Tony Elves has two picks for this Saturday's racing at Sandown and York.
There is nothing better than going to war at the meeting with a full tank of paper ammunition and a perusal of the Sandown card suggests that Arab Poet is one to get stuck into in the BetStars.uk England v Russia Handicap at 1.40.
The Poet’s Voice colt has only a solitary two and a quarter length victory from Alshaqee over six furlongs at Lingfield last October to his name in six outings but that only tells half a story, as prior to that success he had finished a creditable runner-up, beaten three and three quarter lengths, to subsequent 2000 Guineas runner-up Massaat at Leicester (7f) in September and his two efforts this term have confirmed he possesses plenty of ability.
First time out this term over and extended seven furlongs at Beverley in April he was beaten by a length and three quarters by Garcia at level weights and the winner followed up in the ultra competitive Silver Bowl Handicap at Haydock in May.
Arab Poet then went onto contest a Class two handicap over seven furlongs at Goodwood where he finished a close fourth, beaten half a length, a head and half a length, to the hat trick completing Oh This Is Us with Haalick (unlucky in running when a short priced favourite at Epsom last week) second and another hat trick seeker Ian Fleming in third.
The form looks particularly strong and Stamp Hill, who finished a neck behind Arab Poet at Goodwood was beaten only half a length by King’s Pavilion in another seven furlong handicap at Epsom last weekend. Arab Poet has been upped only 1l for his recent effort and, from his three draw in this slightly easier grade he looks a bet with a capital B. Ryan Moore rides this course like he knows every blade of grass and a 2pts win is strongly advised.
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At York (1.50) it looks like Nayel has been layed out to grab some pre-Royal Ascot dosh in the Queen Mothers’ Cup (Lady Amateur Riders) Handicap over a mile and a half.
The Richard Hannon-trained colt needed his reappearance effort when fourth to Weetles over a mile and a quarter at Windsor in April but showed the benefit of that run when beating Pacify half a length at York in May. Again, that looks pretty strong form with the third Erik The Red finishing good runner-up next time and the fifth Revolutionist winning his two starts since including the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar recently.
Nayel is stepped up in trip but he wasn’t stopping at the end of his last raced and the Hannon team have taken the measure of booking the top class amateur Katie Walsh to do the steering. All in, that looks a combination too irresistible to resist and a 1pt win is recommended.