• Tue 18 Jun, 2024
  • 12:16 BST
  • 08:16 EST (BST-4)
  • 14:16 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

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

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SUNDAY SOVEREIGN (2.40) looks capable of blitzing his rivals on first start for Roger Varian in the feature Scurry Stakes over five furlongs at Sandown.

He showed blistering speed in Ireland last year, beating Arizona three lengths at the Curragh before fairly rattling off the firm ground at Tipperary to score by seven lengths. Sunday Sovereign was sent off 13-8 favourite for the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot but the softer ground possibly blunted his effort, finishing a disappointing eighth to A’ali.

Charlie Appleby’s Lazuli had a wind operation after losing his unbeaten record at Newmarket last October but returned there last weekend to chase home Smokey Bear over six furlongs. He was quite keen that day so the drop to the minimum trip should be ideal.

SOLID STONE (3.15) heads the market for the mile handicap and the Sir Michael Stoute representative will be difficult to dislodge. The gelding won on debut at Newmarket last April and continued to run well in defeat, most notably when just outpointed by Bless Me on firm ground at Yarmouth.

ZAAKI (3.35) is out to repeat last year’s Diomed Stakes victory, the Group 3 contest having been switched from its traditional Epsom slot to Newbury under the emergency re-scheduled programme.

The Stoute-trained five-year-old is evenly matched with likely favourite King Of Comedy on their running behind Benbatl at Newmarket last September and may be more at home than his chief market rival on the fast ground.

John Gosden’s King Of Comedy hasn’t always looked straight-forward but took high rank last summer, chasing home Circus Maximus at Royal Ascot before a meritorious fourth to Japan in the Juddmonte International at York. Martin Harley takes the mount for the first time.

Mark Johnston has Marie’s Diamond out again quickly after he demolished his field with an eye-catching front-running victory at Newmarket eight days ago. Similar forcing tactics are sure to be employed and he comes here super-fit.

MISS CELESTIAL (2.25) makes plenty of each-way appeal for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris in the Listed fillies’ race over seven furlongs. She is entitled to strip a bit sharper on the back of a run at Haydock six days ago when not disgraced in fifth behind very smart Liberty Beach. The extra furlong here should suit.

gets the nod over Domino Darling in another Listed fillies’ contest, this time over 1m 2f.

Cabaletta was good enough to repel subsequent winner Frankly Darling on her sole run last year. That came at Yarmouth on heavy, so she has something to prove on this faster surface. Ryan Moore is a good booking. Domino Darling also scored in the mud on her sole outing at Doncaster and William Haggas seems happy enough to let her take her chance on this quicker terrain.

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