In his Tips Den Ante-Post column, our man Kevin O'Malley has a pair of interesting and decent looking value picks for Sandown Park's flat meeting on Saturday afternoon…
SANDOWN 2.05pm - Listed Scurry Stakes (5f)
Mick Channon’s BARBILL isn’t the most consistent sort, but is certainly one of the few with notably classy form on soft ground. His career best to date (RPR 100, Topspeed 90) came on very soft going over five and a half furlongs at Chantilly last November. He was a beaten favourite on his first two starts of 2019, which turned out to be pretty good races and he hasn’t disgraced himself in two starts over 6f of late, finishing 4 lengths behind the Commonwealth Cup bound Khaadem and he was only beaten three or so lengths in a slowly run affair at Maisons-Laffitte the other day. A return to 5f at Sandown on likely testing ground could bring about some improvement and I’m happy to have a nibble at 16/1.
SANDOWN 3.15pm - Randox Health Handicap (1m)
This Shamardal colt only won one of his ten starts in France for Andre Fabre, but he acquired plenty of useful experience in Group and Listed class company whilst operating over there and his experience of racing on softer ground there will certainly help the 4yo given recent weather in the UK. Baltic Baron made his debut for new trainer David O’Meara at Nottingham last time out and made a very encouraging start to racing life here. He was squeezed out badly at a key point up the home straight, but showed a fantastic attitude to regather his stride and stay on eye-catchingly well for second, readily getting the better of sound yardstick Masham Star in the process. He holds an entry in the Royal Hunt Cup, but is currently number 56 in the handicap, so in order to get into that race he’d need to go very close to winning this on Saturday in order to secure a suitable penalty. I reckon his BHA rating of 97 is very workable and he should run a big race at Sandown, with plenty in his favour. A larger field and stronger pace will surely help the cause and any ease in the ground shouldn’t be a problem.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing
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