Place and time for Where Or When

Never mind finding the winners at Sandown and Chester this afternoon, simply guessing the state of the going is enough of a task since the first heavy showers of autumn started to sweep across the country yesterday. No bookmaker worthy of the name schedules holidays or weddings in September and October, when huge fields and softening ground always herald a succession of unexpected results, and this year, it seems, they may not need to wait for the bonanza to begin.

Never mind finding the winners at Sandown and Chester this afternoon, simply guessing the state of the going is enough of a task since the first heavy showers of autumn started to sweep across the country yesterday. No bookmaker worthy of the name schedules holidays or weddings in September and October, when huge fields and softening ground always herald a succession of unexpected results, and this year, it seems, they may not need to wait for the bonanza to begin.

The problem with intermittent drenchings like the ones which arrived at Sandown yesterday is that their effect on the going is very difficult to predict. Prolonged rain will inevitably turn the ground soft and then heavy, but whether the going in Esher is still good with good to soft patches, as it was last night, or soft, or something in between, may not be fully apparent until after the first race. And by that time, of course, many high street punters have already placed their bets.

The most reasonable assumption, though, is that there will be some juice in the Sandown going, which will make the seven furlongs and uphill finish of the Group Three Solario Stakes a thorough test for its 10 runners, eight of whom hold entries in Group One events later in the season.

Dulcet Spear, who will probably start favourite, if only because he is David Loder's chosen runner from three initial entries, is entered for both the Dewhurst Stakes, over seven furlongs, and the Racing Post Trophy over a mile, but not for the six-furlong Middle Park. This implies that whatever else may beat him today, it will not be lack of stamina, but while he has progressed steadily, he does not seem to be one of the stable's brightest stars, and for all his lofty entries, it is worth remembering that Loder entered 31 colts in the Dewhurst alone.

A better alternative may be Where Or When (next best 3.10), who might well have been predicted to start favourite for today's race himself had it not been for a dismal effort at Goodwood sandwiched between two impressive victories. Terry Mills, his trainer, believes that the tricky downland course was to blame for that performance, and the remainder of his form makes him a prime contender today.

The field for the Listed Atalanta Stakes includes two fillies, Foodbroker Fancy and Candice, who ran in the Oaks. Foodbroker Fancy also took her chance in the International at York last week, and finished only four and a quarter lengths behind the runner-up. Both will have their supporters today, but neither has shown their form over this trip of one mile this term, and Sonatina (2.40), who is lightly raced and progressive, deserves to open her account in Listed company after a series of solid efforts.

Dumaran, who has a 6lb penalty for a four-length win last time out, has a favourite's chance in the nine-furlong handicap, but his draw in stall one may not be ideal and the race is best avoided. THE TRADER (nap 4.20) is worth a bet, though, as he attempts to recoup losses from Monday's farcical sprint at Epsom, when half of the stalls – including his – opened late. The Trader was backed down to favouritism there, and should be able to track the pace today before striking late from his excellent high draw.

At Chester, where there was plenty of rain yesterday, Jalousie (2.55) is on a fair mark in the listed handicap, while Faithful Warrior (3.30) will find seven and a half furlongs ideal and has a good draw too.

The main event abroad this weekend is the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow, when Seba may land a rare punch for Sheikh Mohammed against Aidan O'Brien's four runners, headed by Quarter Moon. In Germany, the Grosser Preis von Baden, the latest leg of the Emirates World Series, sees Sabiango leading the home-trained team, while Michael Jarvis's Morshdi, the Derby Italiano winner, is the sole contender from Britain.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...