Thursday’s best bets for Sandown and Leopardstown – Big race Lucky 15 for the pick of Thursday’s horse racing action

Leopardstown hosts some classy evening action on their Thursday racecard.

Leopardstown hosts some classy evening action on their Thursday racecard.

Brian Healy assesses the four feature races across Thursday’s UK and Irish horse racing action where he puts together a big race Lucky 15 with his selections.

Featuring amongst Thursday’s UK and Irish horse racing meetings, there is some classy Listed and Group Three action going to post at Sandown and Leopardstown.

Sandown’s afternoon racecard is dominated by the Listed Star Stakes which has thrown up some smart sorts including Tajaanus, On Her Toes and Fireglow in recent renewals, and this year’s contest looks sure to throw up another smart winner.

Elsewhere, in Ireland there is Listed and Group Three action headed by the Tyros Stakes, which has been an Aidan O’Brien benefit race in recent years, with the Ballydoyle maestro winning the last five renewals with the likes of Gleneagles, Deauville, Churchill and latterly this year’s Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck.

The Group Three Silver Flash Stakes is also on the evening card at Leopardstown, and Aidan O’Brien also boasts a good record in this race having won it in recent years with Promise To Be True and Happily; while Pat Prendergast’s Skitter Scatter took top honours in last year’s renewal.

2:15 Sandown – British Stallion Studs EBF Star Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 7f

6:55 Leopardstown – Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) (2yo) 7f

7:30 Leopardstown – Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes (Group 3) (2yo) 7f

8:30 Leopardstown – Kingdom Of Bahrain Vinnie Roe Stakes (Listed Race) (3yo) 1m6f

Brian Healy assesses all four of Thursday’s feature races across both meetings, and he gives his thoughts on the pick of the day’s action.

2:15 Sandown – British Stallion Studs EBF Star Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 7f

Expensive purchase LIGHT BLUSH (9/4, Bet365) looked a potentially useful prospect despite obvious inexperience when making a winning debut at Newmarket twelve days ago during the July Meeting, and Charlie Appleby’s charge can double up here with the benefit of that experience now under her belt.

The daughter of Kodiac took a little time to find her stride in that debut outing, which is normally a decent indicator for the future; but she was ultimately well on top at the finish having got better as the race progressed, and there ought to be plenty more to come from her on the back of that first run which will have taught her plenty.

This is obviously tougher stepping up to Listed company on just her second start, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her taking a forward step on the back of that performance and she can progress to deliver another win upped in grade for a yard which continues to enjoy a decent return from their runners this season.

Light Blush can win the Star Stakes at Sandown on Thursday

Light Blush can win the Star Stakes at Sandown on Thursday

6:55 Leopardstown – Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) (2yo) 7f

PRECIOUS MOMENTS (15/8, Paddy Power) is still a maiden after three starts, but the daughter of Gleneagles sets a solid standard on the form of her latest runner-up effort behind Albigna in a Group Two contest recently.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge – one of three in the race for Ballydoyle camp – had previously finished a good fifth in the Albany Stakes during Royal Ascot, where she finished just over six lengths behind Daahyeh where her low draw perhaps just hindered her.

She shaped as if she might benefit from a stiffer test on that ocasion, but she was kept to six furlongs for her latest run where she was only run down late in the day latest at the Curragh but still finished clear of the third.

A repeat of that effort ought to make her hard to beat, and she can get off the mark now with this extra furlong a potential source of improvement.

7:30 Leopardstown – Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes (Group 3) (2yo) 7f

Several of Aidan O’Brien’s leading lights down through the years used this race as a stepping stone to better things, and the Ballydoyle maestro has a strong hand again with ARMORY (4/6, Unibet) taken to enhance his growing reputation.

The Galileo colt was very green on his debut here last month when finishing third behind Justifier; but he quickly showed the benefit of that experience to run out a comfortable winner on his next outing at the Curragh where he struck by two lengths from Arranmore despite meeting with some trouble in running.

He caught the eye with the way he travelled into that race, and with both the runner-up and third both running well in defeat since, there is a suspicion that the form could prove quite strong.

There is likely to be more to come from this well-bred Galileo colt who showed a decent turn of pace to win that race last time, and with the potential to improve again he could prove a tough nut to crack here.

Aidan O'Brien can wins some more big prize pots on Thursday

Aidan O’Brien can wins some more big prize pots on Thursday

8:30 Leopardstown – Kingdom Of Bahrain Vinnie Roe Stakes (Listed Race) (3yo) 1m6f

Aidan O’Brien won this race last year, and the Ballydoyle maestro saddles half the field with South Sea Pearl looking to hold the strongest claims from his trio on the back of a win at Bellewstown and subsequent Group Three fourth at this venue latest.

However, it could be worth chancing on Archie Watson’s British raider NATE THE GREAT (3/1, Ladbrokes) to land the spoils and take the top prize back across the Irish Sea.

The Nathaniel colt won twice last term, as well as making the frame in three Listed contests which includes on his final outing of the campaign in the Zetland Stakes behind Norway.

Third on his reappearance behind Epsom Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck in the Lingfield Derby Trial in ground that may not have suited, he may again have found the softer ground against him when disappointing next time at Ascot behind Dashing Willoughby in the Queen’s Vase.

But he quickly bounced back from that lesser effort to post a very solid third of nine runners behind Spanish Mission when last seen out in the Bahrain Trophy where he kept on well but was unable to quite match the front pair.

Now dropped back in class for this outing, this longer trip he faces here ought to suit and he could be worth chancing to get back on the scoresheet and open his win account for the season.

THURSDAY 25 JULY HORSE RACING TIPS – SANDOWN & LEOPARDSTOWN

2:15 Sandown – LIGHT BLUSH (9/4, Bet365)

6:55 Leopardstown – PRECIOUS MOMENTS (15/8, Paddy Power)

7:30 Leopardstown – ARMORY (4/6, Unibet)

8:30 Leopardstown – NATE THE GREAT (3/1, Ladbrokes)