Horse Racing Tips: Through the card at Sandown on Friday with Timeform

Timeform guide us through the card at Sandown on Friday.

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13:55 – Starvoski

Point winner Starvoski proved to be a disappointment on her hurdling debut at Wincanton in December, but she offered more encouragement when fifth at Doncaster and then took another big step forward when scoring at Southwell last month. The race was handed to her when the rival she was battling with fell at the final flight, but the suspicion is that Starvoski would have found more and come out on top in any case. She appears to be learning all the time and is progressing significantly by the run, so she looks a big player on her handicap debut.

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14:30 – Dostal Phil

Dostal Phil was disappointing over this course and distance last month but he had excuses as he made a bad mistake and was almost brought down at the first, while he may have found the race coming soon enough on the back of his impressive chasing debut at Newbury. Dostal Phil made his chasing debut in a strong-looking novice handicap but he proved in a different league to his rivals, cruising through the race before deploying a good turn of foot. He drew five and a half lengths clear of the runner-up, who has subsequently won, and he looks well treated off an 8 lb higher mark.

15:05 – Lecale’s Article

The expensively purchased Lecale’s Article suffered a short-price defeat at Warwick last time but he had looked an excellent prospect when making a winning debut at Newbury in December and can return to winning ways here. The form of that race at Newbury has not worked out well but Lecale’s Article won in visually-impressive style, his fluent jumping a particularly pleasing aspect of the performance. It was disappointing that he was beaten when stepped up in trip at Warwick last time, but he is worth another chance to confirm the good impression he created at Newbury.

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15:40 – The Flying Sofa

The Flying Sofa shaped well in a jumpers’ bumper at Kempton last month, despite not getting the clearest of runs, and that effort signalled that he is in decent heart at present. He had also offered some encouragement on his reappearance in a handicap chase at Fakenham in January, travelling well before a lack of fitness seemed to tell, and the handicapper looks to have given him a chance by dropping him 3 lb. He is capable of making an impact from this mark.

16:15 – Pol Crocan

The lightly raced Pol Crocan has really found his feet over hurdles of late and could still have more to offer. He shaped with little promise on his hurdling debut at Warwick in November, pulling hard in the lead and nearly running out at the second, but he was much improved when getting off the mark at Wincanton the following month. Pol Crocan had clearly learned plenty from his hurdling debut, settling much better dropped to two miles, and he made good headway to edge ahead in the dying strides. He again took time to find top gear over the same course and distance last month, but he was well on top at the line, giving the impression he will be suited by this step up in trip. His opening handicap mark looks lenient and he can complete the hat-trick.

16:45 – Golden Emblem

Golden Emblem has been in fine form since entering handicap company and is a horse on the up. Golden Emblem had a wind operation prior to her handicap debut at Market Rasen in December – she was also fitted with a tongue tie for the first time – and she proved a completely different proposition, quickly asserting after the last to score by four lengths. She ran just as well in defeat when runner-up at Musselburgh on her next outing but then found another chunk of improvement to strike at Wincanton last week, passing the post with plenty in hand. She has a 7 lb penalty for that success but she may not have reached her limit and should give another good account.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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