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8.05 Sandown – Sahara
Sahara is the rightful favourite for the 9 furlong 3 year old only handicap at Sandown, and after a creditable second place finish last time out, she should go one better this time out.
After three respectable runs, the daughter of Clodovil obtained a handicap mark of 67, and duly went off a short priced favourite for her handicap debut at Wolverhampton over 9.5 furlongs. She seemed to get momentarily outpaced that day and although the trip at Sandown is slightly shorter, the course is much stiffer and the longer home straight should play into her hands.
The fact that Sahara was so strong in the market last time out is significant. Chris Wall is very shrewd and rarely leaves the money behind twice. His runners who were beaten favourite last time out do very well in their next run; 85/359 (23.68%) for £142.75 LSP, giving an impressive A/E of 1.42.
Italian Beauty is the main danger, and is on for the hat trick. She has improved since being stepped up in trip, and has shown a really gritty attitude in last two starts, running from the front and holding off all rivals. Has gone up a further 3 pounds and this is tougher, but has to be respected.
8.35 Sandown – Nigel
Nigel has been beaten odds on in running in last two starts, and on paper looks a little short for handicap debut at Sandown, but a closer inspection of previous form suggests that he is the rightful market leader.
On penultimate start he went off favourite for a 12 furlong maiden at Kempton. A slow and awkward start was not ideal and forced the son of New Approach to make his move wide. He only just failed and on the back of that run went off odds on again at Newbury. Was beaten that day by a horse who has since gone on to score again, and the front two were clear, so the form looks rock solid.
More cause for optimism can be gleaned from the fact that the race is over 14 furlongs. Everything about Nigel’s pedigree implies that he will thrive with the extra yardage, and he could even get further in time.
Tips Summary (29th July)
8.05 Sandown – Sahara – 9/4 3.25 +225 2.25 2.25 -0.44 Ladbrokes