Seasonal debutants having their first run in a handicap have done very well in the bet365 Esher Cup (1.50) at Sandown, winning nine of the last ten renewals form just 35 runners (25.7% strike-rate) for a profit of £25.08 to a £1 level stake at SP. The last ten winners of this Class 2 mile handicap had won on one of their last two starts and the only horse to qualify on both counts is the Clive Cox-trained HOUSE OF KINGS (stall three of 11). He has yet to run a bad race, placing at 25-1 on his debut at Newbury despite running green, going down by a neck at Ffos Las less than three weeks later and signing off with a 7f Leicester success from Global Hero and Attainment. The runner-up landed a Wolverhampton novice contest on his only subsequent start and the third scored at Lingfield before going down by a nose on his handicap debut at the same venue. Blinkers are fitted for the first time and his yard’s runners are profitable to back blind in this headgear.
BEAT THE BANK has a fantastic record in small fields, recording form figures of 1111151 (6-7) in single-digit line-ups. The sole defeat is easily excused as he went off too hard in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on a day all the round-course winners were coming late and wide. I’m surprised he’s not favourite for the Group 2 bet365 Mile (3.35) and have staked accordingly.
House Of Kings – Sandown 1.50 (1pt win, 9-1 Paddy Power, Betfair)
Beat The Bank – Sandown 3.35 (3pts win, 11-4 generally)
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