We’re spreading ourselves far and wide this week with runners from France to England, early afternoon to late evening all on the betting shortlist with everything from lowly staying handicaps to Group 3 sprints on the go.
Sandown takes most of the attention on Saturday with potentially top class colt Too Darn Hot a strong favourite for the Solario Stakes, though he may not have things his own way there and so we’ve skipped that race for betting purposes.
We have five value bets in total, starting with a Gallic scuttle featuring a number of British runners:Embed from Getty Images
1.20 Chantilly (Prix d’Arenberg - Group 3) - QUEEN OF BERMUDA
Don’t worry about the location as it’s easy for us to get a bet on these good French races online these days and it could pay to side with William Haggas’ Exceed And Excel filly. Winner of a decent Listed race at Deauville last time, France seems to agree with her and she could well follow up.
Although she quickly polished off six races between May and August her overall profile is one of a filly improving sufficiently for her age and so a first win in Group company could be on the cards at the main expense of Soldier’s Call, another UK runner.
3.00 Sandown (Atalanta Stakes - Group 3) - LAUGH ALOUD
We have an odds-on favourite to try and beat here in the shape of Group 1 Nassau Stakes third Veracious, however all things considered John Gosden’s Laugh Aloud could be just too big a price. Off the track with a leg injury since last year’s Derby meeting, she looks a risk but certainly one worth taking.
Having stormed clear to win the Princess Elizabeth Stakes she looked every bit a Group 1 filly before her career was halted and with training techniques the way they are today, especially where Mr Gosden is concerned, it’s worth chancing at these odds that she’s ready to resume her forward momentum.
Veracious is obviously good but has to step back down in trip here while Awesometank appears next on the list but really shouldn’t be good enough to trouble the big two with all things being equal.
3.15 Chester (Chester Stakes - Listed Race) - HOCHFELD
Don’t get me wrong, likely short priced favourite Duretto has every chance on the book and is clearly the number one danger, but there’s something about Mark Johnston’s Hochfeld that tells me he could be great value in this contest.
Johnston tends not to believe in giving them too much of a break and with that lots of punters forget that his horses are no more or less likely to improve than others of a similar age. Crucially, Hochfeld ran his best race to date last time out when running fourth of 16 at York and there is clearly more to come from him as the season wears on.
His conqueror at York, Here And Now, is worth shortlisting too along with the aforementioned Duretto of Andrew Balding’s yard.
7.00 Lingfield (2m Handicap) - TWISTER
A rare foray into the evening racing and low grade handicaps for us but it could be worth it to back Sir Mark Prescott’s Twister. This trainer is well known for improving these rather gimcrack staying types and for once we may have even found one at a backable price.
The gelding is 0 from seven so far but importantly is improving and will be better suited by today’s task than when third in a small field at Chelmsford last time out.
8.15 Chelmsford (6f Nursery Handicap) - TOPICAL
Superstar trainer John Gosden has Marhaba Milliar in this race who is 2/2 in his career to date which almost certainly means he’ll attract the most cash in the ring. I can’t help feeling though that Richard Hannon’s runner is much better than he needed to show us at Thirsk and will pull out a bit more this time.
The Queen’s runner is coming along nicely in his three runs to date and now that he’s in handicaps one assumes connections aren’t too bothered about throwing the kitchen sink at him if it appears he has a winning chance, so with that in mind the booking of Ryan Moore is another major positive.