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There are some valuable races up for grabs this weekend but I reckon the value nap could come in one of the lesser events, the 3.20 at Chester in the form of Willytheconqueror.
The top weight has been running consistently well this season and showed he was moving in the right direction last time out at Ascot in the Shergar Cup when fifth to Stake Acclaim without being given the very best ride from his German partner.
Tactically versatile, his stall seven draw shouldn’t prove a problem and with regular rider Martin Dwyer back on board he may well be able to give the weight away to the likes of Spring Loaded and El Astronaute.
Earlier on, Gabrial can also give weight away all round when he steps back down to seven-and-a-half furlongs in the 2.45. A grand servant to the Richard Fahey yard, he is quite obviously on the downgrade, but this is his easiest task for some time.
The only other horse I am interested in on the card is Kamra in the 4.30. With the ultimate draw in stall one and king of Chester Franny Norton on board, the youngster is expected to outrun his double figure odds for trainer Michael Herrington.
Ibn Malik has been mixing it with some smart performers in his third season on track and takes a drop in class and makes his all-weather debut in the Chelmsford feature at 7.50 and should take all the beating.
His is bred to like this surface, having been sired by Raven’s Pass, and can land this bumper prize ahead of Fastnet Tempest and outsider Sutter County.
The main meeting of the day is at Sandown with the Atalanta Stakes at 3.00 and affords a really good chance for Nathra to land a first win of her four-year-old campaign as long as the ground doesn’t dry up too much.
The big mile-and-a-quarter handicap at 3.35 looks wide open, but after much debate with myself I managed to narrow it down to Abdon, Oasis Fantasy and Shabbah.
The selection’s last run at Goodwood can be safely written off as he pulled way too hard that day and he is better judged on his fourth in the Earl of Sefton Stakes earlier this season. Oasis Fantasy is a huge danger if the ground dries out and has the word firm in the description.
Shamshon was well fancied to win a valuable handicap at York last time out, but just found that fast track too sharp for him being blatantly outpaced in the mid section of the race. He ran on way too late when the race was all over to finish a never-nearer 10 of the 16 runners but is way better than that run suggests and can gain handsome compensation in the 1.50.
Finally have a second look at Mitchum in the opener at Hamilton at 4.15. He has a fair record around here and runs off a mark a full 14lbs lighter than his last winning level and will absolutely adore ground conditions.
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