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Preview 24 May 2008


 15:35 Sandown Temple Stakes (group 2) (3yo+, Class 1, 5f, 14 runners)



This Group 2 temple stakes that was originally ran at Sandown makes its first appearance at Haydock and what was a highlight evening race at Sandown has now become a highlight on a decent Saturday card at Haydock that plays host to the 3yo heritage handicap Silver bowl. This line up is as good as any other years as the new recruit for the boys in blue makes his first start for his strong connections and bids to defy the ever improving 3yo Fleeting Spirit that could well end up in the same colours before the season is out. A 3yo of much potential she has already in her short career achieved a place effort in a group 1 as a 2yo when narrowly losing out to the 1000 guineas winner on champion’s day at Newmarket back in the autumn and gives this temple stakes race much gloss.

 Dandy Man has saved his best efforts for Ireland but he ran a cracker at Royal Ascot when losing out to the speed balls from down under in the King stand last season and there is no shame in that effort on these shores and shouldn’t be readily discounted on his first start for his new connections, has to concede weight to Fleeting spirit who gets a age and sex allowance against her main rival and that may not be enough to deny this talented sprinter who deserves success over here which has eluded him since winning at Newmarket on 2000 guineas day 2yrs back as a 3yo. Desert Lord is the other horse in the field with group 1 form and he has no group 1 penalty today having struggled since winning at that level, he demands respect on his day but he has had a fair few races now and looks a shade past his best and the other two should have his measure with the quick conditions ideal for the filly.

 Class selection – Dandy Man

 Runs and Improvement

Sprinters are usually well established from quite a young age and they seem to hold their form with much racing and the lightly raced Enticing could have further improvement to come at 4yo and she demands respect under the guidance of Michael Hills who could have had a tricky choice if red clubs was to take its chance in this race as he rates this filly highly. The two 3yo to take note of in this race is Fleeting Spirit who I have already touched on and the Peter Chapel-Hym horse Spirit of Sharjah who could still make up into a nice colt for the yard and has ideal conditions under foot for this run today and could be a big price by 3.40 today.

 Both 3yo’s are sprinters to take note of for the big sprint races this season as the improvement they are likely to show after this experience should make them very much two to show up well maybe in the big group 1 such as the July cup, while the handicapper off the record who won at Newmarket on 2000 guineas day could well improve for the quicker conditions today having finally shown the same level of form that he had previously shown only on the all weather. Fleeting Spirit despite the penalty could be the horse to improve the most and that may be enough to beat the proven horses still open to improvement such as Enticing.

Improver – Fleeting Spirit

 Recent form

While this looks a decent group 2 on paper there isn’t much strength and depth in the race with maybe only Dandy man and Borderlescott showing true group form coming into this race and Fleeting Spirit who is likely to improve from the work carried out over the winter is the next closest to have shown genuine top level form in sprints. Its no surprise that by royal ascot the foreign sprinters are so fancied come the big day and while Sakhee’s Secret is so expected to help the home team this time around it could be the filly Fleeting spirit to fly the flag as Dandy Man will need to improve for the change of yard to win a group 1 I feel.

 Borderlescott looked as good as ever when jacking up at Musslebrugh in a conditions race and is a game horse who deserves to continue his success at this level having ran well in a group 3, however he seems to fall short of true class as a sprinter and this is very much races he has to contest now with the handicapper well and truly got to grip with his ability and for a horse with so much heart he could well have his heart broken to many times at this level and be no surprise to see him on a downwards curve now. Enticing, Spirit of Sharaj and Tax free all need to find a fair bit of improvement on their recent form to be true group potential and Enticing may well be the one of those trio to bridge the gap.

 Recent form selection – Fleeting Spirit

 In Favour

There is no doubt that Fleeting Spirit is likely to thrive at this level and the horse has plenty of improvement likely from races at this level against more seasoned sprinters and she is likely to take all the beating if fit to go at the first time of asking. Tax free is a horse I like in races such as this as he has a long stride for a galloping sprint and he should be very ideally suited to this race on this track and this could well work out to be his making as Dandy Nichols string goes from strength to strength so far this season. The other 3to Spirit of Sharaj has a lot in his favour as well with this blistering quick ground his optimum conditions and he is likely to blast off in this race with the age allowance, however he doesn’t quite have the class of Fleeting Spirit and it is Tax free who may give the current favourite the most to do as that yard continue to fly this season.

 In Favour Selection – Tax Free

 Verdict – Not a top sprint race but for a group 2 there is a lot interest in the improvers and the change of stable to Dandy Man who has Group 1 form in the book and likely to hold that kind of ability at the age of 5. Tax Free is interesting for Dandy Nichols and the 3yo Fleeting Spirit is certainly a filly to keep on the right side of in sprints this season as the year goes on and Ryan Moore could well have picked up a good ride for the season here.

1st – Fleeting Spirit

2nd – Tax Free

3rd – Dandy Man

Advised bet – 2 pts win Fleeting Spirit @ 11/4 (3.75 BF)

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