Sandown stage the best racing this afternoon and that's where we head for Saturday's attempt at the Placepot...
The Richard Hannon-trained Shifting Power can boast some very strong Group 1 form, including two in-frame efforts in classics, and he can outclass his rivals on return...
13:30- This is an ultra-competitive three-year-old handicap and we'll need to keep a few onside to progress. The first horse that we'll turn to is Yeenaan as he shaped well when given slightly too much to do at Chelmsford last time, and he remains open to further progress. Yeenaan's looked a bit quirky so the booking of Ryan Moore is a definite positive, and he ought to be on the premises. Tom Hark and Spring Offensive impressed during their juvenile campaigns and suggested that they remain on fair marks when shaping well in a strong-looking Musselburgh handicap last time. Both horses should benefit from that outing and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them go close.
14:00- Cannock Chase has the potential to develop into a top-class four-year-old this season and will be difficult to beat if cherry-ripe on return. He deserves his place in the permutation, but we'll also include John Gosden's Western Hymn for a bit of insurance, just in case Cannock Chase is badly in need of the outing. Western Hymn came up short at the top level last season, but he's clearly a smart type and conditions should prove ideal.
14:30- The Richard Hannon-trained Shifting Power can boast some very strong Group 1 form, including two in-frame efforts in classics, and he can outclass his rivals on return. We'll bank on Shifting Power going extremely close.
15:00- The withdrawal of Grey Lion makes things a bit trickier as a win is now needed to progress, but, in truth, Commemorative should simply prove too good. Commemorative improved markedly on his debut effort to win a maiden and then progressed again to take a Group 3 in comfortable fashion. He failed to make an impression in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf but has been found a good opportunity on return and should take this before going on to better things.
15:35- Thahab was strong in the market and ultimately shaped with plenty of promise when twice placed in turf maidens towards the back-end of last season. He improved to open his account at Chelmsford on return and looks a leading player. We'll also include Profitable as he won a maiden over C&D and went on to run with credit in some strong handicaps, so shouldn't be underestimated.
16:10- Moonlight Sonata is the obvious selection having shown so much promise as a juvenile, but she's likely to take up a huge proportion of the Placepot, so we'll oppose her with Brandybend and Leading Design. The well bred Brandybend showed promise on her sole start, finishing runner up at Chelmsford, and is entitled to build on that, while the expensively-purchased Leading Design represents top connections and makes plenty of appeal on pedigree.
13:30- 3, 4, 8
14:00- 2, 5
15:35- 1, 7
16:10- 2, 5
= 24 lines