16:30 Sandown 14 Sep 2018

China Southern Airlines Optional Claiming Handicap (Class 2) (4YO plus)

Winner £19,407 - 10 run - Draw Advantage: None

5
No.
(Draw)
Form
Horse
Age / Wt / OR
Jockey / Trainer
Age / Wt / OR
Jockey / Trainer
Timeform says (star rating)
Timeform says (star rating)
Printouts
Data quality78%
Position
1 (5)
060739
iT
Emerald green, white hoops, white sleeves, emerald green diamonds, white cap, emerald green diamond (Gallop Racing & Partner)

Firmament 13 

b g Cape Cross - Heaven Sent (Pivotal)

6 10-0 p
100
6 10-0 p
100

Hasn't had much luck this year but finally got a clear shot of it when excellent third of 18 in handicap at York in August. Bit below form at the Curragh since but wasn't ideally placed.

Hasn't had much luck this year but finally got a clear shot of it when excellent third of 18 in handicap at York in August. Bit below form at the Curragh since but wasn't ideally placed.

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Firmament Score: 444

2
2 (1)
219-080
iT
Yellow, dark blue spots on sleeves (The George Smith Family Partnership)

Absolutely So (IRE)  20 

b g Acclamation - Week End (Selkirk)

8 9-12
98
8 9-12
98

Group 3 winner at Haydock last summer. Yet to fire this year, though in fairness never got much room for manoeuvre after 3 months off at Goodwood last time. Cannot rule out from current mark.

Group 3 winner at Haydock last summer. Yet to fire this year, though in fairness never got much room for manoeuvre after 3 months off at Goodwood last time. Cannot rule out from current mark.

Absolutely So Score: 410

3
3 (3)
058727
iT
White, red epaulets, white sleeves, red spots, white cap, red spots (The Roses Partnership)

Rousayan (IRE)  13 

b g Invincible Spirit - Rose Quartz (Lammtarra)

7 9-5 h
91
7 9-5 h
91

Excuses when well held at Chester last time, short of room over 2f out and unable to land a blow, and better judged on his second at Thirsk the time before. Each-way claims.

Excuses when well held at Chester last time, short of room over 2f out and unable to land a blow, and better judged on his second at Thirsk the time before. Each-way claims.

Rousayan Score: 372

4 (7)
104726
iT
Orange, black triple diamond and diamonds on cap (Mr H Robin Heffer)

Repton (IRE)  7 

b g Zebedee - African Moonlight (Halling)

4 9-4
90 1
4 9-4
90 1

Stepped up on his reappearance to claim a second career win at Kempton in March. Back to a similar level here earlier this month but wasn't in the same form back at former track last week.

Stepped up on his reappearance to claim a second career win at Kempton in March. Back to a similar level here earlier this month but wasn't in the same form back at former track last week.

Repton Score: 409

4
5 (11)
911200
iT
Royal blue, beige epaulets, beige cap, royal blue star (Wedgewood Estates)

Sir Titan 20 

b g Aqlaam - Femme De Fer (Hamas)

Non Runner

Non Runner

Landed back-to-back 7f Goodwood handicaps prior to an excellent second at Newmarket. Not so good the last twice, though.

Landed back-to-back 7f Goodwood handicaps prior to an excellent second at Newmarket. Not so good the last twice, though.

Sir Titan Score: 371

6 (4)
320200
iT
Light blue, royal blue stars, halved sleeves, royal blue cap, light blue stars (Jlm Racing)

Swift Approval (IRE)  6 

ch g Approve - Tiltili (Spectrum)

6 9-4
90 2
6 9-4
90 2

Ran up to best when collared late on at Newmarket (7f) in July. Probably out of his depth when well held in valuable handicaps next 2 starts.

Ran up to best when collared late on at Newmarket (7f) in July. Probably out of his depth when well held in valuable handicaps next 2 starts.

Swift Approval Score: 380

7 (6)
901600
iT
Red, black triple diamond, striped sleeves, hooped cap (Mr Frank McAleavy)

Barrington (IRE)  41 

b g Casamento - Mia Divina (Exceed and Excel)

4 9-2
88
4 9-2
88

Off the mark for this yard over 6f at Nottingham in June. Unable to get competitive over the minimum on his next 2 starts and was probably flying too high in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood since.

Off the mark for this yard over 6f at Nottingham in June. Unable to get competitive over the minimum on his next 2 starts and was probably flying too high in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood since.

Barrington Score: 342

8 (10)
424-800
iT
Dark blue, white disc, dark blue sleeves, white spots, white cap (Mr Tony Verrier)

Juanito Chico (IRE)  91 

br g Pour Moi - Miss Kittyhawk (Hawk Wing)

4 9-0 t1
86
4 9-0 t1
86

Successful at Epsom and posted several solid efforts in defeat during progressive 2017 campaign. Hasn't fired in 3 starts so far this season but will be a danger to all if back on-song.

Successful at Epsom and posted several solid efforts in defeat during progressive 2017 campaign. Hasn't fired in 3 starts so far this season but will be a danger to all if back on-song.

Juanito Chico Score: 305

9 (2)
111900
iT
Black, large white spots, armlets and spots on cap (Mr A Sergent & Partner)

Mister Music 13 

b g Singspiel - Sierra (Dr Fong)

9 8-7
79
9 8-7
79

Four-time AW winner earlier in the year but has essentially struggled back on turf since, though did fare a bit better last time.

Four-time AW winner earlier in the year but has essentially struggled back on turf since, though did fare a bit better last time.

Mister Music Score: 329

10 (8)
73-2602
iT
Light blue, mauve epaulets, armlets and cap (Mrs Philip Snow & Partners)

Another Boy 50 

ch g Paco Boy - Kurtanella (Pastoral Pursuits)

5 8-1 p
73
5 8-1 p
73

Got back on track after a couple of lesser efforts when second of 6 in C&D handicap in July. Place prospects with a repeat.

Got back on track after a couple of lesser efforts when second of 6 in C&D handicap in July. Place prospects with a repeat.

Another Boy Score: 361

11 (9)
420012
iT
Orange, dark blue disc, dark blue cap (Mr A Barnes)

Exchequer (IRE)  16 

ch g Exceed and Excel - Tara's Force (Acclamation)

7 8-0 p
72 6
7 8-0 p
72 6

Got right back on song after wind surgery/4 months off when making all in 7f handicap at Kempton in August. Good second over 6f at Lingfield since and lower in the weights now back on turf.

Got right back on song after wind surgery/4 months off when making all in 7f handicap at Kempton in August. Good second over 6f at Lingfield since and lower in the weights now back on turf.

Exchequer Score: 481

1
Verdict

With so many of these arriving here in questionable form, this appears to be an ideal opportunity for FIRMAMENT to get his head back in front. The six-year-old was less than a length behind the winner in a valuable race at York two starts ago and that is the best recent form on offer in this contest. Juanito Chico would give him plenty to think about if rediscovering his 2017 form, while Swift Approval and Absolutely So also merit consideration.

Verdict

ABSOLUTELY SO is yet to fire this season, but he looks very well-handicapped on his Group 3 win at Haydock last summer so could be worth chancing. Juanito Chico is another to consider from an easing mark, while Firmament could also get involved.