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ITV Racing Saturday starts with this Group 3 dash over 5 furlongs. CAME FROM THE DARK is going to need luck in running for Ed Walker and Tom Marquand. That said, his run against Lazuli in the Palace House suggests he has every chance of reversing the form here.
He’s going to be dropped out anyway, so a high draw might not be an issue, and if they go hard on the rail he can storm down the middle of the track.
ITV coverage at Haydock starts with this handicap over 1m 6f. Hard to get away from the improving DHUSHAN, who is in tremendous form for William Haggas with Danny Tudhope taking the ride. Dhushan won at Haydock and then landed an event at Musselburgh with ease off a mark of 85. A 7lbs ride should not stop him and going up in trip isn’t going to be an issue.
Now a handicap over 1m and this is wide open. I’ll take a chance with Northern raider PYTHAGORAS, who goes for Richard Fahey and Paddy Matthews. A mark of 99 looks workable for this colt who wasn’t disgraced in the Golden Gate at Ascot last time.
His effort there strongly suggested a drop to this distance would result in a better performance and from a good draw I will back him each-way.
A Group 2 here in the Lancashire Oaks over 1m 4f. Impossible not to be all over ALPINISTA here for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris. With a BHA rating of 113, she is the class act in the race and her success at Goodwood in a Listed event first time out suggested she’s as good as ever. She’s basically just the best horse.
It’s Listed company this time for three-year-olds over 1m. STATEMENT really should be good enough to take this for Martyn Meade and Ryan Moore. The stable went close to landing the Irish Derby the other day and Statement has a rating of 106, which puts her bang in the mix here. Her second in the Fred Darling and third in the Princess Elizabeth at Epsom were fine runs.
Now a competitive handicap over 1m 4f and it’s a very tricky handicap to sort out. Although beaten last time after a string of wins, I’ll give another chance to the Mark Johnston runner ZABEEL CHAMPION.
Ben Curtis takes the mount and his third at Ascot in the Duke of Edinburgh was still a great run even though he was beaten by Quickthorn. This trip is ideal, and he has a good draw to work from.
Now the big one, the Group 1 Eclipse over 1m 2f and it’s a small but relatively select field. The only horse in here with a devastating turn of speed is ST MARK’S BASILICA and I expect him to win for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. He gets nearly a stone from Mishriff and Addeybb and that should be enough for the Dewhurst, French 2000 and French Derby hero. He’s the only one who can sprint in this field.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
13:50 Sandown – Came From The Dark
14:05 Haydock – Dhushan
14:25 Sandown – Pythagoras
14:40 Haydock – Alpinista
15:00 Sandown – Statement
15:15 Haydock – Zabeel Champion
15:35 Sandown – St Mark’s Basilica
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