Jockey Ryan Moore will be confident of finding the winner’s enclosure at Sandown on Thursday evening with six rides at the Esher track. Racing Tips have analysed each of the sextet below.
The Whipmaster – 17:40 (Coral ‘Beaten-By-A-Length’ Free Bet Handicap)
Ryan Moore will be confident of getting off to the perfect start as he teams up with his father in Sandown’s opener with recent Lingfield winner THE WHIPMASTER.
A dual winner last season for connections, it was disappointing to see his form tail off towards the end of the season – finishing well beaten on his final two starts on the all-weather at Newcastle and Chelmsford.
Far from disgraced on his seasonal return at Windsor, The Whipmaster soon bounced back to winning ways earlier this month at Lingfield over 1m2f – displaying a smart turn of foot inside the final furlong to comfortably score under jockey Tom Queally.
A 2lb rise doesn’t look insurmountable on that evidence and the four-year-old will be expected to follow up with Ryan Moore taking over in the saddle.
Michaela’s Boy – 18:15 (Coral National Stakes)
The jockey appears to have a difficult task in race two as he partners MICHAELA’S BOY for trainer Richard Hughes in the Listed Coral National Stakes.
A taking winner on his debut at Windsor at the start of April, Michaela’s Boy failed to confirm that promising start when finishing fourth of five at Ascot in Class 2 company on his very next start.
Although there should be plenty of improvement to come from the two-year-old colt on just his third racecourse outing, Michaela’s Boy will have to step up markedly if he is going to trouble the likes of Irish raider Crispy Cat and impressive Newmarket winner Tajalla on Thursday evening.
John Leeper – 18:50 (Coral Henry II Stakes)
Ryan Moore maintains the partnership with JOHN LEEPER following an encouraging return to form in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester earlier this month.
Held up towards the rear of the field on that occasion, the son of Frankel made smart headway turning for home before staying on strongly in the closing stages to finish fourth over the 1m5f trip.
Largely disappointing during his three-year-old campaign last season, connections will be hopeful that the four-year-old colt has turned a corner following his promising seasonal return and whilst he does have the stamina to prove on Thursday evening, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this former Listed winner return to winning ways if handling the step up in trip.
Bay Bridge – 19:25 (Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes)
The Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes promises to be a fiercely competitive affair despite only six runners heading to post. Multiple Group winner Addeybb often runs well fresh, while John & Thady Gosden’s six-time winner Mostahdaf could develop into a seriously smart four-year-old given his pedigree.
However, Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore have teamed up with five winners in this contest since 2011 and the trainer and jockey could add to that impressive haul with BAY BRIDGE on Thursday evening.
The son of New Bay failed to get off the mark in two starts as a juvenile but simply thrived during his three-year-old campaign last season, winning all four starts including the London Gold Cup at Newbury and the Listed James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket.
Still lightly-raced, the four-year-old certainly remains an exciting prospect for the season ahead and there is no doubt that Sir Michael Stoute’s colt will be making his mark in Group company this campaign.
Inigo Jones – 20:00 (Coral Whitsun Cup Handicap)
Plenty more was expected from INIGO JONES when lining up at Chelmsford on his seasonal reappearance last month, however, despite being sent off the well supported second favourite, the four-year-old failed to fire after being gelded and shaped desperately in need of the return to action following a 237-day break.
A comfortable winner at the aforementioned track on his opening three-year-old start last season, Sir Michael Stoute’s charge failed to build on that impressive success on his following three outings – disappointing in Listed company before going on to struggle in valuable handicap contests at Newmarket and Sandown towards the end of the season.
Often keen during his races, Inigo Jones will have to learn how to settle if he is going to return to the winner’s enclosure, however, he could be fairly treated off a mark of 93 and interestingly drops into Class 3 company for the first time on Thursday evening.
Sip And Smile – 20:35 (Play Coral ‘Racing-Super-Series’ For Free Handicap)
Recent Doncaster winner SIP AND SMILE appears to hold leading claims in Sandown’s concluding contest as George Boughey’s progressive three-year-old bids for his fourth victory from just seven starts.
A dual winner on the all-weather earlier in the year over six furlongs, connections decided to step the three-year-old Gedling up in trip on his penultimate start at Ascot. Racing over a mile for the first time, Sip And Smile endured a troubled passage throughout on that occasion but still managed to keep on strongly in the closing stages to finish third.
Dropped back to seven furlongs at Doncaster last time out, Sip And Smile was given a fantastic front-running ride from jockey Ross Coakley – comfortably fending off the late challenge of George Scott’s Mistrix on the run to the line to win by a length.
With plenty more to come on just his fourth start on the turf, Sip And Smile should make light work of a recent 3lb rise in the weights and the three-year-old could take plenty of stopping under Ryan Moore now racing back over the mile trip.