Watch the Solario Stakes and seven other races live in Channel 4 on Saturday
Kingman landed the 2013 running of the Solario Stakes, and six hopefuls will be bidding to follow in his illustrious hoof prints in this year’s renewal of the European Wealth-sponsored contest at Sandown on Saturday.
Strictly on form, the Hugo Palmer-trained Aktabantay, who chased home exciting prospect Estidhkaar in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last time, sets the standard.
The Oasis Dream colt acts on an easy surface and, assuming he responds well to the fitting of cheekpieces, he will take plenty of stopping under Ryan Moore.
However, the one with the most striking potential is Godolphin’s FUTURE EMPIRE, who looked a smashing prospect when landing a 12-runner Newmarket maiden on debut last month.
The form of that race is working out well – the second, third and fourth have all won subsequently – and the prevailing conditions at the Esher venue shouldn’t inconvenience him judged on pedigree.
At 5/2 with Bet365 (he’s as short as 13/8 with Paddy Power) the son of New Approach makes plenty of appeal.
The boys in blue of Godolphin are doubly represented in the next race on the card at Sandown, the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Atalanta Stakes, one of which is the Andre Fabre-trained Fintry.
The Shamardal filly is improving, scoring cosily at Chantilly the last twice, latterly a Group 2 contest. She’s too short at evens with Paddy Power to my mind, though, and I reckon she’s worth taking on with the consistent ODELIZ, a 7/2 chance with the Irish firm.
Karl Burke’s charge was progressive last year and has established herself as a genuine group-class filly this season, and she wasn’t beaten far in a strong race over nine furlongs at The Curragh on her latest start.
Dropping back to a mile will be in her favour, while the recent rainfall has also enhanced her claims. All in all, she looks rock-solid and the one to follow her home could be Water Hole, who steps up in grade here but she’s a well-bred, unexposed filly.
The concluding televised race at Sandown, the St James Theatre Handicap, looks extremely competitive. Luca Cumani’s charges in middle-distance handicaps always command respect, and his Ajmany is sure to be popular.
Clon Brulee, an emphatic winner under similar conditions last time at Newmarket, Forgotten Hero and lightly-raced maiden winner Mount Shamsan are others that are bound to attract plenty of support, but it’s worth taking a chance on VIEWPOINT.
The five-year-old hasn’t been at his very best since scoring on Polytrack at Lingfield in April, but he’s now 3lb below that winning mark and shaped as though returning to form when sixth in a well-contested race at Ascot’s Shergar Cup meeting.
The drop back to 10 furlong will be very much in his favour, he is proven on an easy surface and, with the up-and-coming Cam Hardie claiming 5lb, Richard Hannon’s charge rates a solid, good value each-way option.
The Betfred Beverley Bullet Stakes can go to PEARL SECRET, who drops in class after contesting the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot in June. He’s a cracking bet at 9/4 with BetVictor, while WHIPLASH WILLIE can successfully concede weight all round in the Win £10,000,000 On Betdaq Colossus Chester Stakes on the Roodee.
2.40 Future Empire
3.50 Viewpoint (each-way)
2.20 Top Boy
3.30 Whiplash Willie
2.25 Pearl Secret