Not the greatest weekend of racing but a very good card at Sandown where in the feature race Master Of War is likely to go off favourite for the Group 3 Solario Stakes but I was quite taken with Fantastic Moon (2.50) first time out and expect him to make up into a decent type; as a son of Dalakhani he wouldn’t want any more significant rain between now and post time but he is taken to maintain his unbeaten record with William Buick again in the saddle for the Jeremy Noseda-trained juvenile.
Ladys First got a soft lead at Haydock last time and may have been flattered by her success from Dank (3.25) but the latter is taken to reverse the form despite her poor draw as there ought to be plenty of pace in the race which should suit Sir Michal Stoute’s filly in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes. Three-year-olds have won the last six renewals of the race and the progressive Dank has the perfect profile of progressive sort but stall thirteen of 16 is a concern.
Prussian (4.00) will appreciate the return to 10f for Mark Johnston in the 10f handicap and his low draw in 3 is a positive for a horse who likes to race prominently; he will feel he is let loose off only 8st 3lbs and the booking of excellent light-weight Martin Lane is another plus. Indian Jack is a fascinating contender stepping back up to 10f having suggested he was crying out for this trip when a running on third at York last time.
Highland Duke (5.35) was taken out of a race at Windsor last weekend when the ground went against him but he looked one to follow at Bath previously and he can follow up in the finale at the Esher track given he has only been raised 4lbs for that success and looked one to keep on the right side of. Cape Explorer would be a big danger but the draw could have been kinder for someone who likes to race prominently.
Call At Midnight is an interesting runner at Market Rasen and would have got the nod but the mare is, arguably, better going left handed despite her win at Huntingdon and preference is for La Pantera Rosa (5.55) and Jason Maguire who is on a hat-trick following having been united with the excellent Jason Maguire for his last couple of runs.
Kai Broon (6.25) can only be a speculative selection but I have always felt he would improve back on fast ground; every time he has run this summer the heavens have opened and although he has run with credit he needs to hear his hooves rattle. As long as there is no further rain he can run well at a price.