Unfortunately the ground just went against our Irish Grand National selection Forever Gold. It was good to yielding when racing started, but it dried throughout the day and was much quicker by 5pm. That was never likely to suit Forever Gold, but he has one more big day in him when conditions are right. Dave Stevos is looking to bounce back and you can check out his free Sandown Friday Racing Tips on the TXODDS blog below.
Sandown Friday Racing Tips: 1.50 Esher Cup Handicap (Class 2)
First up on Friday at Sandown, live on ITV4, is the Esher Cup Handicap. Eleven 3yos will go to post and it is a cracking little contest. Plenty of unexposed sorts take their chances and at the prices Lestrade looks a very interesting contender.
Trained by William Jarvis, a handler with a superb record at Sandown. If you had a pound win on every one of his runners at the track you would be in profit by £62.50. That isn’t the only reason why Lestrade should be backed though, as the switch to quick ground and step up to a mile could really suit on pedigree.
His dam is a half-sister to the dam of Pakistan Star, a dual fast ground Group 1 winner. Lestrade’s three all-weather runs came over 7f and on each one he was staying on at the finish. He could have room to manoeuvre off his opening mark of 80 and at 18/1 he is the each way pick.
SANDOWN RACING TIP: LESTRADE E/W @ 18/1 4 PLACES NAP
Sandown Friday Tip: 2.25 – Gordon Richards Stakes (Group 3)
It is a case of quality rather than quantity in this 10f Group 3. A field of seven horses will go to post, a disappointing number for each way players. Crystal Ocean scrambled home in this last season on good to soft ground.
However, he was a different proposition on good to firm subsequently and he looks a worthy favourite with conditions to suit. However, his very best form has arguably come at further and for that reason he is worth taking on.
Thundering Blue is a very likeable sort but he has tended to need his seasonal returns in the past. One horse that won’t lack for fitness is the Roger Charlton trained Extra Elusive. This son of Mastercraftsman is very lightly raced for a 4yo and he ran a blinder on his seasonal return in March.
He was half a length behind the classy Mootasadir in a Listed heat at Kempton over today’s trip of 10f and he had Fabricate 5L behind. Extra Elusive loves quick ground, is a winner at this trip and at 22/1 a small e/w interest looks the way to go.
SANDOWN RACING TIP: EXTRA ELUSIVE E/W @ 22/1
Sandown Racing Tips: 3.00 – Classic Trial (Group 3)
Aidan O’Brien took the first big Derby Trial with Cape Of Good Hope at Epsom on Wednesday. The Sandown trial is a Group 3 run over 10f and six hopefuls will look to advertise their classic credentials. Bangkok is the favourite and it is no surprise really as the form of his last win has worked out very well.
Telecaster was 2L behind him at Doncaster and he has since bolted up at Windsor. How strong that form is remains to be seen and though Bangkok could frank it, his odds of just 11/8 look short enough.
One trainer that should always be feared in this race is John Gosden. He is on a hat trick and Alfaatik looks a fascinating contender. An 850k purchase, this son of Sea The Stars is bred in the purple and he overcame lots of adversity to win on his debut.
He was slow away, ran very green and yet still prevailed over 10f at Chelmsford. If the first time blinkers sharpen him up this Dante and Derby entry could produce a big run. At 13/2 he has to be worth a small interest each way.
SANDOWN FRIDAY TIP: ALFAATIK E/W @ 13/2
Sandown Friday Racing Tips: 3.35– Bet365 Mile (Group 2)
The closing live race of the day on ITV4 is the feature race, the Bet365 Mile. Roger Varian is flying right now and his Sharja Bridge is currently shading favouritism. He isn’t the most consistent sort though and he is far from guaranteed to back up his Doncaster win.
At half decent odds Regal Reality could make an impact for in form handler Sir Michael Stoute. This son of Intello won a Group 3 at Goodwood last season (8f gd/fm), beating Ostilio. If that form is taken literally, Regal Reality should have too much for Oh This Is Us.
A lot of Michael Stoute’s runners come on for a run and that has to be the worry. However, he is guaranteed to handle the ground and a mile looks his best trip. The booking of top jockey Ryan Moore catches the eye and he was on board for his debut win. If Regal Reality is ready to rock on his seasonal comeback he could be a danger to all. At odds of 15/2 an he could be worth backing each way.