By Tom Stanley
Thank goodness for Talaayeb, a winning tip at 11-1 at York last week. The Doswell debacle which followed was disappointing but keep him in the tracker - I’m convinced he’ll go very close wherever he lines up next. Before that, four more fancies for Friday.
I’ve selected three at Sandown this week but first one from Thirsk and he’s a horse that I put up the last time he ran. That was the third time Hart Stopper had run at Newmarket and the third time he had been beaten there.
I was willing to give him another go at the track on quicker ground last time out but still it was the same story. The race can get away from a hold up type very quickly at the July course and it just doesn't seem to suit Hart Stopper.
He is in amongst pace at Thirsk this afternoon, drawn low, and things could well set up for him. He still looks well treated to judge by his Yarmouth win and he has the ground in his favour. He’s my most confident selection of the four.
Red Alert is a fascinating runner in the five furlong handicap at Sandown. He has the plum draw and, if better away than on his last start for Joseph Tuite at Wolverhampton last time, he could take some pegging back.
That said, he doesn’t have to lead and he is drawn next to pace in the form of Our Lord. Either way he’ll be up there. The really interesting angle is that he was beaten by William Muir’s Secret Agent, in the stewards’ room, a few starts ago at Salisbury.
I was there that day and know William Muir fancied his horse going into the race. The fact that Red Alert is now in the care of Muir, at a track the trainer does well at, means he’s worth a pop here with plenty in his favour and an excellent man in the saddle.
When Twilight Spirit ran at Ripon a few starts ago she shaped for seven furlongs and so too subsequently at Haydock.
She’s a well related daughter of Assertive, a half-sister to such as top sprinters Music Master and Twilight Son, but does look as though she may be in need of the extra furlong. She needs something because she has been a touch disappointing in truth but has a proper chance here back against her own sex.
Hopefully the ground doesn’t tighten up too much because she’s shown her best with a little ease in the ground. I’m hoping the step up in trip helps her lose her maiden tag and it’s worth playing at the prices in a modest contest to find out.
If Precious Angel gets away better than she has to date then I fancy she’ll be a threat to likely favourite and selection Golden Wolf in the last at Sandown.
There’s not a bundle of pace on though and it could, as has been the case with her, be all too little too late.
That’s what Golden Wolf has in his favour here - an ability to lay up with, or likely sit just off the leaders. He ran an eye catching race from off the pace on handicap debut at Chester, showing he was well treated, and won back in maiden company at Leicester when reverting to prominent tactics.
He’s gone up 4lb as a consequence but that's fair enough and there should be a fair bit more to come back in a handicap.
Tom’s tips for Friday:
4.05 Thirsk: Hart Stopper at a general 15-2
4.25 Sandown: Twilight Spirit at a general 15-2
5.00 Sandown: Golden Wolf at a general 9-2