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There's some good racing on Friday with Sandown offering some decent prize money and some classy races, and that is the place which has caught my eye for most of my selections.
IDOAPOLOGISE was subject to a gamble last time out over this course and distance, but it didn't quite land, with him getting beat by a head to the in-form horse of Good Earth who has won or been placed in the last six runs.
It's not a great surprise seeing him back out again after a week as he is expected to go up 2lbs for his recent runner-up finish, but today he manages to run off a 1lb lower than last week. He is well found in the market, current occupying the favourite spot, and you can see why. His odds aren't amazing, but a repeat performance of his run from last week should make him tough to beat in a lower-class race.
On paper, the Norfolk race from Royal Ascot should rate better form than the Windsor Castle as one is a Group 2 and the other is a Listed race, but I think the Windsor castle was much stronger this year. Little Big Bear was gambled off the boards for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore that day, going off at 6/5F and winning better than his neck winning margin would suggest. I think he could be a very smart horse for the future, so the runner-up ROCKET RODNEY must be a decent horse too.
He finished 1.75L ahead of the third-placed horse, Eddie's Boy, who runs in this race today. In a smaller field, it will be different to the Windsor Castle race, but it's hard to envisage a swap in the placements with those two horses, as Rocket Rodney wasn't stopping at the line and will like this stiff test, similar to what Ascot was.
If Euchen Glen wins this, it will haunt me for a few days as I tipped up for a race at Sandown a month or so ago and was given a terrible ride by Paul Mulrennan. He is a good horse on his day, but based on his last run, I think the best days could be behind him.
My pin landed on CALLING THE WIND in this contest, as I think he is a smart performer. He has finished in the places in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, two years in a row, and on both occasions looked like the winner from a long way out before his stamina didn't last. He is a very strong traveller in these staying races, and I expect him to be on the bridle for one of the longest. I think this more conventional kind of staying trip will be better suited, and I think the stiff finish at Sandown could play to his strengths as well. He has been campaigned as a handicapper for most of his life, with only one race coming in Stakes company, but I think he is more than entitled to run a big race and he looks like a good EW play.
Carrying top weight isn't ideal but the progression that GOLDEN VOICE has shown throughout this season should make him tough to beat if the upward trend is continuing.
He managed to comfortably beat Lethal Nymph last time out over this C&D, and even though there is a weight difference between the two, I can't see it changing much as Golden Voice looked a fair few pounds clear of Lethal Nymph lto.
Galiac could be coming towards the end of his progressive profile and into the hands of the handicapper. He didn't win with much authority last time out at Newmarket and doesn't look like a horse who is well-handicapped. However, some horses only do what is required, and that could be the case for him, but based on his recent run, I think he might struggle, but should run a solid race.
Cabinet Of Clowns could be the main threat with only 3 runs to his name so far. The form of his recent win isn't amazing, but does have a nice pedigree and is related to some decent horses.
The fact ADDEYBB is above EVS seems a little ridiculous as he is the best horse in this race by far, and is 9lbs clear on ratings to the second highest-rated horse in this, but they run off the same weight.
It's clear that Addeybb has been better on soft ground in past and has been campaigned around the soft ground, but it's not to mean that he doesn't handle a quicker surface. He won a Group 1 in Australia on good ground as well as finishing 2nd in the 2020 Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Lord North on good ground, which goes to show he will be fine on today's surface.
He might be larger odds than expected because of his run lto, but William Haggas was clear as day when he said that he desperately needed that run and would've come on plenty for it.
MAYSONG ran a creditable race last weekend when finishing 2nd at Newmarket to a progressive unexposed horse in the same of Giovanni Baglione. He was held up in the back of the field and made eye-catching ground in the final couple of furlongs, but didn't have enough time or track to trouble the winner, who looked a class above that field.
He's clearly come out of that race well as they have him in this just seven days later. Fern O'Brien is an interesting jockey booking in this ladies' amateur jockeys' race, as she seems a decent enough rider, especially in a race of this nature where the majority aren't up to scratch. I've watched her on a few occasions and she seems to have a good understanding of where to be on a horse, and she seems a capable rider.
It's hard to say Maysong is well-handicapped with one win from 33 runs, but the form he is currently in makes him of significant interest at a track which should play to his strengths.