Horse racing tips: Why Paddy Power betting expert reckons Dunkerron boasts the best form going into Sandown

John Gosden provides the favourite in the shape of facile maiden scorer Too Darn Hot for Saturday’s feature Group 3 Solario Stakes (3.35pm) at Sandown.

But while the Suffolk sorcerer has won this contest four times, including with marquee horses like Raven’s Pass and Kingman, odds of around 11/10 make little appeal and preference goes to Alan King’s Dunkerron (8/1).

Despite the Wiltshire wizard being better known for his exploits over jumps, he is no stranger to big race flat success having landed the Cesarewitch with flamboyant owner Max McNeill’s Grumeti in 2015 and the selection arguably boasts the best form going into this heat.

Victories at Windsor and York in June were followed by a promising fourth in Newmarket’s July Stakes and he then stepped up again last time when finding only Dark Vision a length and three quarters too powerful in the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

While this race has an illustrious history which includes this year’s Derby hero Masar striking in 2017, it actually represents a drop in class for Dunkerron as the Vintage is a Group 2 event and he definitely appeared the likely winner at the Sussex sweat bowl when forging ahead entering the final furlong before being collared late on.

Given that Dark Vision currently sits in our 2,000 Guineas ante post market at a mere 16/1, that represents a blue chip run and, while the fancy won’t be competing in the Classics next year as he is a gelding, there are still many good races to be won with him.

Sandown also hosts the Atalanta Stakes (3pm) which, like the Solario, has attracted only six combatants, but we won’t complain if we can spot the winner and despite it being quite a tight heat on official ratings with three horses assessed at 109 or 110, Laugh Aloud (7/2) can provide the fun.

This mare, trained by Gosden who struck with Persuasive two seasons ago, really impressed when justifying favouritism in last year’s Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom’s Derby meeting, but unfortunately then had to bypass the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot due to heat in a leg.

That Epsom victory came a massive 455 days ago, but there is no better trainer than Gosden at readying a horse after an enforced absence and given this mile is the fancy’s trip and good or slightly softer ground shouldn’t be an inconvenience, she can serve it up to the odds-on ‘jolly’ Veracious.

Clearly owners Godolphin haven’t lost any faith in the selection despite her lack of current match practice as she is entered in three top-class races including the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

ITV4 also shows action from Chester and Beverley including the Listed Chester Stakes (3.15pm) which can go the way of Kingsclere conjurer Andrew Balding’s Duretto who is a worthy favourite (8/11) considering he’s rated 9lb higher than any of his rivals at the weights.

The fancy should prevail if repeating the form of his third in a Group 2 last time.


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