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Thursday, 30 June 2016

2:35 Sandown, Saturday July 2nd - Coral Charge

The Coral Charge, run over 5 furlongs at Sandown, hasn’t had a habit of throwing up big-priced winners in recent years, but soft going increases the advantage held by runners drawn low, so we’ve identified a couple that, granted a kindly stalls position, could go well at rewarding odds.

Officially, Duke Of Firenze (33/1) is one of the lowest rated runners in the field, but seems at least as good as ever, if not better, this season and fully deserves another crack at this level. The 7-year-old appears to have been rejuvenated by the transfer to David Griffiths in April, beating subsequent Wokingham Stakes runner-up Brando at York three starts ago and running creditably in defeat when third, off revised marks, in competitive handicaps at Epsom and Musselburgh. Obviously, he has plenty to find on official figures, but should be suited by an end-to-end gallop and has winning form on soft going, so shouldn’t be inconvenienced by any rain that falls in the South East.

Stepper Point (40/1) beat subsequent Nunthorpe Stakes winner Mecca’s Angel, on unfavourable terms, at the Curragh last summer, but has been woefully out of form since breaking a blood vessel at York on his next start. The Kyllachy gelding was found to be suffering from a heart fibrillation caused by a liver infection, which was successfully treated, but he has clearly taken some time to regain his confidence. It’s worth remembering that he easily won the Flying Five Stakes, also at the Curragh, the previous season off a mark of 113, so if he was anywhere near his peak he’d be more than a match for most of these.

Selections: Sandown 2.00, Duke Of Firenze (33/1 with William Hill), Stepper Point (40/1 generally available).

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