There is quite a lot of action to enjoy on Thursday with the evening card at Sandown Park very much the meeting of the day and that is where I am involved.
Best bets for the horse racing at Sandown Park
The 5f Listed Racehorse Lotto National Stakes at 6.42 has some nice two-year-olds lining-up and you can make a case for a few of them. There has been a little money for Elite Status early who won well over this trip at Doncaster earlier this month. Blue Storm also won on debut, at HQ over five, and the next four home have all won since giving the form a major boost. On Point from the yard for Charlie Appleby won at HQ on debut over five-furlongs earlier this month on soft looking around quite a bit and perhaps not putting it all in. He would have learnt a lot from that and is certainly bred to be a decent two-year-old. Charlie Appleby has runners at Catterick and Haydock today so I think it is interesting that William Buick is here to ride this one suggesting the stable must fancy its chances. I am on at 13-2.
The Group Three two-mile Racehorse Lotto Henry II Stakes sees a few familiar faces going to post. Enemy has been busy this year already running at Meydan, Riyadh and Chester. He appeared to hate the tight turns at Chester in a race that turned into a bit of a sprint and the test here tonight will surely suit better. I have the 5-4.
At 7.42 we have the 1m2f Group Three Racehorse Lotto Brigadier Gerard Stakes and though not all those hoped for will be here this still looks a very strong renewal. Last season's Derby winner Desert Crown makes his seasonal bow and puts his unbeaten record on the line, having not been seen since his triumph at Epsom last June. As a four-year-old with just three runs to his name he naturally remains open to improvement and will surely be hard to beat if anywhere near the sort of form he showed in his two runs last season. Six-year-old Hukum is somewhat more battle hardened than the jolly and took his first victory in a G.1 when winning the 1m4f Coronation Cup (over the Derby trip) last year. He hasn’t been seen since that run either, a day longer off track than Desert Crown, and this trip may be on the short side for him; won over a mile at two but since then every win has been over a mile-and-a-half or further. Cash is perhaps the one most likely to take advantage if the two at the head of the market both falter if he can find the sort of form that saw him finish second to Irish Derby winner Westover in the G.3 Classic Trial at Sandown last spring. He was second to Chindit in the Listed Paradise Stakes over what is perhaps an inadequate mile at Ascot earlier this month and that will have blown away the cobwebs. I will be watching rather than punting.Be lucky