They race at Sandown again on Thursday and the ground remains good to firm with no rain forecast for the southwest until the risk of thundery showers on Saturday afternoon.

In the 7f Maiden Dukedom (1.35) is taken to go one better than when runner up over C&D on debut at the beginning of the month. He was slowly away and beaten over 5L on that occasion but was backed into odds on before meeting trouble in running. Frankie Dettori has not ridden since the weekend but takes two rides at Esher including on the Queen’s son of Dubawi. Note at the time of writing Her Majesty has won with five of her last ten runners. There was 6/5 available on Wednesday but he is into 8/11 at 10Bet at the time of posting.  

Charlie Appleby’s King’s Guard has finished runner up in his two starts and represents a big danger although there are a couple of well-bred newcomers in the field. It looks a race that is sure to throw up several winners in the second half of the year.

Only four go to post for the Young Stayers Handicap but it is a cracker with the quartet all holding realistic chances. Mark Johnston saddles a couple with Roseabad stepping up to 1m 6f for the first time having run a terrific race when runner up over a couple of furlongs shorter at Ripon at the weekend. He must go close, but I am convinced there is more to come from Classic Lord (2.45) over this trip and beyond and he gets the vote for Andrew Balding.

The selection – 5/4 from 2s with William Hill – looked a thorough stayer when a never nearer second over C&D here earlier in the month, but that form has already been given a boost when the fourth home – Noonday Gun – scored at Haydock last weekend. Andrew Balding’s 3-y-old has been raised a couple of pounds for that effort and would not want to race to turn tactical given he is proven at the distance.

In the finale Lady Rockstar (4.30) looks well treated from an opening mark of 75 and can make a winning handicap debut for William Haggas. The filly – 15/8 with Boylesports – failed to cope with the rain softened ground at Doncaster last time, but she ran a very good race on her penultimate start when going down by a length over a mile to a filly now rated 88 giving every impression this 10f trip would see her in a better light.

At Worcester Wasdell Dundalk is likely to be all the rage as he bids to follow up last week’s 10L C&D success for Jonjo O’Neill and Nick Schofield. He is penalised 7lbs for that win but is 2lbs “well in” having been raised 9lbs in the weights from the weekend.

I must give another chance, however, to Castel Gandolfo (2.20) who made a critical mistake two out when beaten less than a length when third over C&D at the beginning of the month. That was a messy slowly run race and I am sure a stronger gallop will see the 4-y-old in a better light. Te selection is 5/2 with MansionBet.

At Yarmouth I feel there is more to come from Castana Dia (4.50) and would be disappointed if the filly were not able to return to winning ways having been off the course since finishing second at Newmarket last month. The filly – 10/11 from 7/4 with William Hill – had previously scored over today’s C&D on good to soft ground and the runner up – Akkeringa – is now rated 13lbs higher after a couple of wins.

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