Panther to pounce in Henry II
Man On The Spot previews Thursday's brilliant evening meeting at Sandown featuring the Henry II Stakes.
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Cathedral had dropped to a lowly mark when gaining his first ever victory at Kempton in March but was then unable to cope with a 6lb rise at Pontefract in a race that hasn't worked out well. Kastini is consistent but had been finding one too good until scoring at Newbury where a first-time visor helped. He'll be thereabouts though whether the headgear works again is another matter. CHAIN OF EVENTS has won twice here in the past, acts on any ground and has scored from higher marks. He enters the fray in winning form having scored with a bit in hand at Newmarket two weeks ago and can complete a quick double. Gaelic Silver is generally consistent from this sort of mark though at a lower grade.
This has been won by some useful types in the past including Rizeena last year and she went on to Group 1 and 2 glory. Her trainer Clive Brittain runs Via Via, who made a successful debut with something in hand at Ripon. Bonnie Grey took some time to get into her stride at Warwick but stayed on strongly when leading at the furlong pole and will be much better suited by this stiff track. Cock Of The North landed the first two-year-old race of the year at Doncaster in the style of a very promising colt and the placed horses both won next time. He's been kept back for something better and should go well. Escalating started favourite in that latter race but finished mid-division but he's obviously well regarded and scored subsequently at Kempton and Ascot. The Hannon yard has won four of the last seven and TIGGY WIGGY will be fancied to continue the sequence. She won her opening two runs when odds-on and lost little in defeat behind Patience Alexander in a Listed contest at York so can get back to winning ways. Roudee looks a major threat as he looked promising on his Ripon debut then ran a fine race behind the potentially useful Mukhmal in the Lily Agnes at Chester where he was always in the firing line. Charlie's Star, who was close behind, was 7l behind Tiggy Wiggy at Kempton earlier so the advantage lies with the Hannon filly. Surprise Windsor winner Cajoling had a better chance in the abandoned and less demanding Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley last night.
Menorah is having his first ever start under Flat Rules though has did win a bumper on his debut in 2009. He's a superb chaser who easily won here last month so shouldn't be dismissed. El Salvador hasn't done as well as expected after completing a hat-trick early last year though this trip and ground could bring about some improvement. Goodwood Cup winner BROWN PANTHER ended the last campaign with a fine run in the Melbourne Cup and returned to action beating a small field in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester. He'll be heading for Ascot after this and hopefully will go there with a victory under his belt. Tiger Cliff stepped up from handicaps to run a cracking race in the Yorkshire Cup where he had High Jinks and Camborne behind. The latter was having his first start since September and should have come on enough to give the selection something to think about. Seismos is a Group 1 winner in Germany who is an excellent addition to Marco Botti's team though he's yet to prove he stays this far.
Sir Michael Stoute has won this three times in recent years and Hillstar will be much better suited by this trip than the 1m5f he ran in at Chester. He escapes a penalty for his Group 2 success in the King Edward VII Stakes and must be a threat to all. Top Notch Tonto went from finishing fourth in a Musselburgh handicap to runner-up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last year and a jump of 23lb in the ratings. He hasn't been at his best so far this campaign but the more rain the better for him though he was well beaten on his only start over this trip. REMOTE has only four runs behind him and has won the last three, the latest in a Group 3 at Royal Ascot in June. He beat some decent performers in very good style that day and, as he's entered in all the top races, he can make a successful reappearance. Sharestan did well for John Oxx and in Dubai for Godolphin though he'll need to improve as will Sheikhzayedroad, who is returning from a spell in Dubai where he scored on his only start over this trip.
End Of Line won a Doncaster maiden by 6l on his only juvenile start and should have finished much closer on his reappearance at this track but was impeded at a crucial stage. He couldn't get involved in the French 2000 Guineas but this is more like his grade. Indy doesn't have a classic pedigree but could hardly have been more impressive when beating the odds-on Penny Drops very easily at Doncaster in November and wouldn't be travelling here without good reason. MASTER CARPENTER couldn't quite get to Pinzolo in a Newmarket Listed contest last time but the fast ground was against him and Rod Millman's consistent colt looks the one to be on. Patentar won a York maiden in October and wasn't disgraced on his return to action in the Craven Stakes so he has to be respected on just his third start, the same number as Nonno Giulio, who finished last at Epsom on his first start since arriving from France.
Secret Art, a winner over 7f here last June, bounced back to form at Kempton but has been hit with a 9lb rise. ABSEIL looked a nice prospect when landing a Yarmouth maiden then was undone by a poor draw at Chester. He's much better than he showed that day and can return to winning ways. Dream Walker is a specialist on ground with plenty of give and it was too fast at Newbury last time. Brian Ellison's grey completed a hat-trick on soft going last season and further rain would greatly aid his cause. Kieren Fallon has won on Dark Emerald in the past so his presence here is a bonus though his mount is yet to win on ground with some give. Ishikawa is at the right end of the handicap and didn't look at his best last time after beating subsequent winner Russian Realm at Ascot. while George Cinq is just 2lb higher than when successful over the course and distance last summer.