Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, has five more horses to follow on Saturday with four at Sandown and one at Haydock. View selections below
SIR Henry Cecil and long-standing owner Khalid Abdulla heaved a collective sigh of relief when Frankel was given the all-clear after his recent injury scare and it is onwards and upwards at Sandown Park on Saturday when the famous silks can be carried to victory courtesy of TWICE OVER (3.45) and STIPULATE (4.20).
Twice Over was beaten on the nod by Questioning when a hot favourite at Newmarket’s Craven meeting earlier in the month but the seven-year-old will strip tighter for the experience in an interesting renewal of the bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes. Ever-popular Twice Over scooped the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse over course and distance a couple of seasons ago and is fancied to take this Group 3 prize if coping with heavy underfoot conditions.
Stipulate was the big outsider of two Abdulla horses sent to post for the Feilden Stakes at HQ but the market got it horribly wrong as he fairly bolted up. Stipulate looks a worthy favourite for the four-runner bet365 Classic Trial, although Aidan O’Brien’s Imperial Monarch, winner of a maiden at the Curragh in September on his only racecourse start, remains a Classic dark horse.
On Sandown’s traditional mixed card, jumping enthusiasts have the bet365 Gold Cup to unravel and Alan King’s WEST END ROCKER (3.10) will be very much at home on soft ground over this demanding 3m 5f trip. Winner of the Becher Chase by 22 lengths in December, West End Rocker returned to Aintree with a leading chance in the John Smith’s Grand National but, after charging the tape in one of the chaotic false starts, then proceeded to crash out at the second fence. At least he arrives here a fresh horse.
The annual Flat v Jump jockeys’ handicap brings the curtain down on a varied programme and GREAT SHOT (5.20) is worth a second glance. The Marju gelding finished fifth to Grooved over a longer trip here in August when weakening inside the final furlong. Encouragingly, the track was riding soft that day and Great Shot will be sharper for a recent run at Wolverhampton (third), his first outing in almost six months.
The ground will also be pretty deep at Haydock and TILSWORTH GLENBOY (6.55) should handle conditions well enough. John Jenkins has his string in great heart (121 from his last three runners) and Tilsworth Glenboy, a strong traveller who doesn’t always find as much as expected off the bridle, will get a nice tow into the race with trailblazer Bold Marc in the line-up.
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