Sandown Saturday Could Belong To Al Suhail5 min read
We begin our weekend racing preview at Sandown Park and in the 10f Handicap, Solid Stone looked ready for a return to today’s trip when runner up at Yarmouth over a mile on Sunday. The 3-year-old’s only previous turf win came at a mile-and-a-quarter at Newmarket back in the spring and Sir Michael Stoute has won this corresponding race twice in the last seven years.
He must go close as must the gamble of the race Country (5/2) who would have been the selection on good or softer ground but may not prove to be as effective under today’s conditions described as good to firm at midday on Friday. Note Country is 16/1 at BetVictor for the Cambridgeshire and he will certainly need to win at least one more race from his current mark to get into the race.
David Menuisier saddled the winner of this race in 2017 with Thundering Blue and his Migration (2.25) gets the vote at 4/1. The selection showed an impressive turn of foot to score over C&D last time under Silvestre De Sousa and the hope is that Jason Watson can get a similar tune out of the colt this afternoon.
Jubiloso (3.00) returns to a mile having met trouble in running when third over 7f at Glorious Goodwood last time. She is well drawn in stall three this afternoon and this smaller field should suit. Sir Michael Stoute has won this race five times since 2006 and I will be disappointed if Jubilosa (10/11) does not add to his excellent record.
Positive finished runner up to the outstanding juvenile Pinutubo in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last time and that is the best form on offer. Preference, however, is for Charlie Appleby’s Al Suhail (3.35) who easily landed the odds in a fast time at Yarmouth. I hope stablemate Full Verse ensures there is a fast pace for William Buick to track as the selection can be keen. Note, Appleby saddled the winner of this race two years ago with subsequent Derby winner Masar.
Imperial Empire (4.10) set the pace for stablemate Al Suhail at Yarmouth last month, but he looks fairly treated for his handicap debut in the 7f nursery. The selection went off odds on for his racecourse debut and, while he is no star, I would be disappointed if he were not up to defying an opening mark of 75.
Angus Villiers is an apprentice we are going to hear a lot more of going forward and I believe he can ride a winner courtesy of Ginger Fox (4.45) in the Mile Handicap for Ian Williams.
Al Suhail (3.35)
Imperial Empire (4.10)
Ginger Fox (4.45)
I expect to see a big run from Berkshire Rocco (1.35) in the opener at Chester for Andrew Balding. The selection will get further than 7f in time but as long as he gets out on terms from stall two I hope he can outstay his rivals.
In the listed Chester Stakes Outbox (2.45) can go one better than when runner up over today’s 1m 6f trip at Goodwood on his penultimate start. A repeat of that run should be good enough although Dermot Weld brings over the Argentinean bred Stivers – who is having his first start for the stable. A check of the market is advised.
Berkshire Rocco (1.35)
At Beverley, I hope to see Good Birthday (2.05) land the valuable opener for Andrew Balding coming back from a seven-week break. I’m not convinced the horse was happy on the fast ground at Newmarket last time and his third at Newbury in the London Cup earlier in the season is top class form.
Good Birthday (2.05)