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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

6.35 Sandown, Wednesday, July 13

In a slight change of tack (no pun intended) this week, we’ve decided to have a crack at the ROR – Retraining of Racehorses Handicap (6.35) at Sandown on Wednesday. The race is run over 7 furlongs and 16 yards on a course where the ability to see out the trip well is vital and, as importantly, around a right hand bend, which hands horses drawn low a distinct advantage. A total of 16 three-year-olds, including several unexposed types, are due to go to post, so a ‘shock’ result is by no means out of the question.

Sexton Blake has yet to trouble the judge in three starts, but ran his best race to date when fourth of 15, beaten 2¾ lengths, in a Lingfield maiden over 7 furlongs on his penultimate start. He subsequently ran creditably in defeat in a similar race, over a seemingly inadequate 6 furlongs, at the Surrey course and should benefit from stepping back up in distance, if proving equally effective on turf. His one run on turf, on his racecourse debut at Ascot last September, was inconclusive, but if he does handle underfoot conditions he remains open to improvement.

Protest started the campaign well enough, when only beaten 1 length, despite finishing fourth of five, in a similar race over 7 furlongs at Wolverhampton in April, but has shown little in three starts since, including back at Wolverhampton last time. None of his turf form is anything to write home about, but he is 5lb lower in the weights than when winning at Wolverhampton, so would be interesting in an ordinary race if able to reproduce that form.

Selections: Sandown 6.35 Sexton Blake, Protest

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