Today’s Horse Racing Preview, Fri 22nd April 2016

Bel To Fell Toormore?

There’s a fantastic day of racing in store on Friday, with black-type events taking place in several countries. Sandown is the UK’s major meeting, with 3 Group races on the card.

The curtain-raiser is the Esher Cup (1.20), a 1m handicap. Chief Whip lost his maiden tag here, last Summer. Ryan Moore has the ride and Richard Hannon’s horse has a 2,000 Guineas entry.

Ebtihaal has decent form on soft ground, although Von Blucher looks the better bet. He beat Ennaad by a length and a half, at Lingfield in October. That horse has been unbeaten in 3 races, since then. The last of those wins came at the expense of Adventurous, at Kempton in April.

The G3 Gordon Richards Stakes (1.50) was won by Western Hymn, in 2015. John Gosden’s charge returns and with form that looks good enough to repeat the effort.

He won the G3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes, was 3rd in the G1 Prince of Wales Stakes (Ascot) and found only Golden Horn and the Grey Gatsby too strong for him in the G1 Eclipse at this racecourse.

Tullius is the most likely challenger, but Andrew Balding’s horse may have to run the race of his life to win. Western Hymn will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.

The G3 Classic Trial is at 2.20. Fancied by many to win this year’s Epsom Derby, Midterm will face much tougher opposition than when he won on debut at Newbury by just a length. Even with Ryan Moore on board, the value may well lie elsewhere.

Ventura Storm already has 3 victories under his belt, the last being the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket. High Grounds has not been seen since winning on his first outing. Charlie Hill’s runner beat Cachao by 6 lengths and is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

The G2 Mile (2.55) is the day’s big race and 5 of the last 10 winners have been trained by Richard Hannon. However, while there’s no doubting Toormore’s quality, he appears to have his work cut out this afternoon.

Belardo is in superb form, finishing 2nd in last season’s G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Ascot) and winning the Listed Doncaster Mile Stakes earlier this month. Either way, Godolphin look to have this one wrapped-up.

The Top Races At Today’s Other UK & Irish Meetings

Remarkable takes on Quick March and My Amigo, in the 3.55 at Doncaster. Lucinda Russell’s Itstimeforapint doesn’t always get around the course, but the aptly named runner can win races when he fancies putting in a full shift. The gelding will be a threat to Double Whammy, in the 4.15 at Perth, if he doesn’t knock-off early.

The evening action is at Chepstow and Plumpton. Sandy Beach takes on Oliver Sherwood’s Milgen Bay in Chepstow’s 6.05, while French runner Libeccio looks to defy top-weight in the 5.50 at Plumpton. There’s also racing on the polytrack, at Dundalk, where the handy General Macarthur goes for Aidan O’Brien in the 8.00.

G2 Action, At Toulouse

The feature race at Toulouse (France) will be the G2 Prix de Carthage. This is leg 1 of the European Purebred Arabian Triple Crown, which comes under the umbrella of the even more long-winded HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series.

Murraaqib won both the Prix Kesberoy and the Arabian Trophy, during the last campaign. He’ll be up against the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed-owned Sir Bani Yas and Ziyadd, a runner that belongs to Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed.

Sir Bani Yas finished a creditable 3rd, in October’s Purebred Arabian World Cup at Longchamp. He looks likely to run a big race. Legs 2 and 3 will be held at Duindight (Netherlands) and Sluzeiwic (Poland).

Winter Left Out In The Cold, At Fairview?

Entrechat and Arabian Winter will renew acquaintances, in the Listed East Cape Oaks at Fairview (South Africa). The former will be 2 kilos better off, despite only losing to Mike Bass’s horse by half a length when they last met.

Yes He Can!

It’s Istanbul Stakes Day, over in Turkey. This G3 encounter is race 4 on the card at Istanbul and Cankardesler will look to extend his outstanding record of consecutive wins. You can only bet on all Turkish races, right here at!


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