• Sat 28 Jan, 2023
  • 00:07 GMT
  • 20:07 ET (GMT-4)
  • 02:07 CET (GMT+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Sandown, Leicester and Haydock on Saturday. View selections below.

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JUST A STING (3.35) is a fairly confident selection to go close in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown. Step Back won this last year off 10st and Harry Fry’s Just A Sting is lurking near the foot of the weights on the back of a fairly light campaign.

The seven-year-old scored at Exeter, a tough right-handed track like Sandown, and also Uttoxeter in October/November before posting an excellent second to Adrien Du Pont at Kempton’s Christmas fixture. I’m prepared to forgive his disappointing effort in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham following a break as the track was riding just too soft for him.

The Flat turf season is starting to move up a gear and the King Richard III Stakes at Leicester, a Listed event over seven furlongs, is the early-season target of DONJUAN TRIUMPHANT (2.45).

Andrew Balding and Silvestre De Sousa have been a match made in heaven for the emergent King Power Racing operation and Donjuan Triumphant was only caught close home by favourite Emmaus in the same race 12 months ago. The track was riding heavy that day so any rain would be to his advantage. The opposite is the case for paper favourite Eqtidaar, winner of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. All his best form is over six furlongs on quick ground.

MOONLIGHT SPIRIT (3.25) defends his unbeaten all-weather record in the 1m 4f handicap and Charlie Appleby’s son of Dubawi can take advantage of the 3lb he receives from recent odds-on Lingfield winner So High representing John Gosden and Frankie Dettori.

Gosden and Dettori also team up later on the card with SUCELLUS (5.00) and the three-year-old colt looks capable to giving away 7lb all round. He was an expensive odds-on second to Mark Johnston’s Living Legend at Kempton in late March, hanging slightly under pressure, but scored on his racecourse debut at Wolverhampton in December. This doesn’t look a particularly strong 1m 2f Novice Stakes.

There are some big fields at Haydock where WAHASH (2.05) can repay an each-way interest in the Betway Old Boston Handicap. Richard Hannon has been firing in winners and Wahash led over two out at Bath on Good Friday before finishing third to Petrus. The grey Wahash was pipped by Power Of Darkness at Salisbury last summer and the winner gave useful Beringer a real fight at Newmarket’s Craven meeting.

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