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
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

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor