Yet again the ground is the major talking point as we look at Sandown and Haydock today. At Sandown the going has eased slightly to a general Good to Soft. Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper reported: “I could show you some good ground out there but taking all things into account after a little bit of rain yesterday evening and having moved onto fresh ground I am just going to call it good to soft.” A dry fairly warm day is forecast.
In contrast the ground at Haydock has deteriorated to Soft (Heavy in places) and light showers are expected this afternoon.
As covered yesterday, the uncertainty over racing conditions between entry and raceday is a nagging problem for connections. There are plenty more non-runners today.
3.45 Sandown Coral-Eclipse (Group 1)
£525,000 in total prize money with just on £300,000 to the winner. We have seven to post with the O’Brien and Charlton yards both having likely pacemakers for The Gurkha and Time Test respectively.
Time Test and My Dream Boat are closely matched on a strict line through Western Hymn.
Time Test is a previously noted horse who I expect to go close today.
However The Gurkha was staying on strongly at the finish of the St James Palace at Ascot and the step up in trip is expected to bring further improvement.
Compared to the general odds on offer, I have the market leaders closer together on my tissue:
The Gurkha 11/10
Time Test 3/1
My Dream Boat 5/1
Western Hymn 20/1
2.50 Haydock bet365 Old Newton Cup (CLASS 2)
There are a few hold-up horses amongst the market leaders. In testing conditions it is a dangerous game to try and rapidly make up ground as the line approaches.
Penglai Pavilion is worth a look in this wide open handicap. Always behind at Ascot on latest start and never placed to challenge. His form over hurdles last season suggests he retains plenty of ability and he can figure today. Ground conditions shouldn’t be an issue.
Some 14/1 still around which would offer a bit of value.
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