Natasha Coates tackles today's Sandown placepot...
Flavius Victor drops back to seven furlongs in the hope of breaking his maiden. A tongue-tie and quick ground may help him to do just that.
14:00 - Now a seven-runner maiden, two selections look the safest bet. The pick on previous form has to be Pearl Acclaim, who went off favourite at Newmarket last time when beaten a length and a half into second by stable-companion Havana Gold. He showed plenty of ability on that occasion, but didn't settle well and paid the price for his greenness. Sure to have come on for the experience, Pearl Acclaim can land the spoils today. Betzyoucan is more of a place selection but of no less interest for our purposes. The filly, out of a sister to Bahamian Bounty, should run well for a yard that has had success with two-year-old debutantes at this track.
14:30 - Two non-runners leave another seven-runner field to contend with. Handicap debutante New Youmzain is entitled to improve now stepping up in trip. Mick Channon's gelding has shown a good attitude on his two starts, finishing third behind subsequent Royal Ascot winner Estimate at Salisbury, before coming out on top at Thirsk last time. Bridgehampton looks the one to beat having shaped well at Lingfield last time and plenty more is expected from Michael Bell's gelding. A 4lb rise since then shouldn't affect his chances of running into a place.
15:05 - Savanna La Mar has been given the same preparation as stable companion and last year's winner Kinetica. Both finished second on debut at Kempton before winning at Chester next time, and there is no doubt Savanna La Mar has been set up for this race from the start. The filly has shown enough on both occasions to suggest she can make the frame here. Rayaheen broke her maiden at the first time of asking at Nottingham last time, and can help to improve the already impressive 40% strike-rate for the Hannon-Hanagan combination this season. The extra furlong will play into her hands and she offers the most appeal in a strong race where seven of the eight fillies won last time out.
15:40 - Three-year-olds Kiz Kulesi, Sash of Honour and Angel Gabrial are the main contenders in this nine-runner handicap. Though Kiz Kulesi should improve from his comeback run and handicap debutante Sash of Honour may do better now fitted with a first-time visor, Angel Gabrial looks the solid selection. Ian Williams' gelding ran his best race at Chester last time, when weaving through runners to finish strongly. His 3lb rise as a result of that run wouldn't be a concern and Angel Gabrial should be thereabouts again.
16:15 - Estebsaal is sure to progress from his debut at Newmarket, having finished well to be beaten by one and three quarter lengths into second place. Two winners have come out of that race since, including third-placed Moodhill who landed a Doncaster maiden of this class earlier in the month. The Dansili colt will appreciate further in time, but he will have learnt much from his debut and can perform again stepped up to a mile. In a competitive field, we'll bank on Estebsaal to go close today.
16:50 - Richard Hannon is double-handed in the last, and first-time aids are applied to both. We'll chance that one of these can make the places. Flavius Victor drops back to seven furlongs in the hope of breaking his maiden. A tongue-tie and quick ground may help him to do just that. Both of Poetic Lord's wins came over this distance and he is now 3lb lower than his last winning mark. He showed his best form so far this season at Windsor last time, and is fancied to run into a place.
14:00 5, 7
14:30 6, 9
15:05 8, 10
16:50 5, 13
= 16 lines