Thursday sees some decent handicap action, particularly at Sandown. Here are the highlights with ratings provided for the main contenders on a busy day of UK racing.
3.30 Brighton – Brighton Challenge Cup, 1m4f Handicap
Not a great strike rate but running well generally, this course and distance has stretched him too far before and it may again.
A lightly raced type from a top yard, she was very brave in winning over 1m2f last time and could relish this distance.
A last time out winner with the champ on board, but 0-6 on turf. Running much better on grass this season though and not dismissed.
In good form on varying ground, but if it stays fast he’ll be all the better.
Trip and ground fine but arguably going backwards.
86 Prendergast Hill
84 Curlew River
79 Sir Jack
78 Cotton Club
Ed De Giles’ 5yo PRENDERGAST HILL will appreciate the forecast ground here and can put in a seasonal best, something which would be enough to win this at the possible expense of Curlew River.
3.50 Haydock – 6f Fillies’ Handicap
It’s been non-stop improvement so far including on soft ground, however the step down to 6f may not help.
Just about to peak for the season and has no problem with the trip or the rain softened ground.
Has consistently risen in the weights despite nine defeats. Needs a break.
From a proper sprinting yard and arguably still getting better. Ground may be a concern and the handicapper has done her no favours.
Queen In Waiting
Two bad runs most recently but capable of much better.
89 Queen In Waiting
87 Southern Belle
If the drop in trip blunts her performance then there could be value in Futoon, on all known evidence though SAINTED really should have too much.
4.50 Haydock – 1m 3½f Handicap
Richard Kingscote could navigate this track blindfold and has a good partner here in John Quinn’s gelding. Easy win last time and more to come.
Improving slightly over hurdles and on the flat, the ground is fine and he should go well.
The New Pharaoh
His best form is over 1m4f on soft ground so this test is ideal.
Running just ok and 0-9 on the turf.
Seems to run OK here and handles this ground.
There’s little evidence to confirm or deny that she’s at her best on this ground, but she is improving this season after a slow start.
84 The New Pharaoh
83 Island Flame
80 Busy Street
Desperately close, so bets should be at a minimum. A chance is taken on STARPLEX though who is gradually improving. The New Pharaoh, Indy, Island Flame and Azzir all hold chances.
6.20 Newcastle – 1m4½f Handicap
Still a maiden after 15 runs which isn’t too encouraging, though runs consistently enough.
On a tentative line through his old Wolverhampton form, he could appreciate this surface more than the turf and maybe surprise one or two with his level.
Only win came in a 1m6f maiden handicap and although running solidly enough was dreadful here last backend.
Capable of a big run at this weight but not very consistent in the past.
Runs consistently at various trips around this course so we know broadly what to expect.
Waiting For Richie
If his good run/bad run patter continues then he should be on a going day here. Definitely capable if a little frustrating.
0-13 on the all-weather. Enough said really.
73 Waiting For Richie
70 Highway Robber
68 Hayward Field
67 New Society
67 Cool Music
Close on ratings, but there are lots here who simply don’t know how to win which cannot be said of CHANT. Ann Duffield knows the score here and can coax a win out of him at the possible expense of Waiting For Richie.
6.55 Newcastle – 7f Fillies’ Nursery Handicap
Disappointed last time but was in good company. He’s been dropped a pound and can improve.
Miss Bar Beach
Not ground dependant on turf and so will probably have no issues here. No room last time and could do way better.
The penny is dropping now but may be outclassed.
Could be capable of more now handicapping but again could lack class.
90 Miss Bar Beach
89 Cape Bunting
85 Kylie Rules
Cape Bunting will be popular and it’s easy to see why, however MISS BAR BEACH is coming along nicely and may just get there.
7.15 Sandown – 1m2f 3yo Handicap
Star Of Rory
Best form came early in his career last season on soft ground, so more rain would be ideal.
A very expensive purchase and one who started off well this season on easy ground. A possible improver.
2-2 now but full brother Time Test much preferred faster ground and that could be the stumbling block here.
Very in and out so far and another Dubawi colt for whom ground could be a concern.
Glenys The Menace
In banging form, going for the hat-trick here with conditions set to suit.
97 Star Of Rory
95 Dubawi Prince
92 Glenys The Menace
91 Time Chaser
There are ground concerns for Dubawi Prince and Time Chaser if the ease remains, however the now gelded STAR OF RORY could be great value and is taken to score.