by Dave Stevos
There is a cracking card of flat racing at Sandown on Thursday night with a couple of Group 3s to be run, as well as a Listed event. The first of the Group 3s is the Henry II Stakes (16f) and the race is due to get underway at 19.05 with the ground currently described as good. Max Dynamite is the market leader for Mullins, Ricci and Ryan Moore and on ratings he is the clear form pick. A repeat of his run at the Melbourne Cup would make him hard to beat. However, his lack of a recent run is a worry and this is almost certainly just a stepping stone towards bigger and better things in the summer. His odds of 1/1 with Betfair look a bit skinny to me and there is better value to be found elsewhere in the 5 runner field.
Pallasator (Murphy/Prescott) is next best in the ratings but he has to carry top weight of 9st 6lbs, 4lbs more than the market leader. He has been a fine servant to connections and he was a Group 2 winner at Doncaster last December. However, just like the favourite he is making his seasonal reappearance and in as competitive a race as this he would need to be at his very best to win. 16F around here on good ground might just be a bit sharp for him on his first run back and at odds of 5/1 with Betfred he is possibly best watched on this occasion.
Suegioo (Hanagan/Fahey) is a 10/1 shot with Skybet and he has gone a long time without a win. His last victory came in the Chester Cup (18f good) back in 2014, though he has admittedly ran some cracking races in defeat since then. He is 2lb better off with Burmese after beating that rival by a head at Doncaster last time when finishing 4th. However he got a much clearer run than Burmese on that occasion and I think the Tregoning horse can improve past him with a bit more luck. Frosty Berry has improved at a rate of knots and it would be a fairytale if she could win. She was rated just 61 last November and she is now rated 103. She loves to get her toe in though, and the ground won’t suit at Sandown.
Burmese (Buick/Tregoning) is definitely the one to be interested in here at odds of 9/2 with BetVictor. He was denied a clear run at a crucial stage on his debut at Group 3 level at Ascot (16f good to soft) and the return to better ground here is a big positive. He hacked up off 87, again at Ascot (16f good), in a handicap last October and there could be more to come from this promising 4yo son of Sir Percy. There is no shortage of black type or stamina on the dam side of his pedigree and with race fitness assured he can run a huge race on Thursday. He is a confident selection for what should be an intriguing Henry II stakes.
Stevos’ Selection: Burmese @ 9/2 BetVictor