Saturday Yankee: Make big Al your pal…

Some quality racing today as we near the biggest week of the year.  Sandown is the focus of the action, but a good meeting in Gowran fleshes out the day.  We are leaving today’s speculative nap out of the yankee.

The Daily Yankee:

Al Shahir, (1350 Sandown), 6/1:  Looks to have been laid out for this by the Skeltons.  Looked hard to win with after three 2nds, but those winners (Maria’s Benefit, Kalashnikov, First Flow) are all heading with chances to Cheltenham events.  He was an easy winner of a race at Towcester that has worked out well, will be hard to beat as bred to enjoy this step up.  Harry Whittington’s The Dubai Way is gutsy and rates the main danger.

Big Country, (1405 Wolverhampton), 4/1:  Will have to defy a mark 25lbs above when winning here on season debut last year, but was a huge improver and his free running strong travelling style should suit this course and this slightly shorter trip, he can outclass the opposition.

Tongie, (1505 Gowran), 7/2:  Was a tidy winner here last time when making all off a 7lb lower mark.  If he has put jumping issues behind him then he looks very capable of defying the rise.  We are taking that form as golden, as we are also baking the second that day to progress (see next).

Scoir Mear (1540 Gowran), 6/1:  Caught the eye when flashing home at the Cheltenham Festival for a Coral Cup 5th last season off 138.  Shrewd stable has kept him to shorter trip in his chasing career, making slow progress.  Ran a good staying on 2nd over an inadequate 2 mile here last time, and a mark of 131 here today looks very workable.

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