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Sandown racing tips 23 May - Race-by-race selections for Thursday evening's feature meeting

Brian Healy 22 May 2019
Sandown host a cracking evening fixture on Thursday.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for every race on Sandown's Thursday evening racecard.

A cracking evening racing card goes to post at Sandown on Thursday, and a high-quality fixture sees Group Three and Listed action both on the agenda at the Esher track with the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes taking centre stage.

The Group Three Henry II Stakes will also go to post on Thursday evening, where Mark Johnston’s Dee Ex Bee will put his credentials as a potential Ascot Gold Cup challenger on the line; while the exciting Calyx will be in action in the Listed National Stakes.

6:00 - Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap (A Jockey Club Grassroots Middle Distance Series Qualifier) Cl5 (4yo+ 0-75) 1m2f
6:35 - Matchbook Betting Podcast National Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 5f
7:05 - Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m
7:35 - Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m2f
8:10 - Matchbook Low Commission Exchange Heron Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (3yo) 1m
8:40 - Matchbook Casino Whitsun Cup Handicap Cl3 (4yo+ 0-95) 1m

On a top-class evening of horse racing action Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look at the Thursday racecard at Sandown, and he gives his selections for every race.

6:00 - Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap (A Jockey Club Grassroots Middle Distance Series Qualifier) Cl5 (4yo+ 0-75) 1m2f


SUDONA (5/1, William Hill) ended last season on a high, finding improvement for the step up to this trip to get off the mark with a defeat of Debatable at Yarmouth where she struck by almost two lengths.

Hugo Palmer’s Zoffany filly made a pleasing return to action at Lingfield earlier in the month, finishing a close third behind She Believes where she was denied by less than one length; she ought to be sharper now as a result, and both the winner and fifth horses home in that race have won since to give the form a boost.

She can compete from the same mark here, and the stiffer track ought to suit, so having taken a slight ease in grade she can get back on the scoresheet here given she remains lightly-raced still and may have more to offer.


6:35 - Matchbook Betting Podcast National Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 5f


PROPER BEAU (9/2, William Hill) had a subsequent winner in arrears when making a winning debut at Musselburgh last month, and Bryan Smart’s charge can build on that experience to follow up here despite this being a much tougher race.

The Brazen Beau colt had a neck to spare at the line over Alminoor, with the pair drawing clear of the rest; the runner-up struck next time, and he looked a potentially smart prospect in that debut outing which he appeared to win with something in hand.

Likely to have better to come, he could prove the answer to this puzzle and while this is a step up in class he could prove equal to the task to double his win tally.

7:05 - Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m


Dee Ex Bee was an impressive winner of the Sagaro Stakes, and Mark Johnston’s charge - one of three in the race for the Middleham handler - could prove a tough nut to crack.

However, he has to give weight all round to this field which includes MAGIC CIRCLE (3/1, William Hill) who won this race twelve months ago, and the Makfi gelding would be giving the Johnston runner weight in a handicap given he is rated 2lbs higher.

Ian Williams’ charge took this prize on the back of a win in last season’s Chester Cup, and he was clearly not at home on the heavy ground in the Melbourne Cup in November where he finished down the field behind Cross Counter.

The seven-year old may again have found conditions against him in the Ormonde Stakes latest on his reappearance, but he might also have needed the run and it was perhaps a better effort than it appears at face value as he finished only a half-length behind runner-up Kew Gardens although no match for an easy winner.

Better ground and a return to a longer trip are both positives, and he ought to be sharper now for that reappearance. Assuming those exertions in testing ground last time at Chester haven’t left a mark then he could take advantage of the 2lbs he receives from Mark Johnston’s 2018 Epsom Derby runner-up where he can mount a successful title defence.


7:35 - Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m2f


Group One winner Here Comes When ought to appreciate the drop in class, but his best form has come when the mud is flying and REGAL REALITY (15/8, William Hill) is taken to give Sir Michael Stoute his eleventh win in the race, and his third in succession.

The Intello colt struck on his sole start as a juvenile, scoring at Yarmouth, after which he was off the track for eight months before returning in Listed company on this card twelve months ago.

He could only finish sixth behind Without Parole on that occasion, but he subsequently got the better of Ostilio at Goodwood in the Group Three Thoroughbred Stakes prior to a pair of bronze medal finishes at Haydock and Newmarket respectively.

No match for Here Comes When in bottomless ground at the first-named venue in the Unibet Mile, he ran a better race back on quicker ground behind Mustashry in the Shadwell Joel Stakes; that form has since been boosted, and there was a lot to like about his latest reappearace in the Bet36 Mile here when finishing third again, this time behind the progressive and smart Beat The Bank.

He ought to come on for that first run, while the longer trip here very much looks in his favour; he can find further progress as a result, and open to considerable improvement for a yard doing little wrong at present then he could prove the answer to this Group Three puzzle.


8:10 - Matchbook Low Commission Exchange Heron Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (3yo) 1m


John Gosden saddles two in the race, and it could be significant that Franke Dettori sides with KING OF COMEDY (7/2, William Hill) .

The Kingman colt was an impressive winner here on his debut last July, beating Persian Moon, after which he lost no caste in defeat behind I Could Do Better in soft ground at Redcar. That winner has since won again, as has the fourth horse home, and the ground was probably against him that day.

However, he quickly bounced back to winning form at Yarmouth last month where he ran out a one length winner over Land Of Legends with the pair pulling clear. He still looked inexperienced that day, carrying his head awkwardly under pressure, and he could still have further improvement to come.

The form of that latest win perhaps isn’t the strongest, but he looks sure to progress further and he could make the most of the 3lbs he receives from standard-setting Sangarius.

8:40 - Matchbook Casino Whitsun Cup Handicap Cl3 (4yo+ 0-95) 1m


Lightly-raced LUSH LIFE (4/1, William Hill) can get back on the winning trail having shaped well on her reappearance at Windsor earlier in the month behind Greenside; Jamie Osborne’s charge can get back to winning ways here.

The Mastercraftsman filly won three of her first four career starts, progressing well last term to win a decent Ascot handicap in October with a defeat of Game Player prior to acquitting herself better than her finishing position suggests in the Listed Fleur Du Lys Stakes at Lingfield.

Beaten almost five lengths into eighth behind Rasima, she was possibly given too much to do; but she returned to action with a decent effort latest, beaten just two lengths, and she should prove sharper for that reappearance.

She didn’t appear suited by the steady pace on that occasion, while a slow start might have compromised her chances and she was caught further back than ideal when the pace lifted; but she finished off the race well and now enjoys a 4lbs pull at the weights with her last-time conquerer, so possibilities that she can finish closer now.


SANDOWN RACING TIPS THURSDAY 23 MAY - RACE-BY-RACE SELECTIONS


6:00 - SUDONA (5/1, William Hill)

6:35 - PROPER BEAU (9/2, William Hill)

7:05 - MAGIC CIRCLE (3/1, William Hill)

7:35 - REGAL REALITY (15/8, William Hill)

8:10 - KING OF COMEDY (7/2, William Hill)

8:40 - LUSH LIFE (4/1, William Hill)

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Sandown racing tips 23 May - Race-by-race selections for Thursday evening's feature meeting

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for every race on Sandown's Thursday evening racecard.

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