Our racing expert marks your card for Thursday's racing.
William Haggas is churning out the winners at his usual excellent strike rate and HER TERMS can be another winner for him in the opening 5f fillies’ maiden at Sandown (due off 2.00pm).
A daughter of Pivotal out of Queen Mary and Lowther winner Best Terms, she has shown more then enough in a couple of starts to suggest she can land this. After a promising debut effort at Ascot she almost got off the mark over 6f at Lingfield last time, looking certain to score (matched at 1.01) when making smooth progress to lead a furlong out, only to be pipped in the last few strides by the well-regarded Cotinga.
The speed she showed there alleviates any concerns over the drop back to 5f and, indeed, the stiff nature of this track should prove ideal. I also like the booking of Silvestre De Sousa as the champion jockey has a near 1-3 strike rate on the stable runners and he should be able to make the most of a favourable low draw in stall two. The selection has been given an entry in next month’s Group 2 Lowther and if she’s going to emulate her dam, she ought to be up to winning this.
The 7f Listed contest for fillies (3.05pm) has drawn a competitive field with all bar one of the eight runners bringing winning form to the table. Charlie Appleby’s CALARE is one of two unbeaten fillies in the line-up, the other being James Tate’s Urban Fox, and while she needs to improve on the bare form of her Doncaster maiden success, that’s entirely possible given the manner of it. Heavily backed beforehand, she travelled smoothly from the off and when shaken up she quickly put the race to bed in a few strides, suggesting she was a Pattern performer in the making.
This is far tougher of course and the aforementioned Urban Fox rates a big danger, as does William Haggas’ On Her Toes, who is chasing a hat-trick, while Richard Hannon’s Grizzel is far better than she showed at Royal Ascot last time. However, the selection is clearly smart and Appleby wouldn’t be running her in this class if he didn’t think she was up to it, with her entry in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes an indication of how highly she is regarded. He also has his string in fantastic form with four of his last 10 runners obliging and can boast a 37% (10-27) strike rate with juveniles in 2016.
Roger Charlton’s yard is beginning to click into full gear with four of his 17 turf winners coming in the last week, and that increases interest in his PALING even further. The three-year-old has the most progressive profile of the eight runners in the 1m2f handicap (3.40pm) having won two of his six starts to date, including a Brighton handicap over this trip in May when he won with more in hand than the length-and-a-quarter winning margin would suggest.
He wasn’t able to follow up off a 4lb higher mark at Goodwood last time, but to be fair he didn’t get the best of runs through the race and was beaten less than a length by the progressive Altarsheed, so it can go down as a career-best effort. Back down in grade this afternoon and getting weight from all of his seven rivals, he is taken to get back to winning ways.