Sandringham Stakes: Balding Filly Available to Back in Sandringham

Sandringham Stakes: Balding Filly Available to Back in Sandringham

5.00 Ascot

This £90,000 contest for three-year-old fillies has attracted 28 runners, the pace is in the middle-to-low stalls while other races have favoured high numbers and we cannot predict the ground 100% accurately.

All in all then this is a real challenge, but just as we did when finding Afaak to win the Hunt Cup we can be brutal in throwing out candidates who have chinks in their armour, with the below six fillies looking to be the ones to concentrate on ability, form and handicap-wise.

Hotsty Totsy

There was a major plunge in this race last year on Agrotera for the same trainer/jockey combination as this horse; Ed Walker and Jamie Spencer and it’ll be interesting to see if the money comes for this daughter of Casamento as well.

Frankly though they don’t have quite the same profile so we’re left judging this one on her own merits and she’s certainly been versatile.  Her two very easy wins have come on good-to-firm on the turf and standard-to-slow on the all-weather but it’s hard to know what level she can really reach.

I’m Available

Andrew Balding’s Nathaniel filly is progressing really well and considering her last run, it’s very strange that she is a best-priced 25/1 for this race at the time of writing.

She was beaten narrowly by Britannia hot-shot Aweedram over this same course and distance on unsuitably soft ground and we must remember that the sun is hitting Ascot so conditions will be much more suitable this time around.

Before that she won a handicap at Nottingham by fully 8 lengths and looked to be really going places, so all things considered I’d expect her to be at least 10lbs ahead of the handicapper at this point and the race may just be run to suit her perfectly.

Invitational

Roger Varian’s entrant is making her handicap debut here, and while it would have been good to see her in the more competitive environment of a handicap before coming into this race, there’s no doubt she looks a progressive filly.

Her win at Wolverhampton last time doesn’t scream top class form of course, but her opening handicap mark of 92 seems more than fair and with Andrea Atzeni on board she’ll have plenty of help from the saddle.  One to watch for sure.

Maamora

Simon Crisford’s Dubawi filly is a confirmed front-runner so it’ll be interesting to see if she can last home here, but on breeding she should see this out very well and it brings her into contention after a very easy prep win at Ripon two weeks ago.

She was second to Terrebellum before that and that seems like strong form, so while it took her six goes to get off the mark her rating of 88 would appear to underestimate her and the rough and tumble of this race should bring out the best in her.

Nonchalance

Here we have sanother unexposed Dubawi filly, this time trained by John Gosden and while she looked very good over seven furlongs at Newmarket last time she does look a little short in the market at around 7/1.

There is no doubt whatsoever that she will improve markedly for going up to a mile and moving into this company, but on all known evidence she is no stronger than a number of other candidates in the race and so cannot be baked at this price.

Whimbrel

4lbs out of the handicap and carrying the second colours of the owner (stablemate of Nonchalance), things seem awfully negative on the face of it but this filly could surprise a few people at a nice price.

Forget the handicap rating; she physically carries 7lbs less than Nonchalance, a filly who only beat her 3 lengths when she was still very much unfurnished, while last time out she drifted in the market and was bumped at the start yet cruised into contention before landing the race easily.  Every chance.

Summary

Nonchalance is just too short while Whimbrel has every bit as much of an opportunity, Maamora may set the pace in the middle and could last home while Invitational is interesting off her handicap mark too.

The form of Andrew Balding’s yard, with so many of his horses outrunning their handicap marks or improving seriously at just the right time, is what is interesting us here though and it seems his I’M AVAILABLE is massively overpriced and rates as the selection.

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