• Sun 22 May, 2022
  • 02:38 BST
  • 22:38 EST (BST-4)
  • 04:38 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Thursday

Good – watered – ground at Sandown forecast for this evening’s feature card at Sandown although there is the possibility of some isolated rogue but heavy showers with even the possibility of thunder overnight. The change in the ground at Killarney did for My Mate Mozzie on Tuesday although I do feel there might still be something for him at Galway later in the summer.

Deciduous heads the market in the 1m 6f handicap for Godolphin but he is not bred for extreme distances, and I am not convinced he will appreciate this step up in trip having scored at Leicester last time over a-mile-and-a-half. Charlie Appleby’s colt has only been raised 5lbs for that success, but he was ridden by talented 7lbs claimer Harry Davies and, as a result, is, arguably, 12lbs higher this evening.

Kincade is progressing nicely, and he would be the selection on soft ground but as long as conditions are as described then MOONLIT WARRIOR (6.15) can continue the good recent run of form for Michael Bell. The selection has won his last couple of staying handicaps on polytrack and fast ground and is clearly progressing well although he is now 9lbs higher than when scoring at Chelmsford last month.

Bell has had a couple of similar staying types in Harrar and Candy Kitchen make wining handicap debuts off attractive marks in recent weeks and I would be surprised if Moonlit Warrior has hit his ceiling off a mark of 65. That said significant overnight rain would be a negative.

Recommendation: Moonlit Warrior 6.15 Sandown

Reach For The Moon heads the market for the listed Heron Stakes for Her Majesty the Queen and the son of Sea The Stars did not finish out of the first two in five starts as a juvenile on ground ranging from soft to good to firm including a 7f Group three here back in August. Surprisingly, he escapes a penalty for that success.

The favourite does hold future entries over 12f at Royal Ascot and in the Group 1 Eclipse back here in July which suggests connections are unsure as to his optimum trip, however, and he may be vulnerable over a mile on his seasonal debut IF the ground remains fast.

AKHU NAJLA (7.15) was visually very impressive when winning a maiden at Yarmouth on his reappearance and trainer Roger Varian immediately nominated this race at his next target with the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes his Royal Ascot target if this evening confirms the promise of that Yarmouth win. The selection cost 2.7m guineas as a yearling and is a half-brother to Guineas winner Galileo Gold.

He raced up the stands’ rail on his seasonal debut and jockey David Egan hinted that might have been a golden highway and it should be noted that the Gosdens, who saddle Reach For The Moon, had the runner up at Yarmouth.

Recommendation: Akhu Najla 7.15 Sandown

There are no prices available at the time of writing for the 10f Novice event and I am looking forward to seeing FRANCESCO CLEMENTE (7.45) step up in distance having landed the Wood Ditton on debut over a mile.

The selection was posted wide but was well on top under Dettori at Newmarket and he is bred to appreciate the step up to ten furlongs. I was disappointed with Subastar on his reappearance and the Gosden trained son of Dubawi is an exciting prospect. He is entered in the Gp 2 King Edward VII Stakes over twelve furlongs at Royal Ascot and this looks an ideal steppingstone.

Recommendation: Francesco Clemente 7.45 Sandown

At Market Rasen this afternoon I hope to see WAKE UP EARLY (3.40) go one better than when runner up at Sedgefield last time from a 3lbs lower mark. Dr Richard Newland has been back amongst the winners in recent days and his 8-y-old is one of the few in the field open to further improvement in marathon contests. His jumping is not yet the finished article, but stamina is his forte and this three-and-a-half-mile contest will take some getting irrespective of underfoot conditions.

Recommendation: Wake Up Early 3.40 Market Rasen

At Lingfield – turf – this afternoon it is interesting to see SULOCHANA (2.30) drop back in trip to a mile-and-a-half having been campaigned over further since disappointing over this distance back in October 2020. I thought the selection was the main danger to Mr Tambourine Man at Salisbury last time but both disappointed, although she came there cantering two out before fading on her seasonal reappearance. Do note Mr Tambourine Man dotted up back over hurdles earlier in the week.

There is no guaranteed pace in the race which would not suit Hughie Morrison’s mare although Engrave has led in the past. I don’t think Jim Crowley – who has never ridden the selection in the past – will be instructed to allow the race to develop into a sprint and it would not surprise me if Crowley made the running if nobody else went on.

Only William Hill have prices on the race at present and they are short enough at 13/8. I would think she will go off about 2/1 with Deep Sigh and Rozalia considered the main dangers.

Recommendation: Sulochana 2.30 Lingfield

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