Simon Holt previews the action from Sandown on Saturday and expects History Writer to relish the return to Sandown as he steps up in distance.
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With Too Darn Hot and Veracious both likely to start strong favourites in the feature races at Sandown on Saturday, trying to tip a worthwhile winner on the card requires an intrepid sink or swim dive into the choppy waters of the two televised handicaps.
In the opening 188Bet Extra Place Races Handicap, HADDAF is taken to add a third course and distance victory of the season having been dropped 4lb and now down in class after finishing unplaced in the Stewards' Cup.
Since winning for the second time here in June (in Listed company), James Doyle's mount has faced some stiff tasks but wasn't disgraced when sixth to Judicial in the Group Three Coral Charge here in July which confirmed his liking for this stiff five furlongs.
In truth, Haddaf doesn't seem to be quite so good away from Sandown and it is worth noting that he was a close third behind Havana Grey in the National Stakes, again over the course and distance, as a two-year-old.
It looks like Rapid Applause will start favourite returning from a near-four month absence. Mick Easterby's gelding, rated above 100 in his early days in Ireland, took advantage of a much lower mark at Beverley and Hamilton in the spring, the form of which has worked out well.
Frankie Detroit looks a significant booking but, while well drawn in three, he will need to be sharp after the break.
Later, course form could again be worth following with HISTORY WRITER in the Best Odds Guaranteed at 188Bet Handicap.
David Menuisier's colt was third at Sandown on his only start as a two-year-old and returned to win over a mile here a month ago, staying on strongly to beat the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Ledham who looks promising.
Up 7lb for that win, History Writer appeared ready for this step up to a mile and a quarter (stoutly bred on his dam's side) when keeping on into sixth place at Newmarket subsequently after being outpaced at half-way. Still lightly raced, he can take another step forward returned to this course.
The improving Red Force One could be the danger after three straight wins at Bath, Chester and Newbury. Tom Dascombe's charge has been enlivened by the fitting of a visor and, despite having gone up nearly a stone for those successes, receives weight all round here under Josephine Gordon.