The ground was described as soft at Sandown on Wednesday morning ahead of this evening’s six-race card.
In the opening 5f Novice event for fillies Beautiful Sunshine (5.25) must concede 7lbs to her six rivals after her workmanlike success at Windsor on her second start when she still showed signs of greenness. She represents the yard of George Boughey whose juveniles have been carrying all before them so far this term, and tonight will decide whether she makes the cut for the stable’s Royal Ascot raiding party. The selection is 10/11 with Boylesports.
Between The Sheets shaped with promise at Ascot on debut and is a half-sister to last season’s Lowther winner Miss Amulet although the form took a knock at the weekend when the runner up was well beaten at Thirsk.
In the 10f 3-y-old handicap Something Enticing has won her last couple and looked well ahead of her current mark when scoring at Nottingham last time. An 8lbs higher mark looks fair. Marginal preference, however, goes to Siskany (6.25) who has won two of his three starts and looked potentially smart when making all at Windsor in a Novice event last month.
Trained by Charlie Appleby the selection – 2s with 10Bet – has yet to prove he handles soft ground and the third horse home at Windsor – Oz Legend – did little for the form in the London Gold Cup at the weekend, but I feel there is plenty more to come from Siskany.
The feature race is the listed Heron Stakes and Highland Avenue (6.55) can give weight and a beating to his six rivals and book his place in next month’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. The selection – 15/8 with MansionBet – won the Feilden Stakes over slightly further at Newmarket last month, but Charlie Appleby immediately nominated a return to a mile for his next start – although he does have an entry in the Eclipse over 10f for the beginning of July.
Mithras looks a typical John Gosden improver, and he is entered in a handicap at Haydock on Saturday from what appears an attractive mark. He landed a Newbury handicap on his reappearance over 7f and looks sure to appreciate the step up to a mile.
Counsel (7.25) is taken to break his maiden tag at the third time of asking having finished second on both starts at Newbury on turf last month and at Newcastle back in December. This step up in trip to 10f should be ideal and I will be disappointed if he can’t make it third time lucky. The newcomer Diavolo is bred in the pink, but he will have to be a Group horse to beat the selection on debut.
I thought Minella Voucher ran a terrific race when second at Ffos Las last week and the selection has been raised 5lbs for that effort although the new mark does not take effect until the weekend. He has yet to win over 3m let alone todays near 3m 3f trip, however, and preference is for Sigurd (4.00) who returns from a seven-week break having finished third to Bafana Blue at Wetherby last time and is allowed 3lbs with that rival for the 2L he was behind the Maurice Barnes horse last time.
The ew selection – 6s with 10Bet – has run some good races here over fences although his sole course win came over timber. Brian Hughes has been in the saddle for the selection’s two chase wins earlier in the year, and the former champion jockey is in the saddle today for Joanne Foster.
At Tipperary Lunar Display (3.10) is taken to go one better than when second over slightly further here 10-days ago. Connections of the mare look to have found an ideal opportunity for her to break her maiden tag over jumps and trainer Joseph O’Brien has his string in excellent form. There was 11/8 available on Wednesday but she is a shade of into odds on at 8/11 with BetVictor.