Andrew Balding: I've a few chances among 16 weekend runners
The Betway ambassador previews a bumper weekend featuring the final day of the York Ebor meeting as well as a Betway-sponsored card at Sandown.
Sunday Sandown runners
Aztec Empire is making his debut (15:55). They’re all unraced, so you have no idea what you’re up against, but he has been doing all the right things at home and is a lovely prospect for the future.
Florence Street has got a bit of a poor draw again, but this is the ideal trip for her (18:15). She was disappointing last time, but we’ve taken the hood off in the hope it could spark something for her.
Flyin’ High probably needed the run last time at Newcastle, but he was only beaten just over two lengths. He’s in good form at home and could run well off his current mark (18:45).
York Ebor runners
Bell Rock has had a break since his run in the Hunt Cup. Prior to that, he ran well in the Diomed at Epsom. These are similar conditions, and he could run a big race (13:50).
Valley Forge has had this as his target for a while (14:25). It’s a very competitive race but I think he’s still reasonably handicapped. He’s going up in trip for the first time, but he stayed very well to win last time out over 1m4f.
Fivethousandtoone is a horse we rate very highly based on his homework, but nothing has gone right for him this season. However, provided the ground doesn’t get any softer than good, these are his optimum conditions (15:00).
We run two in the Ebor (15:35) that have both had this as their objective for a while.
Alounak won the Old Newton Cup at Haydock in July and that form would give him a good chance. There is good prize money up for grabs, so we’re hopeful he could pick some up.
The same goes for Tribal Craft after what was a career best at Goodwood last time. She’s arguably well-in at the weights and any rain would help her chances, too.
Good Birthday has been pretty consistent this year. He won well at Doncaster last time and, although this is a much deeper contest, he does have the ability to run well if everything goes right for him (16:45).
Saturday Sandown runners
Strozzi ran very well in a nursery last time out and I think he’s still on a fair mark. He’s got the ability to go very well (13:30).
Star From Afarhh is taking on the colts in the Betway Solario Stakes (14:05).
Although the form of her Newmarket debut win is working out well, I do think Reach For The Moon will be tough to beat. If she could get placed and get that black-type, it will be a huge help for her page.
Auria won well at Sandown last time. She won’t mind any cut in the ground so the forecasted rain will help her. She’s in good form at home. We’re happy with her going into the race and she’ll have a good chance of getting some prize money (14:40).
Pivoine has been pretty consistent this year. I’d be concerned if we got a lot of rain as he’s better on a sound surface, but he’s won races of this nature before (15:15).
Nebulosa , on the other hand, wouldn’t mind any rain. She ran pretty well last time in a muddling race and never got the gaps. She’s been working well and won’t be far away (16:15).
Other Saturday runners
Morando is not getting any younger, but still has a fair level of ability and loves soft ground. The more the rain can fall in Chester (14:10), the better for him. He’s a very able horse when he gets his conditions.
It looks like we’ve found a good opportunity for Nasim , who should take all of the beating at the third time of asking (Lingfield, 17:40).
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