Cai Shen selected to land Gala Stakes at Sandown
By Stephen, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Stephen Harris
Richard Hannon's Cai Shen ran a blinder when sixth in the Hunt Cup last time out and is fancied to land Sandown's featured Ambant Gala Stakes at 4.00.
The 4-y-o capped off a decent season last year with a game win in a valuable Doncaster Conditions Stakes, and went close in two all-weather minor events at Lingfield before his excellent effort in the 30 runner cavalry charge. He has winning form at the stiff Sandown course as a juvenile and the quickening ground at the Esher venue is certainly in his favour.
Main danger for the £33,000 Listed prize may come from Luca Cumani's globetrotting Afsare. He is winless since winning the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in June 2010, but has run well in top company since without quite getting his head in front. The 5-y-o was just denied in Rome last time out and is another for whom the fast ground will be ideal under the revitalised Kieran Fallon.
Godolphin's Songcraft has won four of his six career starts to date and is one to watch in the market after 97 days on the sidelines. He won twice in Meydaan over the winter before rather disappointing on his last two starts, and it remains to be seen quite what that form is actually worth on his first run in the U.K.
Tazahum hails from the Sir Michael Stoute yard that is now in much better heart than when he made his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket 78 days ago (finished well beaten after tiring 2f out). He is unbeaten in two starts over a mile at this course and seems sure to close if fully tuned up.
Farhaan travelled well on his first start of the term when a close fourth behind Thought Worthy at Newmarket (traded at 1.12 in running until fading inside the final furlong in a bunched, muddling renewal). He is entitled to strip fitter for that pipeopener but the John Dunlop yard remains firmly in the wilderness and he will need to improve to take advantage of the weight-for-age allowance.
Jet Away won his first two starts this term at Ripon and Goodwood before finishing legless in heavy ground at Pontefract. That run is easily excused over a trip beyond his best, but he finished tailed off in this event last season and will surely struggle to give away weight all round against less exposed opposition.
At a bigger price Cill Rialaig may outrun his odds for the astute Hughie Morrison stable. He travelled best for a long way in a valuable Royal Ascot handicap won impressively by Cambourne and should appreciate this drop down 2f in trip. He has a bit to find on the figures, but is a tough and reliable sort who is sure to finishing well up the hill as others tire.
In summary, a quality renewal can see Richard Hannon's Cai Shen get back on the scoresheet under Richard Hughes. At around 8-1 his morning he represents excellent each-way value to quicken through late on.
Stephen's Thursday Nap Morawij 2.50 Sandown
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