Dragon Mall got away to a decent start for us at the weekend but that was about as good as it got. He was dropped in and ridden just how I expected, but the finishing surge he showed on his previous run was nowhere to be seen. David Simcock’s description of him as a frustrating type is an understatement and while he may win races in the future he won’t be seeing any more of my hard earned.
|Philip Hide could be smiling at Sandown on Wednesday.
Tomorrow I like the look of one at a nice price at Sandown, and I think Haulani could be set to return to form for Philip Hide in the 10f handicap at 20.10. This well related American bred 3yo is 2 from 6 on turf, both of those wins coming last season. He won his maiden on his third start at Brighton (7f gd/sft) and followed that up with a superb victory on better ground at Salisbury (8f gd) on handicap debut off 73.
Haulani ran a cracking race in a hot class 2 handicap on his penultimate start of last season at Newmarket (8f gd/fm) off 82, beaten just 4L in 4th and shaping as though a step up in trip might suit. He was badly outpaced early on and looked like tailing off at one stage, but he kept on well inside the final furlong and got back up for 4th. He didn’t run badly at Newcastle on his final start of last season when beaten 2.5L at Newcastle (8f) in 3rd off 82.
His first three runs of this season were well below the level he showed last year, but he took a big step back in the right direction at Kempton last time in first time cheek-pieces and a tongue tie (8f). He was again outpaced as they approached the final furlong but he stayed on very well late in the day and just missed out on a place in 5th off a mark of 73.
I think the step up to 10f is going to suit him, and when he tried it earlier this season he was bang out of form so I am putting a line through those runs. The combination of cheek-pieces and tongue tie really sharpened him up last time and he races off the same mark off which he won so easily last season.
Hector Crouch takes off another 3lb and he has ridden 2 winners and had 3 top 4 finishes from just 11 rides for Philip Hide. The ground will suit, as will the trip in my opinion, and at odds of 20/1 I think Haulani has a good each way chance in an admittedly competitive looking handicap.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: 20.10 SANDOWN-HAULANI E/W @ 20/1