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Preview 05 July 2008

2.40 Sandown Toteswinger Stakes (Heritage Handicap) 1M Good to firm

Horses to Consider

Celtic Sultan - Ran of a true line at Chester to win at their May meeting and that performance still holds some weight at this level even though it wasn't as strong as this race today. The more galloping track of Sandown should help the horse I feel and given how he has ran at Newmarket in the past and that has weighed it up to have a strong say of a mark that is only 2lbs higher then when he won at Chester. Tried over seven furlongs since landing that race the step back up in trip should be in his favour having improved for this trip and there could still be more to come which will be needed under this weight in this class. The pace is likely to be strong and I feel you don't want to be stuck on the fence angling for room up the home straight so from Stall 12 he should tuck in behind the likely strong pace.

Lang Shinning - Shouldn't take the Royal Hunt cup as the draw played a massive factor in that race with the tactics of those drawn high and the form this horse showed at York is better to be based on. That run in a small field was a bit of a let down in terms of result, but in defeat and the way the race panned out I would say that he lost nothing in defeat. Following Sir Michael Stoute at this course pays dividends and his mount here has the perfect draw in 9 for this handicap to tuck in and make headway on the outside under the course specialist Ryan Moore. The quick ground suits and he has clocked some fair times under these conditions with the mile trip ideal and could well make up into a Pattern horse, as he is still quite unexposed. Ran well here last season.

Flipando - Ran well on conditions that would be considered as soft enough under foot and showed at Newcastle that he is a horse that retains his conditioning well and even though one of the older handicappers in this race he deserves respect. Thundered home over seven furlongs at Doncaster and the mile trip should be more up his street as he looks handicapped to do himself justice and deserves to make the shortlist. Ran well enough at this track when contesting this race back in 2006 and has seemly improved since those days as he has got older. The more unexposed types are likely to be the ones to make the finishing in this as they look likely to progress past what the more exposed types have in the past and Flipando run in the royal hunt cup last season or the Zetland Gold Cup form is the marker that they aim at, Jamie Spencer back in the saddle is eye catching and a decent effort is expected.

Fifteen Love - The tennis fever is taking over the country at Present with the Wimbledon finals this weekend and Fifteen Love who had his day at Royal Ascot when winning the Britannia comes into this race in sparkling form with the return to the saddle of Richard Hughes for the Abdulla team in this handicap. The horse reared at the start in Ascot but still managed to come through to lead of a strong pace to just deny Masalaak and could well confirm that form despite the tougher terms here today. Can show plenty of pace and drawn in 3 he will need to show plenty of dash to avoid getting stuck behind a wall of horses so a missed break could well cost him dear today. Fast conditions suit and he is still unexposed with the 9lbs age allowance quite a deciding factor this time of year.

Masaalak - Just denied from the high side of the draw at Ascot which had no bearing on the races it seemed on the straight course and if only the Royal Hunt Cup was ran in the same way as the Britannia it would have made the form book easier to read. This horse is going the right way and the quick conditions are ideal for this horse that has a turn of foot, Richard Hills rode in these colours well yesterday with a all the way success, however with this horse there is likely to be a change of tactics as he looks a type that needs to be produced late enough in the day and wont be raced up with the pace this time from draw 14 and expect him to come from behind, whether he will get first run on Lang Shinning is interesting. Verdict - Tight handicap, but as always a decent race usually won by a progressive type. Mark Johnston has 3 runners in this handicap and that has to be respected from a top trainer, however his yard are just a little below form and his 3 runners don't come here holding the best form on offer, The royal Ascot form is well represented in this race and there should be a strong gallop in this race on ground which they don't stop in front if getting given a timed run like Richard Hills did yesterday, however there should be a dual for the pace with Prince of Light, Fifteen Love (low draw will force hand) and Bahar Shumaal who doesn't know any other way around here from a low draw. This should set it up for a closer and Masaalak could well be one of those runners today on the wide outside, however Lang Shinning could well get first run and Sir Michael Stoute knows what it takes to win races here and Ryan Moore is the best in the business around here.

Advised Bet - 2 pts win Lang Shinning @ 6/1

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