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Sandown Preview

Morning all,

Racing fans are in for a Thursday treat with Sandown’s six racing evening card which gets underway at 5:40. The feature races include the National Stakes (6:15); the Group 3 Coral Henry II Stakes (6:50) and the Group 3 Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes (7:25). There’s also Coral Whitsun Cup (8:00). The latter race used to be one of the big spring handicaps back in the day. It’s only a Class 3 contest now but it remains a decent race.

Inside today’s column I have looked at the Sandown feature races. Plus, you’ll find another trainer whose runners have been profitable to follow in June.

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If your close to Sandown and you are free. I would seriously consider going to Sandown for this evening’s racing. There’s usually a good atmosphere, the card is good, and you can get a ticket for the Grandstand for just £15, which includes access to the parade ring. Given the economic times we live in that represents fantastic value for an evening at the races.

The going at Sandown is being described as good to soft, good in places on the round course.

6:15 – Coral National Stakes (Listed Race) – 5f

Eight juveniles have been declared for this Listed contest which could provide some Royal Ascot clues.

The early bird betting is headed by the Roger Varian trained Tajalla who looked a very useful juvenile when winning at Newmarket’s Craven Meeting on his racecourse debut. Irish raider Crispy Cat also won his racecourse debut and then ran the useful Blackbeard to a short head in a Listed race at the Curragh. The winner has gone in again in Group 3 company, so the form looks solid, and the speedy Crispy Cat look the one to beat.

Rumstar built on his racecourse debut promise when winning at Bath 15-days ago. There should be more to come from the colt and his trainer Johnny Portman is 5-16 31% with his runners in the past 14-days. David O’Meara brings down recent Thirsk scorer Maria Branwell from his Yorkshire base. The filly overcame greenness to win on her racecourse debut and is another open to more improvement.

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6:50 – Coral Henry II Stakes (Group 3)

Despite soft appearing in the going description Trueshan isn’t among the eight declared runners. Thunderous a length 2nd of 5 to Stradivarius in Yorkshire Cup 13-days ago seems likely to get an uncontested here. However, the 5-year-old doesn’t head the ante post betting.

The favourite is Enemy who looked an unlucky loser when neck third of 6 to Princess Zoe in Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last time. Quickthorn was a head in front of Enemy in the Sagaro. He proved he stayed 2m that day and today’s slight easier surface will suit the 5-year-old. Trainer Hughie Morrison won this race in 2015 with Vent De Force.

The front three in the betting have strong form claims but you can’t dismiss the chance of John Leeper who shaped with promise when a 3 ¾ length 4th of 9 to Hamish in Ormonde Stakes at Chester on his seasonal reappearance. The 4-year-old hasn’t so far lived up to his early potential but could yet do so if building on his Chester run.

The 9-year-old Euchen Glen won the Brigadier Gerard on this card 12 months ago. Despite his age he his best four RPR’s came in 2021. He stays 2m and given he won the Brigadier Gerard at a relatively unfancied 20/1, you couldn’t rule him out here especially with trainer Jim Goldie having his runners in such good form.  

7:25 – Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Group 3) – 1m 2f

Just the six for this year’s renewal and recent Group 3 C&D winner Mostahdaf will be tough to beat. He’s on an upward curve. However, he does need to win and win well to justify his Prince Of Wales's Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and Arc entries. The 4-year-old must give away 3lb to globetrotting Group 1 winner Addeybb whomakes his seasonal reappearance. The softer the better for the 8-year-old who finished runner-up to St Mark's Basilica in last season’s Coral Eclipse. He might be better for the run but given the form of the William Haggas yard, he can go well.

Bay Bridge is of interest on his return to action. The 4-year-old progressed from handicaps to ending last season winning in Listed company at Newmarket. A winner of all his four starts in 2021. He’s open to further improvement and given trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s record at improving older horses he could prove up to Group level this season. Sir Michael has saddled the winner of this race six times since 2006 and is 11 from 25 44% + 10.34 16 placed 64% with his 4 & 5-year-old runners in Group 3 races at Sandown.  

Stats Lab

Last Thursday I highlighted Johnny Murtagh as a trainer to follow in June, well his handicappers specifically. Today I have jumps trainer to follow in June. Now Summer jumping isn’t to everyone’s taste. In fact, it’s not really mine. However, there is one trainer whose runners I keep an eye over the summer and it Peter Bowen’s.

There used to be a time when you could back his runners blind between June & August. That’s not the case these days as the summer jumps programme is a much more competitive. That said there’s still some scope to follow the Welsh trainer in June.

Peter Bowen in June

Since 2013 Peter Bowen has produced 71 winners from 281 runners 25%. If you had backed all his runners you would have made a tidy £41.26 profit to a £1 level stake at industry SP. There are couple of caveats to his results. Firstly, although he had a 27%-win strike rate last June you would have made a loss of £1.93 to a £1 level stake.  Secondly, its important that you get on earlier when it comes to his runners, as they do tend to get backed.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on any flat turf runners he may have during the month. He doesn’t have many but since 2013 he’s 4 winners from 9 runners 44% with his runners on the level in June.

Advice: Back Peter Bowen runners in June.

In next Thursday’s column I have another jumps trainer whose runners can be backed in June with little damage to your betting bank.

Thursday Racing

Besides Sandown, there’s a flat card at Carlisle and jumps fixture at Limerick this evening. The afternoon action is at Haydock, Ripon and Yarmouth.

Gullane One’s Ripon win made it two winning naps on the trot for the column. Today’s best bet runs at Sandown.

Thursday Selection:


7:25 – Bay Bridge – 3/1 @ Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook.

Good luck with your Thursday bets.


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