Sandown – 28th May 2015

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This race has to be about the up and coming long distance horses and I think it will pay to concentrate on the four-year-olds in the field.

Simenon is now eight and has been off the track for nearly a year. I don’t think he’ll be capable of showing his best form again and it’s even less likely he’ll show it first time out. The same can be said about Forgotten Voice, who is now ten years old.

High Jinx is now seven and has to concede 8lbs to the four year olds, he should improve from his run at Longchamps earlier in the month, but my feeling is that the penalty will be too much.

For me the best form line that we have to go on for this is the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last month. The race was won by the highly thought of Mizzou, he doesn’t run today but the second, VENT DE FORCE, and third, Forever Now, do. That race was Vent De Forces first run of the season and you would expect plenty of improvement from it. Forever Now had the benefit of a previous run last time out, yet still finished behind the selection. I don’t see how he’ll be able to reverse the form and I’m actually expecting the distance to be increased over this tougher trip.

Trip To Paris is another potential improver, after racking up a hat-trick of wins in handicap company this year, he gets his chance to step up to group level. On what he’s shown so far I would still fancy Vent De Force to have the beating of him.

I would have price Vent De Force at nearer the 3.00 (2/1) mark, so the 3.75 (11/4) looks a good bet to me, for a horse who’s won at Sandown and has the best recent form.

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Back Vent De Force at 3.75 – Betfair Sportsbook[/symple_box]

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”19:45- Brigadier Gerard Stakes” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

This is probably the best Group Three race we’ll see all season. Arab Spring, Eagle Top, Tullius (at a mile) and WESTERN HYMN are all potential Group One winning horses. We can also add Tryster into the list, on his all weather form.

I’ve gone around in circles in this race, but the one thing that I’ve always maintained is that Tryster is too short a price. He’s rattled up a five timer on the all-weather this year, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to transfer that back to turf. He has a excellent turn of foot, so ground conditions and the pace of the race may help him, but the last time he ran on turf he finished fourth in a weak handicap, weakening in the final furlong. This is a huge step up in class for him and until he’s proven that he can do it, I want to avoid him.

Eagle Top is having his first run since July last year. he’s had is injury problems and this is his first race of the season. The stable have said that he’ll need the run, which is a concern. My other concern is that the trip may be too short for him, he looks an excellent prospect at twelve furlongs this year. Over ten furlongs and potentially needing the run, I have to oppose him.

Tullius shouldn’t be in this race, he doesn’t stay the trip and has already been beaten seven lengths by Western Hymn this season.

Arab Spring is like Eagle Top, in the sense that his best trip is twelve furlongs. He’ll come on plenty for his last run, however the form of that race hasn’t been franked. Pether’s Moon was beaten eighteen lengths next time out, Romsdal was beaten nearly five lengths, whilst Windshear has been beaten a combined thirty-seven lengths in his two subsequent starts.

That all leaves me with ten-furlong, Sandown specialist Western Hymn. Two course and distance wins show that he handles the track and trip fine. He finished fourth in The Champion Stakes last year, where he found Noble Mission, Al Kazeem and Free Eagle too good for him, but there’s no shame in being beaten by those three. However, I’m encouraged by the form of hisĀ  win in The Gordon Richards Stakes last month. He beat Postponed, who came out on Sunday and ran a half lenght third to Al Kazeem in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup, with The Grey Gatsby back in fourth. That is top class ten furlong form. On the form that he’s shown of the distance, he should be the favourite in this race. The fact that he isn’t may be to do with ground concerns, however seeing as his only fun on quick ground resulted in a sixth placed finish in The Derby, I have no concerns on that front. Frankie Dettori has chosen Eagle Top over him, but Frankie also choseĀ  Jack Hobbs over Golden Horn in The Dante. I think that James Doyle is more than a good enough replacement.

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Back Western Hymn at 6.00 – BetVictor[/symple_box]

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