Architect Tips continues his new daily Tote Placepot tips column with selections for the first six races at Sandown.
Leg 1 Selections: ROCKET RODNEY
The Dragon Stakes is an excellent opener, which is littered with promising sprinters, including three participants who ran very well in defeat at Royal Ascot last time. However, the one I really like for this is ROCKET RODNEY, who holds the advantage on the form of his second in the Windsor Castle, where he had Eddie’s Boy well held in third, and will find this task a lot easier.
George Scott’s charge travelled best that day, as he was the last horse off the bridle, and was only beaten a neck by Little Big Bear. He fared much the best of those drawn high, so his performance can be markedly upgraded as the low drawn numbers held much of the advantage on the straight course throughout the week. With much more to come, back down in grade, he’s confidently selected to go one better.
Leg 2 Selections: CALLING THE WIND, EUCHEN GLEN
It always pays to stick with the consistent horses in the Placepot pools and therefore Richard Hughes’ CALLING THE WIND has to be the choice here. He comes here on the back of a credible third in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was second in that race twelve months earlier and was a good third in the Cesarewitch Handicap back in October. The six-year-old has an awesome record in marathon distance events and should be suited to this race with Not So Sleepy expected to charge off as he often does. He’s a solid choice to make the frame.
Jim Goldie’s EUCHEN GLEN has been a fantastic servant over the years and showed the fire still burns when a close-up third in a good Listed event at York last time. The nine-year-old is still the joint highest-rated runner in the field and has won two of his three starts at this track, including on this card last year. He’s yet to win over two-miles, but does stay, and he’s sure to give everyone a run for their money, so he’s picked as an alternative option in the hope he can be competitive and make the top two under his optimum conditions.
Leg 3 Selections: STORMBUSTER
A lot of interesting newcomers here, but Andrew Balding’s STORMBUSTER ran to a fine level when third on debut at Newbury and that experience will have taught him plenty. He is a brother to the high-class Arabian Queen and kept on nicely on his only previous start.
The step up in trip to seven furlongs should massively suit given his breeding, and provided there’s no above-average debutant in the field here, this son of Dubawi ought to take some beating. I just cannot see him out of the frame with improvement on the cards.
Leg 4 Selections: LETHAL NYMPH
Just the five runners go to post for this competitive event, but the Clive Cox-trained LETHAL NYMPH didn’t do much wrong when third behind Golden Voice over course-and-distance last time, beaten just over a length, and has been given a good chance by the assessor to reverse the form on these five pounds better terms off the exact same mark.
He was a winner of his first two starts and while he disappointed slightly on handicap debut next time, he shaped well when third three weeks ago when tentatively handled in the latter stages. On the evidence of his form to date, a mark of 87 should prove exploitable and if he’s ridden closer to the pace on this occasion, he could gain revenge on the favourite under Adam Kirby.
Leg 5 Selections: ADDEYBB
Onto the feature race of the day for leg five and while, in an ideal world, softer ground would have been preferred for ADDEYBB, he is the class horse in the field and should be a lot fitter following his solid third over course-and-distance in the Brigadier Stakes behind Bay Bridge. He has loads of high-class form in his catalogue and gets on well with Tom Marquand.
This race is a lot easier and this multiple Group 1 winner was an excellent runner-up in the Coral Eclipse here last year behind the very talented St Mark’s Basilica. That is the strongest form on display and he’s clear of this field on official ratings. With a positive ride likely to be in place, he should still prove too strong for these.
Leg 6 Selections: DUKE OF VERONA, SINGLE
DUKE OF VERONA has performed very well on both starts on the turf this year and shaped nicely over this trip last time when a staying-on third. That was his first go at the distance and he’s a pound lower here. Andrea Atzeni is an excellent jockey booking so, with more to come over this distance, he should be thereabouts.
SINGLE was set a stiff task in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot but wasn’t disgraced in finishing ninth and will find this race far less demanding. She has bags of form over staying distances and sneaks into this race off bottom weight with George Bass claiming five. If she can get back to her best, she’s not without hope here