Betway Solario Stakes (Group3) 7f Sandown Saturday

sandown racingFollowing the withdrawal of Oddsguru’s selection, Royal Line, for last week’s Ebor Handicap on the Thursday, (presumably because of the likelihood of fast ground) I hope that many of you focused on our EW selection, Mustajeer, who did the blog proud by winning at the rewarding odds of 16/1. The Ger Lyons trained 6yo was given a great ride by the Irish Champion Jockey, Colin Keane, who sticking to the rails from his low draw, made smooth headway from the 3f marker, took it up a furlong out, and despite a spirited challenge from the runner up, never looked like being passed. This was the 5th winner in the last 11 runnings from The Emerald Isle, a stat well worth bearing in mind come next year’s renewal. There are no contenders from across The Irish Sea in Saturday’s Solario Stakes, a heat yet to be won by a horse from that quarter, but the man who landed the race for the 5th time last year, with the subsequent triple Group1 winning Too Darn Hot, John Gosden, runs two likely looking types in Encipher and Eshassy.

The former (runs in the same colours as Al Suhail) made a satisfactory racecourse debut, finishing 2nd in a Haydock Novices to the subsequent Nursery winner, Path Of Thunder, and he showed the benefit of the experience 15 days later when comfortably beating Native Tribe, (won next time out) by 2 1/4L in a Newbury Class 4 on Good-Soft ground. There is nothing special about the form but all he could do was beat what was put in front of him, and if similar conditions prevail at the weekend, could be interesting.

trilby sandownGosden’s second runner, Eshassy, was an unconsidered 22/1 shot on his racecourse debut, and finished down the field in a Newmarket Maiden in which Saturday’s opponent, Al Suhail was runner up. He showed the benefit of the outing when winning  a Kempton Class4 24 days ago. Again the form was only ordinary, but his pedigree is interesting. By Oasis Dream, he is out of the Galileo mare, Galicuix, which makes him a half brother to the 2000gns and St James’s Palace Stakes winner, Galileo Gold, and he has an entry in the Group1 Dewhurst Stakes. John can count the multiple Group1 winning animals, Ravens Pass, Kingsman, and Too Darn Hot, amongst his 5 previous winners of The Solario Stakes, so the Master of Clarehaven Stables is definitely a man to keep on the right side of.

Charlie Appleby won the 2017 renewal with the 2018 Derby Hero, Masar, and his regally bred, Al Suhail, currently heads Saturday’s market. He was only beaten a neck when a strong finishing 2nd to Al Madhar on his debut, in that Newmarket Maiden referred to above, (Eshassy). It was a strongly run heat,  in a very good time, and the form was given plenty of substance when the 8th horse home, (6L behind Al Suhail) Tammani, beat a Gosden Hotpot, Riot, next time out. Al Suhail hadn’t much more than an exercise gallop when landing a Yarmouth Novices 16 days ago, and beautifully bred, by Dubawi, out of the top class mare, Shirocco Star, who finished runner up in both the English and Irish Oaks, looks the one to beat on Saturday.

Clive Cox has never won The Solario, but his twice raced son of Dutch Art, Positive, is attracting plenty of interest in the markets. He was confidently backed to make a winning debut, and duly obliged, winning a Salisbury Maiden by 5L in a good time. Sent off a 12/1 chance for Goodwood’s Group2 Vintage Stakes 5 weeks later, he didn’t help his cause by missing the break, but ran on with some purpose to finish 2nd, albeit at a distance of 5L, to Pinatubo. Run on drying ground, in a time 3 seconds slower than standard, it’s difficult to know what to make of the form as neither the 3rd,
Lope Y Fernandez, (beaten 10L) Nor the 4th, Visinari, (beaten 13 1/2) seemd not to run their races, but that said he did do well to recover from that slow start, and he was impressive at Salisbury.

Having come within a neck of winning Newmarket’s Group2 July Stakes (6f Gd/Fm) in his previous race, Visinari was a particular disappointment,  but with entries in the Group1 7f National Stakes, and the Group2 1m Royal Lodge Stakes, Trainer, Mark Johnston ( has won The Solario twice so knows what is required) doesn’t seem to be blaming a lack of stamina for Visinari’s poor performance at Goodwood. He is a tall leggy type who may have found the combination of questionable ground, and Goodwood’s sloping undulations, against him. By the Derby winner Sinndar, his 4 siblings all stayed at least a mile, and with Ryan Moore, ( won on him first time out) taking over steering duties, it will be interesting to see how he performs on Sandown’s more conventional track.

Selection.   : Al Suhail.    (If abs) Visinari

EW.              : Eshassy

John Gray

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