Sunday 17 December 2017

Paco Boy can go extra mile

Two well-contested Group races follow on from the jumps action at Sandown. The Sandown Mile (3.40) looks booked for Paco Boy, the winner 12 months ago and which now runs unburdened by any penalty.

Although Border Patrol, Fareer, Prince Of Dance and The Cheka are progressive types, none has shown the level of ability that makes Paco Boy a match for Europe's best milers.

Paco Boy came into last year's race fit from a fruitless trip to the Dubai Carnival. But with Richard Hannon's string in rampant early-season form, he should outclass the opposition.

By contrast, the Gordon Richards Stakes (4.15) brings together some closely-matched rivals. Redwood and Laaheb are on an upward curve, in particular the latter, which graduated from handicaps to see off decent opposition on his last start in October.

However, Laaheb is inclined to run with the choke out and preference is for Crowded House, which twice ran creditably on Meydan's Tapeta surface in March. Now returned to turf and, with Kieren Fallon aboard for the first time, he can resume winning ways.

Irish Independent

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