A wonderful days racing with the highlight Sandown’s evening card featuring a couple of listed contests and two Group 3 races all being televised live on ITV 4.
The listed National Stakes is, arguably, the best juvenile contest seen in Britain to date and the draw has not been kind to the market leaders with Konchek out in stall eight (of nine) and Blown By Wind out on the wing in nine.
The form of Konchek’s Newmarket success has taken a couple of knocks although I am convinced he is a useful colt. Marginal preference, however, is for Sabre (6.35) who was constantly denied a run, but rattled home at Newcastle last month on debut for Richard Fahey. The colt is 11/1 with BetVictor and is the each way vote from stall three. Tony Hamilton will have to get him out of the stalls a bit quicker than he did on debut, but the hope is that he knows his job this evening with that initial experience under his belt.
Without Parole (7.05) is a confident selection in the listed Heron Stakes for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, given the colt (Ostilio) he gave 7lbs and 6L beating to at Yarmouth on his reappearance has subsequently won a Newmarket handicap and is now rated 90. The colt is well drawn in stall three, holds Group one entries later in the season and is a shade of odds on at 10/11 with BetVictor.
Gabr makes his seasonal reappearance and is one to keep on the right side of this term although he is housed out in stall nine for his reappearance. This looks an above average renewal of this listed contest.
David Simcock has his string in excellent form and the 7-y-old Sheikhzayedroad (7.35) ran as well as ever when runner up at Meydan behind the brilliant French stayer Vazirabad last time. I would suggest that is the best 2m form on offer and as long as they go a decent gallop, I would be disappointed if he were out of the first three in the Gp 3 Henry II Stakes over two miles.
The selection is 5/1 with BetVictor and he gets the nod over Chester Cup winner Magic Circle who did us a favour on the Roodeye earlier in the month. The 3/1 favourite is Weekender and he is one I am keen to oppose.
Poet’s Word (8/11 at BetVictor) was no match for Hawkbill in the Sheema Classic over 12f at Meydan last month in a race that the positions did not alter much throughout the contest – I feel the form is dubious. His second in the Irish Champions Stakes is, arguably, better form although Churchill was below his best on that occasion and it did not look a vintage renewal of that Group 1 contest.
I am going to take a chance on Laraaib (8.10) despite the fact that the colt is officially rated 17lbs inferior to the odds on favourite. The selection looked the type to improve again as a four-year-old although he did lose his unbeaten record when third in the Gp 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes when last seen back in August. Fast ground clearly suits and at 6/1 with BetVictor I would be disappointed if he did not run a big race for Owen Burrows.
At Goodwood, this afternoon Mutawaffer (1.30) must go close after running a race full of promise when fourth at Ascot over 5f on debut. Today’s additional furlong should suit and he can get favourite backers off to a winning start.
Gossiping (2.00) won the 7f handicap on this card 12 months ago from a 4lbs lower mark. The selection finished runner up at Chester earlier in the month from a 1lb lower mark so he goes into the race in good form and we know the track suits.
I felt Lady Bergamot (2.35) ran a good race on her reappearance on ground softer than ideal at Salisbury on her reappearance. A C&D winner from a 3lbs lower mark last year she looks the type to improve again this term for James Fanshawe.
The listed Height Of Fashion Stakes is a poor renewal and is unlikely to take a great deal of winning. My two against the field are the once-raced Derrymore and Mrs Sippy (3.45) with marginal preference for the Simcock filly who won a Doncaster maiden on her second juvenile start and holds entries in the Oaks tomorrow week and Royal Ascot next month.