SANDOWN provides the main bet on a relatively low-key day of racing today in the form of Frankel filly Icespire, writes CHARLIE CROASDALE.
Facing seven rivals in the Handicap (3.55) over a mile, John Gosden’s three-year-old remains with potential and could make the improvement needed here to land this prize off a mark of 85.
Icespire was well-backed and won nicely on debut at Salisbury – notably with cut in the ground – before being badly hampered two furlongs out at Ascot on her first start this year, going down a short head to Prosper.
Significantly up in class and trip for a listed race for fillies last time out at Goodwood (1m 1f), Icespire was again heavily punted but was too keen early on and paid the price, weakening out of contention in the last couple of furlongs.
It’s no bad thing to see Andrea Atzeni taking over from Frankie Dettori in the plate as he operates at a 21.4 per cent strike rate this year when teaming up with Gosden and her opening mark may prove kind in hindsight.
At Bangor today, Ambre Des Marais should have litte problem in landing the opening Handicap Hurdle (2.00) under Noel Fehily.
On her first run for Johnny Farrelly, the seven-year-old mare absolutely hacked up at Newton Abbot and carries a 7lb penalty here for that success, but she’s still 5lb well-in with a weight rise due next week. This doesn’t look a particularly strong race and there should be no stopping Ambre Des Marais.
It’ll be good to see some decent jumps action return tomorrow with a seven-race card at Newton Abbot, and there’s a couple on the card I like, although do check the final declarations this morning.
Snow Leopardess is jocked up with Jonny Burke in the saddle for the Handicap Hurdle (3.25) and might take a bit ot stopping.
Charlie Longsdon’s talented mare was last seen bolting up off a mark of 123 in the Mares’ Novice Handicap Hurdle Final at Newbury back in March, and gave the impression this slightly longer distance will be in her favour.
Longsdon’s yard always tend to hit top form at this time of year and despite a hefty rise of 12lb, I fancy Snow Leopardess can outclass her rivals here, with Wait For Me looking the main danger for Phillip Hobbs.
In the Handicap Chase (4.35), Theo can make it a five-timer since switching to the yard of Dr Richard Newland.
A winner at Fairyhouse in November for Steve Donohoe, the seven-year-old gelding moved to Newland’s yard in May and has since racked up four wins, three over hurdles, before being shaken up approaching the last flight to land his chase debut for the yard on August 3 at Stratford.
An 8lb rise doesn’t make life any easier here, but Sam Twiston-Davies is booked and Theo looks like having bags more improvement in him over the coming months for his excellent trainer.
Back at Sandown tomorrow, Tisbutadream can record a sixth win of the calender year in the Group 3 Atlanta Stakes (3.00).
David Elsworth’s three-year-old filly has been on an amazing journey this year, starting life off a penalty-kick mark of 67 in a class six handicap at Lingfield and going on the record five victories, the latest of which coming over this course and distance in July in the Coral Distaff, making all under tomorrow’s jockey Silvestre de Sousa.
Tisbutadream shook off some good yardsticks that day and could take some pegging back here, especially if the ground continues to dry out.
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