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STONE OF DESTINY has always had plenty of ability as he showed when demolishing the opposition in the Portland handicap at Doncaster. He has continued to run well in a lot of top sprints, including The Dash Handicap at Epsom and also last time at the highest level in the King’s Stand Stakes – when he gave away all opportunity of winning with a very slow start.
He brings in near identical form to their favourite Arecibo and has a better stall position to work from close to the fence. The champion jockey Oisin Murphy takes over and Paddy is offering a decent price on his chances.
DHUSHAN is going through the gears very nicely and as yet hasn’t been fully tested or put under maximum pressure in his short career to date. He was not fully extended to win up at Musselburgh last time, and this 150,000 guinea yearling can continue to climb the ladder from a very reasonable perch of just 92. He’s going to relish the step up in distance and he also has the required speed should this turn tactical as it did last time over shorter.
TRAIS FLUORS has been chopping and changing stables of late and subsequently has found his handicap mark dropping back down to a very attractive level. He showed that he is still capable of smart form when winning over course and distance recently and although five of these in the line-up all ran together in the Hunt Cup at the Royal meeting, he never managed to get any daylight until the race was over. He’s better than that and they rely on Oisin Murphy to take over in the saddle yet again.
What’s not to like about MYSTERY ANGEL’s recent form up at the highest level? Added to that she gets a massive 12lbs weight for age allowance. I looked back at the run style of all of those in the Oaks at Epsom and she was the first finisher who went handy in the run, so we can seriously upgrade that performance. She seems completely flexible as to ground conditions and can get a deserved Group Two victory on the board for young and up-and-coming handler George Boughey.
And after going through all the form in the line-up and trying to find a bit of value. the absolute obvious was staring us smack bang in the face all along with the likely favourite STATEMENT. She brings in the best form, is also the top rated, has Ryan Moore on board in the saddle and should be suited to the uphill finish much better than the rollercoasters she encountered at Epsom last time. She ticks a lot of boxes this one.
Roger Charlton has had a very slow start to the season, but you can shake a bottle of milk as hard as you like and the cream will always rise to the top. They are hitting their stride at the moment, and WIN O’CLOCK was running particularly well without winning when all of the others from the stable were out of form. I firmly believe we haven’t seen the best of him as yet and he still has an upside coming into this contest, which is required at this level.
It’s very disappointing that we only have four runners turning out for what is a spectacular contest with a wonderful history. It’s an even split with two older performers taking on the two three-year-olds.
It could well prove tactical and the only way that ST MARK’S BASILICA will come under maximum pressure, is if whoever dictates the pace makes this a truly lung busting end-to-end gallop. Our selection has in his possession the best change of gear and that can be used as a potent weapon late in the day.
13:50 Sandown – Stone Of Destiny
14:05 Haydock – Dhushan
14:25 Sandown – Trais Fluors
14:40 Haydock – Mystery Angel
15:00 Sandown – Statement
15:15 Haydock – Win O’Clock
15:35 Sandown – St Mark’s Basilica
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