Best bets for the Betway Summer Celebration at Sandown
Chad Yeomans runs through the card to reveal his top tips for a Betway-sponsored day of racing at Sandown on Saturday.
13:00 Play 4 To Score at Betway Handicap
Five-furlong races at Sandown Park take place in the centre of the course but they are some of the trickiest in which to find the winner. It’s a very stiff 5f with a steep finish, where draw bias can heavily favour the rail in slower-run races.
While plenty of these horses will be facing each other for the umpteenth time, I do like the credentials of the fit and in-form VANDAD who has won his last two races in emphatic fashion.
Sprinters in form are often hard to oppose when they find their rhythm and he could well rack up the hat-trick.
13:30 Betway Nursery Handicap
The second contest on the card is a nursery over 7f, with six runners declared to go to post.
LIAMARTY DREAMS made all the running to win in convincing style after being stepped up to 7f at Carlisle last time. That race wasn’t the strongest, but he won’t be far away if in the same kind of form here.
I also like the chances of STROZZI , trained by Betway ambassador Andrew Balding.
He showed promise on his first two career starts over 5f and 6f, but it was clear that he wanted to be stepping up in trip sooner rather than later. He then won his first effort over 7f and backed that up with a good second at Newmarket over the same distance – splitting two good rivals in Fall Of Rome (now rated 94) and La Pulga.
To my eye, he looks fairly treated off his current mark of 80.
14:05 Betway Solario Stakes
It looks as though John and Thady Gosden’s REACH FOR THE MOON will add his name to an illustrious list of former winners of this race.
Second on debut in a race that has worked out well at Yarmouth, he was then stepped up in class in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot where he was only beaten by Point Lonsdale – the best two-year-old we’ve seen this season on both sides of the Irish Sea.
His connections opted for him to win his maiden, which he did with minimal fuss when beating Harrow, who dotted up in a nursery at York on Thursday. He looks very smart and will take all of the beating.
At a bigger price, the once-raced filly STAR FROM AFARHH is a good each-way option. She gets the fillies’ allowance and the race she won first time up has worked out well. She could play a part at the business end.
14:40 Betway Atalanta Stakes
This year’s renewal of the Betway Atalanta Stakes – a Group 3 contest for fillies and mares over 1m –looks red-hot and fiercely competitive.
INDIGO GIRL didn’t look the same horse on her reappearance at Doncaster last month, but she could have just needed the run badly. If she runs to her second in the Fillies’ Mile last year, she is the horse to bear.
AURIA won nicely at Sandown in July and that improved performance also gives her a very good shout, especially as conditions look as though they will suit her down to the ground.
At a bigger price, JOUSKA will love Sandown’s uphill finish. She’ll be played late, but has plenty of ability and shouldn’t be overlooked to sneak into a place.
15:15 Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap
There’s no telling how much further improvement POET OF LIFE has in his locker. He was third at Sandown on debut but won both of his next two starts in good style. He looks well-in with the three-year-olds’ allowance.
I can’t get away from PLANTADREAM , though. He is the outsider of the field at the time of writing due to recent form which, at first glance, doesn’t appear overly inspiring.
However, a deeper dive shows he wasn’t beaten too far when finishing 10th at Sandown last time out in a better contest than this. He often lacks toe over 1m so this step up in trip by 2f will help him. He’s starting to look well handicapped on the best of his old form and I think this lightly-raced six-year-old can upset a few fancied runners here.
15:45 #BetYourWay at Betway Handicap
There is likely to be a short-priced favourite in the shape of Silent Escape for Saeed bin Suroor and Oisin [Murphy] but he’s not my idea of good value.
The top weight JACK’S POINT is coming down the weights and while his form this season reads 000, he has run better than that suggests and is now only 1lb higher than his latest winning mark. He also has the very talented Laura Pearson taking off 3lb in the saddle.
Any rain that falls will suit EPIC ENDEAVOUR who has had a busy season so far but is now on the lowest mark he’s had all campaign and has run well at Sandown in the past. His stable remain in good form, too.
16:15 Betway Fillies’ Handicap
The best bet on the card could be in the lucky last, as NEBULOSA looks as though she’ll take some stopping. She’s had a mixed season so far but, with excuses for her two poor runs, I strongly believe she’s better than we’ve seen.
She had no luck in running at Goodwood last time and was dropped 1lb in the handicap as a result. I think she’s solid and will take all the beating.
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