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Marronier to make most of Sandown chance

 

Marronnier has already demonstrated his liking for Sandown and can strike there for a second time in the Hampton Court Handicap. (stock photo)
Marronnier has already demonstrated his liking for Sandown and can strike there for a second time in the Hampton Court Handicap. (stock photo)

By David Clough

Marronnier has already demonstrated his liking for Sandown and can strike there for a second time in the Hampton Court Handicap.

The Esher track stages a classy card, including a highly-competitive field of juveniles in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Star Stakes.

It is in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap a little more than an hour later, though, that Stuart Williams' course-and-distance winner Marronnier seeks to follow up his success here just under three weeks ago.

The three-year-old sprang a minor surprise that day, and has gone up 4lb for his trouble.

Marronnier has acquired the services of Oisin Murphy for the first time, and he may well help to give his jockey a decent afternoon in his pursuit of this year's title.

The gelding clearly relished his step up in trip on this stiff track last time, and it is an obvious move to send him back on a repeat mission.

Marronnier was quick enough to score at seven furlongs last October, but each of his four runs en route to Sandown indicated he would surely improve for the extra distance - and so it proved.

He has lightly-raced hat-trick seeker Match Maker to contend with this time, but receives almost a stone from Simon Crisford's four-year-old and should make it count.

In the opening Martin Densham Memorial EBF Maiden Stakes, none would surely begrudge connections of Star Of Wells a poignant debut success following the loss of their brilliant dual Group One-winning filly Sea Of Class.

William Haggas' Sea The Stars colt has fair prospects on the basis of his parentage alone - but in a race packed with the colours of high-profile owners, perhaps Andrew Balding and Qatar Racing's Kameko is most likely to do himself full justice at the first attempt.

Murphy's presence in the saddle is, of course, no detriment - and he will be lending assistance too when the Queen's Space Walk bids to give Haggas a welcome winner in the Young Stayers Handicap.

Space Walk ground it out well to win over a mile and a half on his third career outing in a Haydock maiden last month, a performance full of promise that he can cut it against these more experienced rivals up in trip on handicap debut.

In the preceding and aforementioned Listed event, the six fillies have won seven of the 10 races they have collectively contested.

Romsey is one of just three to have so far tasted defeat, on debut before winning an all-weather maiden decisively at Chelmsford at her second attempt.

She, too, has Murphy on board, and may offer value in a contest full of obvious potential.

SELECTIONS:

DONCASTER: 5.45 Ninjago, 6.15 Global Storm, 6.50 Arctic Ocean, 7.20 Praxidice, 7.55 Elena, 8.25 Abate, 8.55 Aluqair.

LEOPARDSTOWN: 5.50 Chrysalism, 6.20 Dark Pine, 6.55 Windracer, 7.30 Zarzyni, 8.00 Snow Ocean, 8.30 Masaff, 9.00 Dinard Rose.

LIMERICK: 5.40 Tapenade, 6.10 Inishbel, 6.40 Tashman, 7.15 Global Racing, 7.45 Everybreathyoutake, 8.20 Doyen Bay, 8.50 Larkhill Lady.

NEWBURY: 4.55 Light Of Air, 5.30 Magic Shuffle, 6.00 Knight Shield, 6.30 Fantom Force, 7.05 Incredulous, 7.35 Deep Snow, 8.10 Gambon, 8.40 Harmonise.

SANDOWN: 1.45 Kameko, 2.15 Romsey, 2.50 Space Walk, 3.20 MARRONNIER (NAP), 3.55 Alandalos, 4.25 Quarry Beach, 5.00 Oloroso.

SOUTHWELL: 11.25 Jonagold, 11.55 Wilberdragon, 12.30 Oskemen, 1.00 Ballard Down, 1.30 Jane Lamb, 2.00 Enforcement, 2.30 Hot Ryan.

YARMOUTH: 2.05 Lilbourne Star, 2.35 River Cam, 3.10 Act Of Magic, 3.40 Fragrant Dawn, 4.15 Enchanted Linda, 4.45 Sloane Garden, 5.20 Ample Plenty.

DOUBLE: Marronnier and Incredulous.

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