Epsom is normally the venue for the principal southern August Bank Holiday Monday card, but Sandown gets that honour this year and there is a competitive nine-race card at the Esher track with the last race not due off till 7.30. Conditions were described as soft at noon on Sunday although there is no more significant rain forecast.
In the 7f handicap Arabic Charm has form figures of 432 and is progressing with her racing but she is unproven on soft ground and marginal preference goes to Sansevero (5.15) who ran a good race in defeat – gave the winner 7lbs – when runner up at Haydock last time.
That was the each way selection’s first start for James Tate having scored at Chelmsford on debut for Archie Watson back in February. The colt – 11/2 with bet365 – is a half-brother to several winners including The Daley Express who loved to get his toe in. Harry Bentley takes over in the saddle.
There is a terrific 10f handicap and Win O’Clock (6.25) must put behind a poor run at Goodwood last time when he was far too free and failed to get home over 12f. He drops back down in trip today and, with the Roger Charlton stable having a couple of winners on Saturday, he gets the vote ahead of Moomba who was a late withdrawal at Bath last week with a self-certificate. The selection is 9/4 with 10bet.
The listed Two-Year-Old Trophy is the feature contest at Ripon and Queen Of Rio ran a cracker at York last time over the minimum trip when just going down by a nose in the Roses Stakes. She has another furlong to contend with this afternoon but is a course winner and was certainly not stopping on the Knavesmire.
Internationaldream appreciated the drop-in class to win a Conditions event over C&D last time when he had to dig deep having come off the bridle at halfway. He has come up short in this grade previously, however and the vote goes to the Crisfords’ unbeaten Bahrain Pride (1.50) who beat a highly-touted Andrew Balding juvenile on debut at Windsor. The stable won the corresponding race a couple of years ago and James Doyle is a positive booking. The juvenile is 5/2 with Boylesports.
Sarvan (2.20) appeared a non-stayer over 12f at Goodwood last time and the drop back in trip by a quarter of a mile is considered a plus for George Scott’s three-year-old. The selection – 9/4 with Unibet – has never encountered ground this slow but, as a son of Lope De Vega, he should cope with conditions which were described as soft on Sunday morning. He had previously looked a horse of some potential when scoring at Pontefract on fast ground.
Paul Hanagan has not ridden a winner since he came back from a long injury but I feel he can get off the mark courtesy of Spirit Dancer (4.05) who looked has run very well on both starts including at Wolverhampton last time when he was third past the post but promoted to second by the local stewards’. The Frankel colt – 9/4 with bet365 – is taken to make it third time lucky for Richard Fahey.
Mac Ailey (4.35) deserves a change of luck having finished runner up in his last couple of starts over 10f and he steps up an additional furlong this afternoon for Tim and William Easterby. The four-year-old – 7/2 with Unibet – has only one career win to his name but that was over ten furlongs on heavy ground and the hope is that his amateur pilot can get his mount settled and come with a late charge.