Best bets for the horse racing Friday 22nd April

It is Bet365 Classic Trial Day at Sandown Park on Friday, a meeting I have been to more than once and can thoroughly recommend should you get the chance. The Trials come thick and fast this year and with the Guineas just days away we are into the Derby Trials proper – we had the Blue Ribband Trial at Epsom earlier this week but that ironically isn’t really seen as a Derby Trial these days. It a decent card, the ITV Racing cameras will be there, and what better way to ease yourself into the weekend than a bet or three on a Friday afternoon.  

Best bets for the horse racing at Sandown Park  

The Group Three bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes has just three runners sadly and with Mostahdaf odds–on it is a no bet heat. The Group Two bet365 Mile see’s Alcohol Free return to action but she’ll be odds-on as well; she won first time out as a two-year-old and on her three-year-old seasonal reappearance and is expected to do so again at four.  

I have backed Blue Trail on three of his four starts to date, the only time I didn’t was when he was odds-on at Southwell on his second appearance. As I have said before there are plenty of winners in his family and he could turn out above average. The colt was held up off the pace at Chelmsford City on his latest outing and raced keenly in what appeared to be a slowly run race which did him no favours. I am prepared to put a line through that and running off the same mark of 92 here he might well in. He is closely matched with Find on their last two outings, and that one is considered the biggest danger, but the selection is open to improvement yet and this stiff mile on Turf might prove ideal. I have 7-2 overnight having missed the 4’s that was about.  

At 3.35 we have the dish of the day the 1m2f bet365 Classic Trial and all the runners except Groundbreaker hold an entry at Epsom; Adayar of course was second here, and then in the Lingfield Trial, before winning the Derby last year. Goldspur was a two-year-old I followed last season, tipped him on all three starts, and as a son of Dubawi out of G.2 Lancashire Oaks winner Pomology it is no surprise to see him lining-up in a race such as this. He won here at Sandown on debut over a mile in September before taking the 1m2f G.3 Zetland Stakes at HQ in October and finishing his campaign with a creditable third in the 1m2f G.1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud on very soft ground. I took 11-8 on Thursday morning fully expecting this one to get gambled. River Thames is a son of Churchill who won his only juvenile start for ‘the lads’ from Ballydoyle at Punchestown last term. On breeding everything points to a mile for this one barring Galileo being his grandsire on the sire line and I would be surprised if he turned out to be a middle-distance horse. The colt has to be respected though. Westover looked like a two-year-old that might progress at three and is also noted.  

At 4.10 it is the 1m2f Nordoff Robbins Charlie Watts Memorial Fillies' Novice Stakes. A debut winner for me at Newbury over the weekend the exciting Life Of Dreams was also entered here (won’t run now) but it confirms it’s a race that will probably need a decent one to win. Of those that have run Oblong Song has an obvious chance whilst Wolverhampton winner Emily Upjohn would appear to be the Gosden number one with Dettori riding. I noted the Juddmonte homebred Timelock in the entries at the start of the week and the fact that James Doyle was booked to ride nice and early. A daughter of Frankel out of Time Chaser there are some very nice thoroughbreds in the extended family of this one and you would expect her to be above average at least in due course. Team Gosden run three and their Darmoiselle, being by Dubawi out of Dar Re Mi, is a full-sister to five that have run, four of them winners, including Too Darn Hot and So Di Mar. As all four of her winning full-siblings were winners on debut, Darlectable You hasn’t won in three starts but has finished second twice, you have to consider her with Rab Havlin riding. I am taking a chance on a successful proven mating for Watership Down Stud and Andrew Lloyd-Webber and think she is well worth a speculative investment at the 5-1 overnight.

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