Sandown tips and today’s ITV Racing schedule: Templegate’s best bets and race-by-race guide

HIGHEST GROUND (2.25 Sandown, nap) can make it four Gordon Richards wins in a row for Sir Michael Stoute.

He was second in the Dante at York last season but should really blossom as a four-year-old.

ITV Racing gets underway at 1.30pm on ITV4 and coverage will be live through until 4pm.


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It takes in all the action and reaction from Sandown and Perth. Here’s my guide to today’s telly action.

1.50 Sandown

DINGLE ran a cracker when an unlucky third at Newbury last week. He was hampered inside the final furlong when going well and this step up to a mile should suit.

Rifleman was impressive when scoring on the AW at Kempton in November and he doesn’t have a lot of weight for this handicap debut. Team Gosden will hope he’s better than this level.

Naamoos battled well to score at Musselburgh but a 7lb rise gives him more to do. Ilza’Eem won easily at Redcar and is another on a potentially lenient mark.

2.25 Sandown

HIGHEST GROUND can give Sir Michael Stoute another Gordon Richards Stakes win. He was lightly raced last season and pushed Thunderous close in the Dante at York. He came back from a break in the Darley Stakes at Newmarket in October but the soft ground didn’t suit. The yard’s horses often improve with age and he can take a step forward.

Hukum is interesting dropped in trip. He was a solid fourth in the St Leger but he travels well and this distance could suit.

Waldkonig came back to win a fair Pontefract handicap earlier this month. This is tougher but he has a lot more to offer. Thunderous didn’t race again after that Dante win and may need this comeback but it would be no shock to see him go close.

2.40 Perth

GRAN PARADISO is a stayer in form after his 19-length win at Sedgefield last time.

He has been hiked 10lb but that looks fair and this extra half-mile should be no problem.

Cyclop has champion chasing Brian Hughes in the saddle and he’s another who loves a marathon. He has slipped to a fair weight and can hit the places at a price.

Bafana Blue scored nicely at Wetherby latest and is on the shortlist.

3.00 Sandown

PALACE PIER landed two Group 1s last season and had excuses when third in the QEII Stakes last time out in October.

This mile trip on decent ground is right up his street and he should have too much class.

Khuzaam is respected on his all-weather efforts. He took the mile championship at Lingfield on Good Friday and looks well up to this standard.

The worry is switching back to turf where he’s run only twice and been beaten each time.

Happy Power is better over seven furlongs but Andrew Balding is in good form and he won’t be disgraced.

3.35 Sandown

TRAWLERMAN didn’t have to leave first gear when winning a Pontefract maiden earlier this month and can handle this big hike in class.

He is bred to be a champion over this trip and clocked a useful time despite not being extended.

Lone Eagle has the form in the book thanks to his Group 3 Zetland Stakes win at Newmarket in October. He stayed this trip strongly there ahead of Recovery Run and can confirm that form.

Yibir is another with clear potential after he signed off last season with a couple of simple maiden wins.

He saw out a mile well at Newbury and should get home. He appeals more than stablemate Adayar who loved the mud when winning at Nottingham.

Sir Lucan comes over from Ballydoyle and is another who will appreciate going up to this trip.


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