We head to Sandown for an enthralling flat card in our search of landing Friday's Placepot...
"The Hannon’s have won five of the last six renewals of the race and Montiridge, who performed consistently in top-class company last season, looks sure to make the frame at the very least..."
13:40 - We kick off what is a cracking card at Sandown with the Esher Cup handicap over a mile and impressive Nottingham winner Sacred Act looks extremely likely to add a second victory to his tally in as many starts. The way in which he quickened against well-fancied horses last time suggests John Gosden's well-bred colt, who holds a St. James's Palace entry, may go on to make a mockery of his opening mark of 90. The one most likely to follow him home is Andrew Balding's End of Line who was an impressive winner of his sole start at Doncaster in October and he lines up with his stable in excellent form.
14:10 - We look to another class act in the Group 3 Gordon Richards' Stakes over ten furlongs in the shape of Telescope who hasn't been seen since recording an impressive win in the Great Voltigeur at York last August. He remains lightly raced, capable of significant further improvement and has the talent to prove a cut above today's rivals.
14:45 - The top class action just keeps on coming and next under consideration is the Group 2 Bet365 Mile and several line up with live chances. Top Notch Tonto was last seen taking second in the QEII Stakes on Champions Day and crucially gets his soft ground, whilst the going is also a plus for Lennox Stakes winner Garswood who looks the type to do better as a four-year-old. However the Hannon's have won five of the last six renewals of the race and Montiridge is the stable pick this year. He performed consistently in top-class company last season and looks sure to make the frame at the very least.
15:15 - It's the Classic Trial over ten furlongs which follows next and it will take a decent horse to lower the colours of Western Hymn, who created an excellent impression when winning a Kempton maiden in December and built on that with an impressive return at Newbury two weeks ago. Master Carpeneter looks the one most likely to give him something to worry about and lines up on the back of an excellent third in the Greenham.
15:50 - Charles Molson represents the yard who won this five-furlong handicap with a similar type in 2008 and has the potential to emerge as a leading player on his return. He remains unexposed and is the first to get the nod, along with Kickboxer who landed a Haydock nursery in September before an excellent third in the Cornwallis Stakes a month later. He shaped well from a wide draw on his return at Pontefract a few weeks ago, and should be sharper today.
16:25 - The last leg of today's perm, a 17-runner fillies' maiden, does not look the easiest to assess on first glance. However Godolphin's Wahgah is clearly though capable of much better than she showed on her Newmarket debut last summer and could make significant improvement on her return. The other to get the nod is the John Gosden trained newcomer Millionaire's Row, who makes enough appeal on paper to suggest she might run well with the stable in red-hot form.
13:40 - 1,3
14:10 - 6
14:45 - 3
15:15 - 4,8
15:50 - 2,8
16:25 - 6,16
= 16 Lines