5th July 2012
Sandown Betting: Progressive Farhaan to provide in form Buick with another winner
Sandown 4.00pm – Ambant Gala Stakes - Listed Race – 1m2f
Jet Away looks to be a non-runner so 8 will head to post and odds vary from 2-1 to 33-1. The current 2-1 favourite is Afsare, available at those odds with Paddypower; other bookmakers have opened at 7-4.
Afsare has raced 11 times and has recorded 3 wins but 2 of them were a maiden and a class 2 conditions race. The other win was a listed race over this trip on good to firm ground back in June 2010. That is also the last time it has won a race, contesting mainly group races since and finishing 2nd in an Italian Group 1 race last time out in May. It looks too short to me but should be suited by the ground and trip.
Songcraft is a year younger and is rated 2lb superior and is the top rated on 115. It won its first 4 career starts, including 2 handicaps at Meydan and has been running over 12f for its last 3 starts. It does have winning form over 10f at Meydan but only beat Belgian Bill by ¾ of a length and that is a 99 rated handicapper. It was 3rd in a Group 2 in March and then well beaten in the Sheema Classic. It has been off course for 97 days and now drops back 2f in trip. Potentially top class and Dettori had 2 winners at Kempton on Wednesday evening for an operation that seems to have hit form.
Godolphin also have Biondetti and Barzalona takes the ride. This one hasn’t run for 118 days and it is an 11-1 chance with the bookies. It has 3 wins from 8 starts, the last of these being an Italian Group 1 over a mile back in October 2010. It has been well beaten over 9f and 10f including a 42 length beating by Green Destiny at York when eased and weakening. Looks to be up against it here.
Junoob is only rated 99 yet gives weight away to the whole field and is a 33-1 chance today. Its best form has been at Lingfield on the all-weather surface but its turf form has been poor, the only turf win being a class 6 maiden at Folkestone last June. It has won a listed race over this trip but 2 of its wins were in terrible claimers and this horse should be outclassed here and is passed over.
Cill Rialaig is even lower rated on 97 and was 5th in a handicap at Ascot just 13 days ago behind Camborne. It has never won above handicap level and is unlikely to do so here against horses rated up to 18lb superior. It is a 25-1 chance and you have to go back 10 races to its last win, having been well beaten in races like this one.
Cai Shen caught the eye at Lingfield 3 races ago when a ½ length second to Premio Loco in the Winter Derby over 10f but on the all-weather surface. It has won over 10f on good ground but that was a class 2 conditions race at Doncaster last September. It ran just 16 days ago at Ascot and was finishing really well over 8f and I feel the step back up to 10f could see more improvement. It won here on its 2nd ever career start back in August 2010 but over 7f. I do feel it could be better than its rating by a few pounds and might be some value at the odds of 7-1 for an in form trainer and jockey.
Tazahum had a seasonal opener but that was 78 days ago back in April when beaten 10 lengths in a Group 3 race over 9f. It has only ever raced once over 10f and was beaten over 5 lengths in a Group 3 race. It ran well last August when 2nd to Green Destiny at York, that rival now rated 119. Stoute won this race last year with Class Is Class and he has his horses in better form than when Tazahum last ran.
Farhaan looked to have put the race to bed on its seasonal debut when Hanagan asked it to kick for home but when headed it folded late on and went from 1st to 4th in a matter of strides. It could have been a fitness issue rather than attitude and will have come on for that run. It won 2 races last season and then ran 5th to Daddy Long Legs in a Group 2 at Newmarket. The form of the seasonal debut isn’t bad with Thought Worthy running 4th in the Derby and 3rd at Ascot and Noble Mission running 2nd at Ascot, one place in front of Thought Worthy, that race at Group 2 level.
The booking of William Buick is a huge plus as he is in terrific form and the horse gets weight from the field as it is the only 3 year old in the race. 3 year olds won the race from 2002 to 2005 and then again in 2007 but the last 4 renewals have gone to horses aged 5, 7, 5 and 4. Only 3 favourites have taken this race in the last decade and Afsare looks far too short for me and would be a lay in my opinion at 2-1.
Songcraft is the possible fly in the ointment but Farhaan is the progressive youngster getting weight and likely to improve past this rating and has a Group 1 entry. The stats against 3 year olds could be skewed as there wasn’t even a 3 year old running in the race last year, only one 3 year old runner in 2010, no 3 year old runners in 2009 and no 3 year old runners in 2008.
2pts EW – Farhaan 7-1 Ladbrokes (BOG)
0.5pt EW – Cai Shen 7-1 Ladbrokes (BOG)
- Register at Ladbrokes
Author: Formbook Frank