Best bets for the horse racing Thursday 23rd May 2024

I touched upon at the start of the week that the meeting at Sandown Park on Thursday was the highlight of the weekday action and it is duly the meeting at which I am placing my first bets of the week.

Best bets for the horse racing at Sandown Park

The six race card gets underway at 6.07pm with the World Horse Welfare Handicap, to going in Esher is soft, heavy in places. The 5f Listed Orbital Veterinary Services National Stakes at 6.37 will be worth a watch but with the nature of the five-furlong strip at Sandown, tends to favour those on the far rail, and there being such little form to go on with these two-year-olds I have decided to leave this race alone.

The first race I have an interest in is the two-mile Group Three Chasemore Farm Henry II Stakes at 7.07. Trueshanis top-rated but has to give away 7lb to the rest of the field which looks a big ask. Sweet William and Caius Chorister are fair stayers but no world-beaters so I am chancing my arm with one of the younger runners. Chesspiece started his 2024 campaign in the G.3 1m4f Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes last month looking like a horse that needed the run and probably further. Sixth in the St Leger last season before signing off his three-year-old campaign by finishing second in the 1m6f Listed Noel Murless Stakes behind recent G.3 Aston Park Stakes winner Middle Earth this trip is certainly worth a try for the four-year-old; was also third in the 1m6f G.2 Queen's Vase last season. William Buick rides the Simon and Ed Crisford trained gelding as he is owned by Godolphin and he looks the one that may have more to offer yet. He is a tentative pick at 100-30 at lunchtime.

The race of the evening should be the Group Three 1m2f Chasemore Farm Brigadier Gerard Stakes but we have just five runners and a couple of them appear to be just making up the numbers. Royal Rhyne is odds-on, all the rain that's been around will have cheered his connections, and I am not getting involved in the race

The Listed mile Chasemore Farm Stud Staff Heron Stakes at 8.12 looks a pretty competitive renewal. Kikkuli being out of Kind is a half-brother to Frankel (this colt sired by Kingman) and naturally plenty of people put this one in their notebook when he won what looks a decent race at Newmarket on his three-year-old seasonal bow last month. He was staying on second to Zoum Zoum on his sole start at two, also at HQ over seven-furlongs in heavy ground, and that gelding returned to the track in the G.3 Greenham Stakes to finish second earlier this season so the form this colt brings to the table looks above average. He now makes the step up to Listed class and the mile trip for trainer Harry Charlton and will be partnered by Ryan Moore again as he was at HQ in April (looks his best chance out of his four-rides). “We’re looking forward to him, his maiden win has obviously worked out very well as I think there have been numerous winners come out behind him,” said Juddmonte’s Barry Mahon this week. “It’s a jump up in class on Thursday, but we’re happy with the horse and Harry is happy, so let’s see how we get on. Hopefully it will be a nice stepping-stone to something better later in the year. He obviously has a lot of pressure on him, but he’s a lovely horse and I think whatever he does on Thursday he’ll be a nice horse later in the year and we’ll have plenty of fun with him.” The colt was still pretty green at Newmarket but impressed me with the way he knuckled down to get up there and the extra furlong should prove ideal. I am on at the 11-4 lunchtime. William Haggas has an interesting contender in bet365 Classic Trial third Remaadd, who steps down from that ten-furlong trip. He was third to Arabian Crown at Sandown and drops down to a mile on the advice of jockey Tom Marquand it appears. “It was Tom’s decision to run him over a mile, I personally think he wants a mile and a quarter minimum,” said Haggas this week “Tom was quite keen to bring him back to a mile as he was last off the bridle. The Hampton Court is the race I’ve got in my mind for him so it will be interesting if he is better over a mile.” I am of the same opinion as Haggas and would have thought 1m2f would be this one's game this year, won over a mile on soft at Goodwood last year, but we will know more after this. The Karl Burke trained Ice Max has two handicap wins under his belt already this season, one on heavy and one on good-soft, and will be there or thereabouts at the finish you would expect.

Be lucky