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Preview 07 June 2008

3.15 Epsom Totesport Dash 5F Good ground Class 2 Heritage handicap

Horses to consider

Tourendos - it would be wrong not to have a Dandy Nichols Sprint handicap among the shortlist and York Sprint scorer Tourendos can go well once again under the same handicap mark with a 4lb penalty to carry for that bunch finish victory. This handicap race will be won based on the draw and with plenty of pace likely with a number of pace horses in the race this fast five furlong track could well be set up for a horse to come from of the pace. The trainer son has choose this horse to ride and a horse that has had former good runs at group level in his younger days is well handicapped in this race I feel and has to be respected providing it stays dry as he has caught the eye here before. Stable mate will assure there is plenty of pace.

Bond City - Very dangerously handicap for this race at a track he has gone well in the past at for Brian Smart and while he has regressed for his current trainer he caught the eye at Nottingham staying on well to finish 1L behind useful handicapper Chief Editor. A stronger pace should suit him and Alan Munro is a eye catching booking on this horse that has plenty of dash and shouldn't be readily discounted as he will improve on that run at Nottingham in a handicap that is made up of mainly exposed handicap sprinters. Should have plenty of pace to aim at With Merlin's Dancer against the stand side rail and with it being decent racing ground he could well go in at a big price.

Strike Up the Band - Has never full fulfilled his potential after being set some tough asks from a young age and could now be handicapped to go well for Dandy Nichols in a race he won with Fire up the Band and I have no problems with the jockey booking in this race as he has improved as a jockey this season. A horse blessed with plenty pace he will help to cut the fractions out with his stable mate and may just have enough to last home in this sprint handicap. The last run he gradually faded out of contention but that was a show of that he is starting to fight on in his racing and the fact he was only beaten one length on a quick five furlong showed that he is ready to strike in my view and should have a big chance.

Merlin's Dancer - Another that has showed plenty of speed in his races especially when tackling races such as this for Dandy Nichols who he is no longer with, best maybe round a bend on the Polly at Lingfield he has showed up well for a long way in this race in the past and with a well handicapped look he could well go close today for his new handler. Likely to set it up under the favoured stand rail for maybe Bond City he could hold on for a place and should be regarded maybe more as a place bet then a win bet at a big price.

Ocean Blaze - One of three fillies in the race and she most probably holds the best chance of the three from near the bottom of the weights where maybe is the place to be in such a lightening quick race as this. Handles good ground well enough to not be discounted and has recorded form on undulating tracks in the past. She needs to improve from her runs at a lower level but she is certainly going the right way and has form with this jockey and comes to herself around this time of the year.

Bigalos Bandit - Hasn't shown much lately but if you go far enough back there are parts of his form that has him well weighted in this handicap today and with Dandy Nichols you can never be quite sure what the target is. Beaten 10L by Hogmeingh in this race last season and maybe found things happening a little quick having shown his best at Tracks such as Sandown in which the uphill climb brought out the best in him. The strong pace should suit him and the favoured stand side is in his favour. Booked with Simon Whitworth who has ridden well for the trainer before and could have his big day if this horse was to find his best foot forward.

Verdict  Dandy Nichols holds the key to this sprint handicap with a few of his horses showing very good form and also looking well handicapped. The trainer strikes me, as a handicapping genius and it is no surprise to see so many of horses bounce back to form and land these types of races. Strike up the band shaped with much promise last time and the jockey booked suggests it is one of the leading fancies from the yard. Away from the Nichols runner and Bond City looks ready to run a big race and could well go close in this handicap with the pace set up for him by Merlin's Dancer and is potential the 2nd best bet in this race I feel.

Selection  2 pts Win Strike up the Band @ 20-1 (26.0 BF)

Well Chief