Preview: Sandown – Heron Stakes

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

It’s massively exciting to see see Consort finally making his long awaited debut as a three year old. He missed the Guineas, though, and that for a reason. It’ll be interesting to see if he is fully wound up tomorrow as bigger targets may be on the agenda. If this is only a prep race, then others must have a chance to land the spoils.

There are Additional question marks whether Consort has trained on and is able to fulfil the promise. It’s important to keep in mind that so far he is only a maiden winner, albeit an impressive one.

Not quite the same – but to an extend at least – the same applies to Johnny Barnes as well, who makes his belated seasonal reappearance. He was a fine runner-up in a soft ground French Group 1 towards the end of last year. Race fitness and quick ground are obvious question marks.

The Makfi colt Ijmaaly was as impressive a debut winner as you will ever find. Questionable what he beat, but the way he did it was simply breathtaking. Eased down half a furlong out and he still won it by 12 lengths. This here represents a dramatic step up in trip and he is unproven on quick ground. But he’s clearly an exciting prospect.

Much more experienced is stable mate Emirates Skycargo. He has gradually improved and argubly his strongest performance to date came on the 2000 Guineas card at Newmarket in a good Class 2 Handicap when he was extremely unlucky to finish only third in a photo finish. He’d have won with a clear run despite giving loads of weight away to smart rivals.

Proven over trip and ground, he set the standard in this race in my mind. He looks capable of stepping up to Listed level and seems a rather big price in my eyes.

Emirates Skycargo @11/2 Coral – 5pts Win

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