reef colours he was a seven lengths winner of an apprentice race last week and looks to have found an excellent opportunity to follow up before the handicapper catches up with him.
Frankie Dettori is at Sandown primarily to ride Shahbar (6.50) in the mile juvenile maiden.
The colt finished an excellent second over a, seemingly, inadequate 6f at Leicester on debut and this well-bred Derby entry cost 320,000gns as a yearling. Trainer Marco Botti has an 18 per cent strike rate with his juveniles so far this season and looks to have found an ideal opening for his son of Champs Elysees.
The 10f handicap on the card is a hot heat with Perrault a fascinating runner for Ralph Beckett returning from a three-month lay-off.
He is from the family of Grand Lodge but might be a bit rusty and I was impressed with the way Indelible Ink (7.25) fought back once headed last time when wining over C&D and he can follow up.
The selection is well drawn for one who likes to race prominently and the hope is that jockey Andrea Atzeni makes plenty of use of the gelding’s stamina and guts which won the day last time.
The Group action is from Leopardstown and Fields Of Athenry - 12/1 at BetVictor for the St Leger next month - puts his classic credentials on the line in the Ballyroan Stakes.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner of this Group 3 contest for the last couple of years with winning favourites although they were both older horses and the classic generation have not won the event since 2007.
Dermot Weld saddled the winner four years on the spin from 2009-2012 and he relies upon Edelpour who won both starts on soft ground in the spring but has been off the track since early May.
Morning Mix (7.30) has got a stone to find on official figures with Fields Of Athenry but the Bolger runner gets the vote.
The selection could not have been more impressive than when winning a Curragh maiden back in June over 10f but clearly gets this trip and his handler suggested he was up to this class when winning last time.
He might be overlooked in the betting given he is twice the odds of the O’Brien runner with BetVictor (25/1) for the final classic of the season but can give the likely favourite plenty to think about.
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