16:00 Goodwood - Hills to land Height Of Fashion feature
This Listed race for the fillies is named after the great Hamdan Al Maktoum broodmare Height Of Fashion - and Thursday's feature contest might provide a classic runner for Epsom, as this is a recognised trial for the Oaks. Classic winner Snow Fairy landed this en route to the 1m4f Group 1 in June, but I'm not sure anything in this line-up will have backers of Minding quaking.
Zaakhir holds an entry for Epsom, and is a 50/1 chance in the Sportsbook for that race.
Nonetheless, Goodwood's contest is full of intrigue. I think the more experienced trio of Dessertoflife, Mirsaalah and Play Gal are vulnerable to a big improver, and that could be the Charlie Hills trained Zaakhir.
The three-year-old scored in a good time in quite a decent Kempton maiden last November, and the race has worked out really well; with three winners coming out of it, and several horses running well in defeat subsequently.
Winning a Kempton maiden of course was the Classic route for 1,000 Guineas winner Ghanaati seven years ago - who was trained by Charlie's father Barry, but Hills junior would have been involved plenty I am sure.
Zaakhir looks ideal for a step up in trip, having got a little outpaced on the all-weather, and we have seen this season the big improvement from first to second-time-out in big races.
19:30 Sandown - Stoute to roll Yangtze dice in Esher
We have another chance to test surely one of the season's hottest maidens staged at Leicester last month. Imperial Aviator won that, and beat Ulysses into second. The former hacked up in the London Gold Cup at the weekend, whilst the latter easily won a Newbury maiden by six lengths - and is now a lively contender in the Derby market.
An eyecatcher in the Leicester race was Yangtze - the Sir Michael Stoute third-string that afternoon. He wasn't knocked about, and was staying on nicely, and he looks the type to excel handicapping with this yard over a trip - especially given he is related to Warringah (and the dam is a big influence for stamina).
Stoute won this race in 2015 with Dartmouth - who landed it from a mark of 78 and went on to record an official rating of 101 by the end of last season. In short - he could be absolutely chucked in here from a mark of 71.
With a low weight, Tom Marqaund booked, quicker ground and a stiff finish, he can boost that Leicester race again.
Thursday's Recommended Bets
Back Zaakhir @ 12.011/1 in the 16:00 at Goodwood
Back Yangtze @ 2.809/5 in the 19:30 at Sandown
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