Sandown Classic Trial: Friday 27th April, Sandown Park Racecourse, 3.00pm, bet365 Classic Trial, 1 mile 2 furlongs

The Sandown Classic Trail is open to three year olds only. Although it is billed as a trail for The Derby – as it is run over 1 mile 2 furlongs – only Benny The Dip, who finished second in the Classic Trial in 1977, has gone on the win The Derby in recent times. The event was first run in 1953 and was originally called the Royal Stakes, with the first winner being Mountain King.
In a race in which most of the participants are lightly raced and in most cases making their seasonal reappearances, the betting has been very informative with eight of the last 12 winners being sent off in the first three in the betting. The last six renewals have seen the favourite win four times and the second favourite win once.

Seasonal debutants have done well in the race recently with nine of the last 12 winners not having run for over 176 days. Four of the nine also won on their previous outing. Course form and distance form are not great factors in the race. Only two of the last 12 winners had run at Sandown before and only four winners having previously run over 10 furlongs.

However, winning form at any distance is a very good guide to a likely winner with 11 of the last 12 winners having won previously. An Official Rating of 88 or higher is another good pointer as nine of the last 12 winners rated 88 or higher.

John Gosden’s runners require careful attention as he clearly targets this race having saddled the winner no fewer than eight times, with four winners in the last ten renewals.

Finally, none of the last 12 winners had previously won a Group race.

Savenna Star is the choice for the race. The bay colt is progressing well. He ran at Windsor on 16th April routing his field to win by 14 lengths. He has entries in both the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York and he also has an entry in The Derby. His chances are enhanced by the fact that he is trained by John Gosden who has a 33% winning strike rate over the last 14 days.

His jockey is Frankie Dettori who takes all the big rides for Gosden and in the last 14 days he has ridden four winners from 11 runners for John Gosden – a 36.3% winning strike rate.



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