Top Boy ran better than his finishing positions suggests at Chelmsford yesterday and Foxy boy lost all chance at the start at Beverley when he completely blew the exit from the stalls. Ginger Lady was the only selection to give us a return when she finished second in the final race at Chelmsford.
12.55 – Sandown:
Raising Sand. 1 pt e/w. Available at 11/1. (10Bet – 1/5 odds first 5)
Manson. 1 pt e/w. Available at 12/1. (188Bet, Skybet – 1/5 odds first 5)
The second race and the first handicap on Sandown’s Coral Eclipse card is a one mile affair for horses aged three and over. The most interesting of the three year olds is Tigre du Terre who is a progressive Colt entering his first handicap. He does so from a mark of 98 and, although it’s not a gimme, it does look manageable on the balance of his form. His only encounter ground faster than good saw him saunter to a facile win at prohibitive odds but he has to prove he can do it under similar conditions in a much better race. His breeding suggest that slower ground would be ideal but he may have the inherent class to prevail. However he is vying for favouritism and there are plenty of viable alternatives at bigger prices. Two of those are Raising Sand and Manson. Raising Sand progressed in the second half of last season, culminating in a close third in a big field at Ascot from a two pound lower mark than he runs from here. He has been withdrawn on more than one occasion when the ground has ridden fast but he was allowed to take his chance under quicker conditions in the Royal Hunt Cup last time out and he ran better than his final seventh position suggests. He was second of a group of ten that raced far side and finished to some effect after being given a lot to do. His best form to date has come on the straight track at Ascot but he has almost comparable form on the round course there and at Haydock. He has a tricky draw to overcome but has the assistance of Adam Kirby to help him and, if connections deem that the ground is suitable, he has the ability to get very competitive. Manson is three pounds lower than when finishing fifth (beaten just under three lengths) in this race last season and was doing all his best work late on from a wide draw. He has fared better on that score this time round and has produced his best four efforts on grass in this country over this C/D from just five previous visits. On the back of a 255 day break he was just over a length away in second behind Via Serendipity over C/D last month. Again, strong at the finish, he is four pounds better off with the winner for a length and a quarter beating by a race-fit rival. There is plenty of pace in this race and that will suit a horse who likes to be held up and produced off a good gallop.
1.45 – Haydock – Wingingit. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1. (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sunbets – 1/5 odds first 5)
It will be a surprise if this good quality 12 furlong Handicap is run at anything other than an a strong pace and that could set it up for one of the closers. At the relative prices preference is for the Andrew balding trained Wingingit. She enters handicap company for the first time on these shores since joining current connections last September. She has produced creditable performances in four Listed and a Group Two race since then. She was progressive last season and looked on her way back to peak form when looking a bit unlucky when finishing third in a Listed race at Pontefract last time out. She was strong at the finish on that stiff track and give the impression she will be seen to best effect in a fast run race in a big field at around today’s trip. She mainly travels well in her races and her sometime trait of racing too keenly will be helped by the likely pace of this race.
6.00 – Carlisle:
Straightothepoint. 2.5 pts win. Available at 5/1.
Picks Pinta. 1 pt win. Available at 11/1.
7.10 – Nottingham – Haroon. 0.75 pts e/w. available at 18/1.