James Tate on the Charge with Sandown ace Haddaf

On-song sprinter bids for Group Three honours

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James Tate is optimistic Haddaf can make it three from three at Sandown this year in the Coral Charge on Saturday.

The three-year-old son of Dawn Approach will attempt to add to his handicap and Listed victories at the Esher track this season in the five-furlong Group Three dash.

Haddaf will be having his first outing in Group company since last year’s Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Newmarket handler said: “He has won twice there this season and was third on in a Listed race there behind some good horses last year.

“He finds a flat five too sharp at other tracks and he hits a bit of a flat spot. He does hit a tiny flat spot at Sandown but he really seems to finish off his races up the hill there.

“He has never had a good draw at Sandown so getting three out of 10 is like a miracle, but he has always run well from a bad draw.

“He has a few pounds to find but the horse is in good form and I’ve been happy with him since his last run. Everything is in place for a good run.”

Mirza may be well into the veteran stage of his career at the age of 11 but his trainer Rae Guest remains confident he will give it his all again, provided he can overcome his wide draw in stall nine.

Guest said: “He is in good form and he loves firm ground. He ran very well to finish second in a Listed race at Naas and he was second in this race last year behind Battaash.

“I wish he had a better draw on Saturday but he is in good form and he always gives it his best shot. He is still holding his own and he seems in good form at home.”

Clive Cox believes a line can be drawn through Koditime’s last run at the track.

He said: “He had a terrible draw (stall 10) last time and is drawn (stall two) better on Saturday.

“This is obviously another step up. It’s a very hot competitive race, but he’s in excellent form.

Andrew Balding hopes Montaly can open his account for the campaign by going one better than 12 months ago in the Coral Marathon.

The trainer said: “He will run if the ground is genuine good, safe ground. He is in great shape and I would love to run him.

“He ran well in the race last year and after that he started to find his feet.

“He has been slower to come to hand this year than last year.

“He has probably needed his first two runs although the last start was not a bad run, in fairness. He should be right back to his best now.”

Connections of the Roger Charlton-trained Gavota expect to see the daughter of Bated Breath take another step forward on her first try over a mile in the Coral Distaff, having hinted at a revival at Carlisle last time out.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “She was better but Carlisle didn’t really suit her but she has come out of the race well.

“On the ratings she is still up there but she needs to improve to be amongst them. This is an important race for here and I hope she will like the mile.

“She just really hadn’t come to herself at Newbury in the Fred Darling and it was a trial for the Guineas and she was still quite wintry.”

Running in the same silks will be the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Desert Diamond, who was fourth in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot.

Grimthorpe said: “She ran well at Ascot but she didn’t have the greatest trip in the race. She is in good form and should run very well.”

James Tate on the Charge with Sandown ace Haddaf

Sandown 12:20, 7 July 2018

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