Timeform UK SmartPlays: Thursday 23 May

Close finish
The pick of the action on Thursday comes from Sandown's evening fixture

Timeform pick out their best back, lay and smart stat bets for Thursday's Flat action...

"...clearly held in high regard by his trainer (holds plenty of lofty entries), this looks a good opportunity for him to start justifying that belief..."

Timeform on Regal Reality

Back
HULCOTE - 15:10 Goodwood

HULCOTE made a successful handicap debut on her final three-year-old start at Sandown, and though unable to follow up on her reappearance at Doncaster in March, she still shaped well in defeat, just not getting the room to open up when required to threaten the first pair (beaten two and a quarter lengths). Clive Cox's charge certainly showed enough to suggest that she is still on a fair mark, and this looks a good opportunity for her to resume winning ways - she is 2 lb clear of the field on weight-adjusted ratings and may yet have even more to offer, especially now stepping up in trip, having caught the eye with how she finished once in the clear last time.

Lay
LAWN RANGER - 14:15 Lingfield

LAWN RANGER looks likely to go off favourite here, having gained a deserved success at Windsor last time. He doesn't appeal as an obvious type to follow up, though, given that that was only his second win from 14 career starts - it was his first win in handicaps at the tenth attempt and the first of any kind since his debut. A 3 lb higher mark will demand an even bigger effort from him here and, at the prices, he looks worth taking on with Ralph Beckett's Victory Chime. He shaped as if needing his comeback at Windsor and deserves another chance to confirm the promise of his final 2018 start, when winning in determined fashion on the all-weather at Kempton.

Smart Stat
REGAL REALITY - 19:35 Sandown

4 - Sir Michael Stoute's number of winners in past 10 runnings

Sir Michael Stoute has recorded four wins in this race in the last decade - taking his tally to 10 overall - the latest of which came courtesy of Poet's Word 12 months ago. He would appear to hold sound claims of adding to his record haul this time round, too, with REGAL REALITY making plenty of appeal on the back of an encouraging reappearance in a Group 2 at this venue. The way he shaped that day suggests that the extra two furlongs here will be in his favour, and clearly held in high regard by his trainer (holds plenty of lofty entries), this looks a good opportunity for him to start justifying that belief, with no finer man than Stoute to manage his progression through the ranks.

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