Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has seven booked rides on an excellent card at Sandown this afternoon that includes the return of the much-hyped Telescope. Here you can read Ryan's exclusive thoughts on all his anticipated mounts...
14:10 Sandown - Telescope
"An injury curtailed his season last year, but he has done everything that we have asked of him at home in the lead-up to this."
13:40 Sandown - Cricklewood Green
Has won both his starts over 7f at Salisbury and Newbury, and I think a 6lb rise for his narrow nursery win is fair enough. The horse he beat by a nose at Newbury went on to win off 81 and be placed in Group 3 company, and they pulled over three lengths clear of the third. As I always say, these 3yo handicaps are pretty much guessing games at this time of the year, but he is obviously unbeaten, open to improvement and the step up to 1m shouldn't be a problem, though he is American-bred, so any more rain may not be ideal.
14:10 Sandown - Telescope
Obviously, Telescope will get a lot of attention here but let's not get carried away again, especially as this looks a decent race. Sky Hunter is particularly interesting on his first start for Godolphin, having shown classy form when with Andre Fabre last season, notably his third in the Prix du Jockey Club. But we also meet race-fit and in-form rivals as well. However, of course we are hopeful that Telescope will develop into a Group 1 horse this year, but that is some way off.
I said after he won the Voltigeur at York that he was no world-beater, and a current mark of 115 backs that up. That said, Telescope is exactly the kind of horse that the boss excels with - though comparisons with Harbinger are inevitable, they are also more than a touch premature - and hopefully the patience that we have shown with him will pay dividends.
An injury curtailed his season last year, but he has done everything that we have asked of him at home in the lead-up to this. This race is a good starting point, though this trip is on the sharp side for him, and will tell us a lot more about the route we go down with him this season.
14:45 Sandown - Garswood
You can give all of these some sort of chance on their best, and obviously Garswood has leading claims on the form that he showed when third to Moonlight Cloud in the Foret. This trip is still an unknown, as the only time he has raced over it he finished in midfield in the Guineas, but he shaped as though it shouldn't be a problem when getting on top close home for me in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last summer. He will need to stay every yard of this trip though, as Top Notch Tonto and Montiridge will prove tough opposition. Top Notch Tonto developed into a high-class miler last season, and he is probably the one to beat, especially if we get more rain, but that will suit my horse, too.
15:15 Sandown - Master Carpenter
Quite clearly, there are three or four in here with decent chances on official ratings, and I am one of those. But the way in which Western Hymn quickened up to win at Newbury you would probably have to say that he is the one to beat. But my horse ran the race of his life to finish third in the Greenham last time, and if he can build on that, then who knows. It is a big leap up in trip from 7f to 1m2f on a stiff track like Sandown, and that is a concern, but there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree.
15:50 Sandown - Pushkin Museum
Was kept busy on the all-weather over the winter and showed a decent level of form at Kempton, Lingfield and Southwell. Has switched to Richard Fahey after being bought for 30,000gns at the sales earlier in the year, and has his first start on turf from his highest-ever mark today, so there are questions to answer. But he is clearly lightly-raced and open to improvement, and my dad liked him when he trained him last season.
16:25 Sandown - Perfect Light
I don't think those to have raced set a particularly high standard here. William tends to put me on horses with chances and while Perfect Light doesn't hold any big race entries, she is by Galileo out of a pretty well-related Group 3 winner, so 1m2f looks a decent starting point for her.
16:55 Sandown - Gothic
This could be a very hot handicap. Even after the withdrawal of Taghrooda, who some were talking up as an Oaks possible, there are plenty of other unexposed horses in here that you shouldn't be writing off in a hurry and Windshear ran a big race in a very competitive handicap at Newmarket last week.
Gothic is one of those unexposed horses. He built on a promising debut effort to win at Leicester last season and, although that victory came at heavy odds-on in a modest race, the second did at least come out and win his maiden well last week. Gothic does hold Dante and Derby entries but we shouldn't get carried away with ourselves here, as he is only rated 85 at the moment. But he has been working well and we would like to think that he will be rated a fair bit higher at the end of the season. However, he could run well here and finish third or fourth. We do like him though, but he will be better for the run.