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Kaboo was unable to justify strong support on his debut in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he made a hugely encouraging debut in the face of such a stiff task. Kaboo was beaten little over three lengths in sixth, and he can have his effort marked up as he made his challenge on the flank and at a part of the race when the tempo was lifting. He is entitled to progress for that initial experience and is an exciting prospect.
Mildenberger put up a creditable effort when a close-up sixth in the valuable Red Sea Turf Handicap in Saudi Arabia in February and he looked as good as ever when fifth under a big weight in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle last Saturday. The form he showed off a BHA mark of 111 in the Northumberland Plate is up there with the best on offer and he should go close if he doesn’t find this run coming too soon.
La Pulga was fourth at Haydock on Thursday and is surely an unlikely runner, so, in his expected absence, it could be worth siding with Gaius. Gaius offered plenty to work with when runner-up on his debut at Windsor in May and he ran to a similar level when third at Newbury last month. The winner at Newbury, Great Max, has since finished third in the Chesham at Royal Ascot, so Gaius faced a stiff task on that occasion but may be capable of gaining compensation here.
John Leeper failed to meet expectations in the Derby last time but he had previously created an excellent impression and he can make the most of this drop in class. John Leeper, a son of Frankel out of Oaks winner Snow Fairy, was a stylish winner of a Newcastle novice on his reappearance and he took a big step forward to win a listed race at Newmarket, despite still showing signs of inexperience. He found the Derby coming too soon in his development but is still a colt of serious potential and can get back on track here.
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Classic Lord stayed on strongly to win a mile-and-a-half handicap at Haydock in May, relishing the emphasis on stamina that the heavy ground provided, and he ran to a similar level under less favourable conditions at Chester last time, only just failing to reel in a subsequent winner. He will be suited by this stiffer track and step up to a mile and three-quarters, and he is a handicapper on the up.
Takeonefortheteam scored at Doncaster in April and has remained in good form, finishing runner-up at Bath and Nottingham on his two subsequent starts. Takeonefortheteam ran as well as ever at Nottingham last time, only just failing and pulling a fair way clear of the third. He should give another good account under Megan Wingrove, who was aboard for his Doncaster success.
Tips for Sandown on Friday
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