Sandown Park have a decent card tonight with 2 Group 3 races in the Henry II Stakes over 2m 78y for the stayers and the Brigadier Gerard Stakes which looks like it will be a hotly contested renewal and could well be a decent pointer to the Prince of Wales Stakes at Ascot next month, as 5 of tonights runners are also declared for that event as well.
Tonight’s race sees some smart prospects taking each other on for a decent prize fund of £65,000 and the likely favourite will be The Godolphin horse trained by Charlie Appleby Tryster who has had a very good start to the season rattling off 5 straight wins on the all weather including the winter Derby and Easter Classic at Lingfield. The question will be can he transform that form to the Turf and the fact that this horse has quite a turn of foot will be in his favour should this be a slow run affair.
Sir Michael Stoute tips up at the venue with Arab Spring in tow who will have to carry a Group 3 penalty for his victory in the John Porter at Newbury on its come back run, easily beating race fit rivals that day, though he is dropping down two furlongs which could go against him as 1m 4f could well be its optimum distance but still one to consider.
Western Hymn is one of two For John Gosden tonight and could well be considered the second string for the race. After recently being gelded he won the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes on its return to action this year and also won a Group 2 to event over in France last summer, so has to be respected if putting his best foot forward.
The other Gosden Runner is Eagle Top who has been off almost a year after coming fourth in last year’s King George at Ascot and previous to that impressively winning the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes. We will have to take race fitness on trust but I would suggest that maybe the run will be needed and the main aim is for Ascot next month in the Prince of Wales Stakes.
Ralph Beckett saddles Niceofyoutotellme you is a good handicapper and finished fourth to French Navy in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes at HQ last month , but this is a much deeper race than that and this could well be out of his range.
Tullius is saddled by Andrew Balding and although he has had some good runs last year his fourth in last month’s Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes seven lengths behind Western Hymn doesn’t inspire confidence of turning that form around.
So I think the favourite Tryster @ 9/4 will be there or there about’s and will hope the ground stays on the fast side of good, the only doubts will be can he convert his all weather form.
The second favourite Arab spring @ 5/2 dropping back to 1m 2f would be my only concern, ( even though he has won twice at the distance ) but he is a smart prospect in the making and could well be set to have a good season.
I think Eagle Top @ 4/1 will need the run, which will set him up for Ascot next month and another one set for a good season.
Western Hymn @ 9/2 has some good wins under his belt but I’m not sure he is going to be up to the affore mentioned standards, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him run well.
Arab Spring @5/2 to win
And I think I might stick a buck or two on the reverse forecast Arab Spring and Tryster .