Sandown’s Summer Festival is not the same sort of meeting as Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood but it is held in very high regard by those who make the trip to Surrey for the two days of action. For the more casual racing fan it’s Saturday’s action that holds most interest. The high-quality card is headlined by the Coral-Eclipse, one of the most important races of the season and ITV Racing are basing themselves at Sandown for that Group 1 and the day’s other big races.
Elsewhere and the cameras will broadcast a good card of racing at Haydock to support the main action from Surrey, so anybody staying in to watch the racing this weekend has an awful lot to enjoy. By the same token, we have a lot of quality racing to have a look at in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips and plenty of winners to find too!
1:50 Coral Charge
Group 3, 5f
A run of winning favourites in the Coral Charge was snapped by Kurious who won at 6/1 in 2019. The two subsequent winners went in at 12/1 and 5/1 and whilst those are hardly huge prices, it could be that playing away from the top of the market is the way to tackle this 5f contest once again.
Tippy Toes is the horse to turn to in the search for value in 2022. The three-year-old filly gets plenty of weight from most of her rivals in this eight-runner contest, while the size of the field should help her to avoid the troubles in running that she encountered at Royal Ascot. Tippy Toes was repeatedly denied a clear run in the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes where her run was much better than the 14th place finish suggests. A price of 9/1 surely underestimates Tippy Toes’ chances if she arrives at Sandown in the same sort of form as Ascot, so that looks a very good each way bet.
2:05 bet365 Handicap
Class 2, 1m6f
You always need a very good reason to back a favourite in a handicap, especially one with as many runners as the bet365 Handicap at Haydock, but there is very good reason to expect that Double Cherry is the one to be on here.
Double Cherry was well supported on his handicap debut last time out at Goodwood and rewarded his backers in the style of a horse who still has plenty of upside. A 9lb rise might look like a burden but if he’s in the same mood at Haydock then it won’t prove overly penal and Double Cherry can keep his backers happy with victory at a more than fair price of 11/2.
2:25 Coral Challenge
Class 2, 1m
There is a big race to be won by anybody brave enough to go and make the running in the Coral Challenge. None of the 11 horses in the field are particularly used to making the running but it can be hard to reel in front runners at Sandown, especially over 1m.
Escobar started his season with a win over 7f at York having been held up and David O’Meara seems to have subsequently told jockey Daniel Tudhope to employ similar tactics in his next two starts over slightly longer trips but with mediocre results. Could it be that Adam Kirby, who gets the ride on Saturday, is allowed to be a bit more positive in the saddle? Escobar can be a bit of a handful and if Kirby lets him used that natural exuberance to get out to the front of the field early, he might just prove to be too hard to catch, landing the Coral Challenge at odds of 8/1.
2:40 bet365 Lancashire Oaks
Group 2, 1m4f
Free Wind was a late starter, only making her two-year-old bow in December of 2020. She was then held back until June as a three-year-old and it’s a similar story this year as her four-year-old campaign begins at the bet365 Lancashire Oaks.
John and Thady Gosden know exactly how to prepare a horse to be fit and ready for a first start of the season so there should be no concerns about the lengthy layoff for those looking to back Free Wind at 2/1. Eshaada is the main threat to the bookies’ favourite but her first run of the campaign wasn’t exactly inspiring and that came back in May so she also has to prove her fitness. As such, for our money Free Wind is the one to be one.
3:00 Coral Distaff
As ever, the Coral Distaff features several improving horses who are still some way from approaching their ceiling. Strange as it may seem, that may not quite be the case for the unbeaten Heredia. She just about managed to keep her perfect record intact last time out at Ascot and may find that the improvement she’ll need to beat this field isn’t quite there.
In contrast, Fast Attack has won just two of her five races but she’s very much going in the right direction. Fifth place in the German 1,000 Guineas is nothing to be sniffed at and the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained filly will have learned a lot from her trip to Dusseldorf. The draw looks to be a positive and Fast Attack can maintain her progress at 6/1.
3:15 bet365 Old Newton Cup Handicap
Class 2, 1m4f
Haydock is just outside of Liverpool so there it would be no surprise were the locals to lend their support to Liverpool Knight at the track on Saturday. Those who come through the gates at Haydock might wish that they had taken the option of backing the four-year-old earlier though as he has been backed consistently in the run up to the race.
The main reason for that market support is the rain in the Merseyside area. The going has already been eased to good to soft and might well be officially soft by the time the bet365 Old Newton Cup gets underway. That is very good news for Kevin Philippart De Foy for whom Liverpool Knight won on his debut for his new trainer. The trainer knows there should be more to come from this one, who may have been backed in somewhat but still represents decent each way value at 9/1.
Group 1, 1m2f
The field for the Coral-Eclipse has predictably been trimmed significantly over the last week. Fortunately, we are left with six high-class horses which provides a fascinating race and allows for one each way place. Most punters won’t be taking the option of betting each way and instead will be choosing to either back French Derby winner Vadeni (6/4), the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Native Trail (3/1) or Bay Bridge (4/1) who has improved to a remarkable extent for Sir Michael Stoute over the last two seasons.
There is an each way option in the betting though with Mishriff available at 15/2. David Egan has been talking up the chances of the horse who was the second highest rated in the world last year. Mishriff will need to be better than when running flat in the Saudi Cup and also than when finishing third in the Coral-Eclipse last season. His running style just didn’t suit the middling pace on show 12 months ago and with the pace likely to be much truer this time around, Mishriff can take advantage to score at the top level again, or at the very least to chase home the winner for the place money.