Friday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Sandown and Perth

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Our picks are listed below, with the reasons behind them further down the page, while Planet Sport's Racing Live Centre is also worth a visit as it's here you'll find the race cards for Sandown and Perth.


Kimngrace (13.20 Sandown)

Wanees (13.50 Sandown)

Platinumcard (14.05 Perth)

Foxes Tales (14.25 Sandown)

School Lane each-way (14.40 Perth)

Mutasaabeq (15.00 Sandown)

River Thames (15.35 Sandown)

13.20 Sandown - Kimngrace

A tricky 5f handicap for punters to solve but Richard Hughes' well treated filly should go close on her return to action granted some luck in running and if anywhere near fit enough, with the betting the best guide in that respect. A £55,000 purchase and bred to be speedy, she began her career with an excellent fourth in a maiden at Newmarket's July meeting before finding the competition too hot in a Newbury Listed contest. Hughes said later in the season that she "wasn't ready" for such a step up in class and having finished a neck second back in novice company at Lingfield (5f), she duly went one better when running a cosy winner at Haydock (6f) on her final outing of last season.

The horse she beat on that occasion, Richard Fahey's Barbanera, advertised the form when scoring by three lengths at York subsequently and she was far from disgraced when fourth behind Wild Beauty on her seasonal reappearance in last weekend's Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes.

Considering that Fahey's filly is now rated 100, it doesn't take a genius to work out that the selection is potentially thrown in here off a mark of 78, and there is almost certainly more to come from her this season. This stiff 5f could prove ideal for her and apprentice rider George Rooke, who claims a valuable 3lb and has booted home 20 winners for the stable, takes the reigns this afternoon.

13.50 Sandown - Wanees

Charlie Appleby can do little wrong at present, as evidenced by his strike rate of 57% (12-21) over the past 14 days, and he provides the current favourite for this 1m handicap in Blue Trail, who has already won twice over the trip on the all-weather. However, he does need excusing a below-par fourth at Chelmsford 22 days ago, when there was no apparent excuse, and while he's clearly well regarded at home (still holds an entry in the Dante Stakes) he looks plenty short enough in the betting for a race that is chock-full of equally promising three-year-olds. They include Richard Hughes' Ring Of Breara, last seen finishing finishing fifth in a Group 3, and Al Marmar, who looked smart when thrashing his rivals at Lingfield in January and who had no luck in running when fourth of 16 in a Doha Group 2 subsequently, but we just prefer the claims of Wanees. Charlie Hills' colt built on a promising racecourse debut at Newbury last August to win both his subsequent starts and he was value for more than his narrow winning margin at Salisbury in September, having switched across the course.

That he didn't win by far has helped his initial handicap mark of 84, which surely underestimates him by some way, and on breeding he's going to relish stepping up to a mile for the first time, with his trainer also applying a hood on what is his return to action. He'd perhaps prefer a little cut in the ground but conditions were on the fast side when he won at Ascot and the going at Sandown, which they're calling 'good' at the time of writing, should be fine for him.

14.05 Perth - Platinumcard

A poor turnout of just five for this valuable 2m handicap hurdle and two of those are trained by Gordon Elliott. His Eclair De Beaufeu, the mount of Aidan Coleman, has tumbled down the weights and he'll probably find an opening soon, but he faces a tough task here in conceding his stablemate, the Sean Bowen-ridden Platinumcard, a whopping 21lb. The latter was very progressive on the Flat last summer and having been sold for £62,000 back in February, he gave his new connections an immediate return when scoring at Ayr 21 days ago in a first-time tongue-tie. He's gone up 7lb for that but still looks thrown in on a mark off 111, given he was a 99-rated performer on the level, and he looks set to follow up, albeit he's no betting proposition at odds-on. Recent Haydock scorer Parisenscore looks best of the Nicky Richards-trained duo and while he has to give the favourite 5lb, he might be the one to give him most to do.

14.25 Sandown - Foxes Tales

Mostahdaf was installed a red-hot favourite for the latest running of the Gordon Richards Stakes when betting first opened and his task has since been made considerably easier by the defection of the same owner's Al Aasy. He's now odds-on to beat a couple of rivals and for all he's become a bit of a winning machine (5-6), he might be worth taking on given he's trying 1m2f for the first time and is conceding 3lb to Andrew Balding's Foxes Tales, who is a strong stayer at this trip. The latter horse only has 3lb to find on official ratings and there should be more to come from him as a four-year-old given that he looked far from the finished article last season, when he won three times and including on his seasonal reappearance.

It wouldn't surprise then to see him take the scalp of the favourite and he's a worth a small bet at the respective odds.

14.40 Perth - School Lane each-way

This is a far more interesting betting heat than the earlier televised hurdle and it could be worth throwing a couple of quid each-way on School Lane, who makes the trip over from Northern Ireland and resides near the bottom of the weights. After failing to score on his first 25 runs under Rules, he seemed revitalised by a brief spell back racing between the flags to record back-to-back wins either side of Christmas at Down Royal and Fairyhouse, both right-handed tracks like this one and under today's claiming professional Sam Ewing. Three subsequent defeats since help explain his big price but he would have found 2m3f far too sharp when a staying-on fourth on Ulster National day, having failed to get into the big race due to his lowly rating, and this stamina test over 3m6f should be far more to his liking. He was rated 109 when finishing second over an extended 3m4f a couple of years back, so he looks reasonably treated this afternoon off a perch of 106, especially given his recent improvement, with his rider's claim meaning he has just 9st 13lb on his back. Irish raider Dubai Devils made the most of a lenient mark when scoring over 4m at Hexham last month and he looks best of those at the head of the market.

15.00 Sandown - Mutasaabeq

It's easy to see why Alcohol Free is so short for this Group 2 mile contest given her lofty rating, which is at least 12lb higher than anything else in the race. However, this is clearly a prep for her early season target, next month's Lockinge at Newbury, and the drying ground isn't ideal either as most of her best form has been on a testing surface. She might still win but Charlie Hills' Mutasaabeq has race fitness on his side, having scored in comfortable fashion at Thirsk on his seasonal debut 13 days ago, which was taking his record outside of Group company to 4-4.

According to Hills, he was a "bit stressy" last year, which might have contributed to his three Group race defeats, although he was far from disgraced when seventh of the 14 runners in the 2000 Guineas, and he has clearly done well from three to four.

As a solid alternative to the favourite, he's just preferred to John and Thady Gosden's Sunray River, who also has the Lockinge as his target and has 5lb to find with the selection on official ratings, albeit the best may be yet to come from the fragile five-year-old.

15.35 Sandown - River Thames

The Gosdens are represented here by Frantastic, a full brother to Frankel's best son to date, Cracksman, who won four times at the highest level and including back-to-back renewals of the Champion Stakes. Today's 1m2f trip might prove ideal for him then, although he holds a Derby entry and will almost certainly improve for the run on his seasonal debut, which he has in common with all five of his rivals this afternoon.

They are headed by Charlie Appleby's Goldspur who is already a Group winner, that coming at Newmarket in October when all out to score, before signing off for the season with a third place finish in a French Group 1.

This trip is probably the bare minimum for him, however, especially if they don't go fast, and a chance is taken at bigger odds on Aidan O'Brien's River Thames, who was a snug winner on his racecourse debut last September and has all the makings of a smart three-year-old.

Some market support would increase confidence in his chances.

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