Lady Hamana – 13:50 Sandown
A low draw is very important on the sprint course here, the closer you are to the rail the better, because obviously you have less ground to make up and luckily I am drawn 1 on Saturday. She is a course and distance winner which always helps here as well, it might not have been the strongest of Listed races she won, and when she did win the ground was slightly quicker than it will be here. She takes on older horses that will be a little bit harder than her, but the ground is drying out, Karl is flying this year, she has a good draw, so I am very hopeful of a good run.
Spirit Catcher – 14:25 Sandown
He is a consistent horse and he just caught touched off the last day up at Newcastle. There doesn’t look like there is a lot of pace in the race and there’s a good chance I will be able to dictate and he’s only carrying 8-6 but it is obviously a very competitive handicap. This is a better grade than usual, but he’s getting plenty of weight from some horses that have been around for a while.
Stenton Glider – 15:00 Sandown
On form she is the one to beat, on ratings too, she is top rated in the race, she ran very well the last day in the German Guineas. If you look at the form when she was second to Remarquee in the Fred Darling, that was obviously a good run, especially as the winner looked a bit unlucky in the Coronation afterwards. So the form is there, she’s back to Listed level, I think she’s got every chance to win this race, she goes in any ground but any juice in the ground would be fine for her too.
Eclipse Stakes – 15:40 Sandown
Paddington was very impressive in the St James’s Palace and stepping up in trip should be no problem being out of a Montjeu mare, so the ten furlongs shouldn’t be an issue and he’s obviously getting 7lbs from the mare Emily Upjohn, the weight-for-age can be crucial. You can’t take anything away from her, her first run back in the Coronation was very impressive, she’s dropping down in distance, but she showed a good turn of foot at Epsom so she’s not a slow filly. Obviously, Paddington has been a lot busier than her this season but if I had the choice I would pick Paddington. When he won at Ascot he travelled wide, and he looked like he was just going through the motions most of the way so I think he will stay no problem. I think West Wind Blows will make the running with Paddington following him through, then Emily Upjohn, and Dubai Honour will be last early to try and pick up the pieces and some even better prize money late on.
Moktasaab – 16:15 Sandown
I don’t know much about him, he’s obviously consistent in these handicaps, his best run was probably at Newmarket over a mile and a half on his first run of the season. He’s been running back down over ten furlongs since, the latest start at Chelmsford can probably be forgotten, it’s a competitive handicap but he’s back on turf and on a winning mark so he might run well.
Empty Metaphor – 16:50 Sandown
He came from Ireland, won a maiden in soft ground over there last year and has obviously changed connections. He’s running in a handicap for the first time off a mark of 86, he’s currently the outsider of the field but it does look to be a tough little race to be fair.
Abu Royal – 17:25 Sandown
He won over a maiden over a mile up at Ayr, but if you forget his last run at Nottingham on very quick ground, he could still be fairly well handicapped. He’s stepping up an extra two furlongs in distance, and he’s not really bred to stay that far, but if he does stay, he’d have a squeak in another decent, competitive handicap.
Have a great weekend,