The flat season’s best evening meet, Sandown’s Brigadier Gerard fixture, is being broadcast live by ITV on Thursday and there’s two good bets to be had.

First up in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap (6.00), Punkawallah can get back to winning ways for Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote.

The four-year-old was handed a workable opening mark of 65 last season and duly stuck his neck out to win two Haydock handicaps in gritty style.

Up 8lbs to 75, Punkawallah disappointed on his reappearance at the north-west track last month having been well-backed into 3/1f. However, conditions were pretty testing that day (with heavy in the going) and I’m willing to draw a line through that run and concentrate on his past two victories, which makes the gelding of real interest for win purposes at Sandown, dropping back down into class five company.

What A Welcome rates the main danger but Kingscote is deadly from the front and if he can lead from an early stage, Punkawallah should prove hard to peg back on a sounder surface.

If Poet’s Word is in the same form as last season he’ll take some beating in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes (8.10) but the feature doesn’t have a good look to it betting-wise so I’ll leave that one alone.

Instead, I really like the chances of Hakeem in the Whitsun Cup Handicap (8.40) which closes the card.

William Haggas’ four-year-old made a winning debut at Yarmouth and took a big step forward on just his third start earlier this month on Southwell’s Fibresand, making light work of Godolphin’s well-touted Victory Wave, who had previously been an easy winner at Southwell on debut.

He’s up 8lb for that victory but he could be well ahead of the assessor at this stage and rates as one to keep onside, with Jim Crowley hopefully looking to sit mid-division before playing his cards late on.

Sandown's middle four races, starting at 6.35pm, are to be shown live on ITV4.