There are two superb days of racing coming up at Sandown Park with a mix of high-class Flat and National Hunt racing on offer.
The Jumps Finale is on Saturday, but before that it’s the Classic Trials card on the level on Friday afternoon.
Three are three Group races to savour on the seven-race Sandown card (1.15pm-4.40pm) and you can watch it all unfold via live streaming when logged into MansionBet. Our tipster marks your card with selections for Friday’s action at the Esher track.
1.15 – bet365 Handicap (5f)
Nelson Gay is bang in-form from recent exploits on the all-weather and has fine claims, while the chances are that First Edition goes on to achieve better things this season for trainer Clive Cox.
He’s the one to beat, if fit enough on his return, but maybe this will fall for CHARLIE FELLOWES. He didn’t quite get home over 6f last time on the Polytrack, but he’s race-fit and has run well here already.
Selection: Charlie Fellowes @
1.50 – bet365 Esher Cup Handicap (1m)
Recent Redcar scorer Ilza’eem has to be on any shortlist and may have more to come, while returning pair Rifleman and Tawaareq have plenty scope for progress and Dingle is a player if able to replicate last week’s Newbury form in this quick turnaround.
QUINTILLUS could be good enough for Charlie Appleby and William Buick in the Godolphin blue. He’s fit from a solid showing in a conditions race at Chelmsford this month and the yard’s three-year-olds are in scintillating form, with a 38 per cent strike-rate this year.
Selection: Quintillus @
2.25 – bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes (Group 3, 1m2f)
Thunderous and Highest Ground finished first and second in last year’s rearranged Dante Stakes at York, while their form ties in with Waldkonig.
The last-named bagged a Pontefract handicap on his recent comeback, though he will need more still to earn his stripes in this grade. The four-year-olds are likely to produce the winner and last year’s 1m4f Royal Ascot winner HUKUM could take this for Owen Burrows.
He won the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury in August over 1m5f before getting outstayed in the St Leger. This is a significant drop in trip but he’s shown a good turn of foot in the past and, with his record fresh appealing, gets the nod here.
Selection: Hukum @
3.00 – bet365 Mile (Group 2, 1m)
His recent exploits on the all-weather, including a wide-margin Lingfield win on Good Friday, have put Khuzaam on the radar for the coming turf season but this is asking plenty as he faces dual Group 1-winning miler PALACE PIER.
The Kingman colt can attach blame for his QEII defeat at Ascot in October to soft ground and a lost shoe, and he was previously unbowed, including the St James’s Palace Stakes and Prix Jacques Le Marois last season after a blistering reappearance at Newcastle. He should prove too strong here.
Selection: Palace Pier @
3.35 – bet365 Classic Trial (Group 3, 1m2f)
A fascinating Classic Trial with lots of runners promising better things. Ballydoyle inmate Sir Lucan and unbeaten Irish Legend fit that bill, whilst Etonian could easily leave a poor Dewhurst run behind.
Godolphin fire three at the prize and, while Yibir and Adayar are respected for Charlie Appleby, it’s TRAWLERMAN that gets the nod in a race John Gosden has won nine times.
He was very good at Pontefract on his comeback, has Frankie Dettori on board now, and the son of Golden Horn may give ‘Team Gosden’ more success in this race.
Selection: Trawlerman @
4.10 – bet365 Fillies’ Novice Stakes (1m2f)
Nash Nasha is a well-bred filly with winning experience under her belt. She sets the standard for Charlie Appleby and Will Buick, but faces some tantalising newcomers.
Breccia and Royal Harmoney could be good, but Frankel’s sister CHIASMA is the headline-act on paper. This daughter of Galileo represents top connections and it won’t be a shock if she hits the ground running for Dettori and the Gosdens.
Selection: Chiasma @
4.40 – bet365.com Handicap (1m2f)
Juan De Montalban won nicely on testing ground at Goodwood last backend, but must now prove himself on this faster surface.
Fabilis meanwhile is likely to leave a poor run on the Fibresand at Southwell in January behind and is better judged on his promising turf form last season.
The filly Valorant lurks as an improver but SEA THE SHELLS is an unbeaten colt by Sea The Stars for Mark Johnston and it’s no leap of faith to forecast Franny Norton’s mount will make it 3-3 now switched to the grass.
Selection: Sea The Shells @
*All odds correct at time of writing