Sandown deservedly took centre stage on Saturday, with the Eclipse at the fore of this and the sun deciding to make some rare appearences throughout the afternoon. Elsewhere there was action at Leicester, Beverley, Haydock, Nottingham and Carlisle on a typically hectic Saturday and there were some improving horses to take note of from these cards as well.
2 05 MOTDAW (M Channon) 9/4, C4, 1M2F, Soft
Although the strength of the race was questionable and the ground went against many in the race, MOTDAW ran out an easy 10L winner for Mick Channon and was commanding nonetheless. It also gives a huge boost the Sir Michael Stoute trained PELOPONNESE, who beat MOTDAW by 5L last time out on soft. A step up in class or two is clearly on the agenda for both of these horses.
2 00 BRANDO (K Ryan) 2/1, Group 3, 5F, Soft (Good to Soft in Places)
BRANDO has been on a hot streak for Kevin Ryan in the top handicaps so far this season and stepped up to Group company confidently, winning assertively in a front running display. He goes on all types of ground and has been a money spinner for the Ryan yard. It is good to see he is entered in all the top sprints for the remainder of the campaign and this allows Ryan to pick the ones that work out best for a successful schedule.
3 45 HAWKBILL (C Appleby) 6/1, Group 1, 1M2F, Soft (Good to Soft in Places)
In the big race of the weekend, HAWKBILL made it six on the bounce with a lovely performance. The vastly improving 3YO fought it out with the hotly fancied THE GURKHA down the straight and out-battled Ballydoyle’s star miler, to win the Group 1 for Godolphin. There are plenty of options remaining for the rest of the year and 1M4F feels easily attainable.