1.50 SPRINT STAKES (GROUP 3)
This year’s renewal of the “Charge” doesn’t look the strongest race and, with question marks about numerous runners in the race, the value looks to be with MUTHMIR, even though he is a nine-year-old and may be vulnerable to younger legs.
He was fourth in this race in 2017 and second to Judicial in last year’s renewal. His first run this season at Epsom in the “Dash” was a strong one to say the least. He was just unlucky trying to get a clear run from off the pace and wasn’t beaten a half a length when finishing fifth.
This straight track will play to his strengths and should go close.
2.25 CHALLENGE HANDICAP
LUSH LIFE received a very canny Jamie Spencer ride when getting up close home over course and distance back in May and returns here against some of the rivals he beat that day.
I would totally forgive his last run on the all-weather at Newcastle because I think he is a better horse on grass. He faced History Writer, who reopposes off level weights at Sandown, that day and now he receives three pounds from that horse for beating him a neck and a head.
The market has History Writer half the price and that just leaves more value in a Jamie Spencer masterclass aboard Lush Life. He is drawn 14 which is not a concern because he will drop in at the back of the field at come home with a late run.
Trace back Enable’s family tree on the male line…
— Sandown Park (@Sandownpark) July 5, 2019
3.00 DISTAFF LISTED RACE (FILLIES)
This is where my nap of the day appears and on her first run for her new stable, ENCAPSULATION will be very hard to beat.
When trained by Noel Meade earlier this season, she progressed with each run and finished second to Pink Dogwood in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan. Pink Dogwood has since gone to finish second in the Epsom Oaks and third in a Pretty Polly Stakes, both Group One races. Andrew Balding has a very good filly on his hands and could be one to follow for later in the season.
Is she entitled to be favourite for this race? I actually think she should be shorter than she is and wouldn’t be surprised to see her much shorter before the race. Definite chance.
3.35 ECLIPSE STAKES (GROUP ONE)
All the hype in this race is about Enable and whether she will return in peak form and make it ten wins in a row.
From a punting perspective the question is whether you want to take the prohibitive odds when she hasn’t run for 245 days. Has she the best form in the race? No doubt she has. The big thing for me is the fitness aspect. This will be run at a very fast pace and she will need to be at 100 per cent.
MAGICAL has very little to find with her on ratings and is a very good filly in her own right. The difference for me here is Magical comes into this race, race-fit. The softer ground maybe caught her out a little behind Crystal Ocean at Royal Ascot but that was still a very solid run. She will stay further, so I think Ryan Moore will kick early in the straight and see can he test Enables fitness.
Magical is the value in this race for me.
“I like the way he is progressing” – Could Sir Michael Stoute get a record 7th win in the @Coral-Eclipse tomorrow? 🤔
Watch now or read the full story here ➡️ https://t.co/4dtMW9iyvS pic.twitter.com/Uj5isOqmKx
— Sandown Park (@Sandownpark) July 5, 2019
4.10 SMART MONEY HANDICAP
CHAPELLI is a very interesting runner here for the Mark Johnston team who have really hit form in the last week. This stable is normally very strong during July and this filly is too well handicapped to ignore.
She is five-pounds lower than when finishing placed in a higher grade handicap than this back at Newmarket in April. The booking of Frankie Dettori heightens confidence here and she could effectively set her own pace up front and be very hard to catch.
4.45 MARATHON (LISTED RACE)
CLEONTE was one of my selections when he obliged at Royal Ascot and I think he can follow up here under Oisin Murphy.
The race conditions will suit here and his stamina really came to the fore last tine out. He drops back from 2m 5f to 2m and this, for me, shouldn’t be an issue whatsoever.
He travelled well at Royal Ascot and put the race to bed quickly enough. The slight uphill finish at Sandown should suit and he will be the one staying on when the others have cried enough.
5:20 DON’T BET SILLY BET SAVVY HANDICAP
This race is full of potential unknown quantities on handicap debut and the one who looks like he could be better than handicap company is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained MADEEH.
His last run at Beverley behind Ironclad was run at a very stop-start gallop and turned into a dash up the straight. Madeeh set his own pace but just got outdone by a horse with a better finishing kick.
This race will be run at a more solid gallop and Madeeh will be able to sit off the pace and get into a rhythm. Personally I think he is far better than his mark of 78 suggests he is and he could prove this here.