So Mi Dar to hit the winning note for John Gosden at Sandown

So Mi Dar (right) is bidding the win the Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown this evening
Red Hand

SO Mi Dar can add her name to the select list of fillies to have won the Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes with victory on the best evening card of the year at Sandown.

The four-year-old was meant to reappear at York last week but was scuppered by the rain, which will not be on the list of things to worry about this week for fast-ground lovers.

John Gosden’s charge is pretty versatile in terms of underfoot terrain, but there is no doubt she goes well on a sound surface and despite her trainer’s hand being slightly forced, it is encouraging to see her take on the colts.

Her resume shows just one reverse, when narrowly beaten in the Prix de l’Opera at Chantilly on Arc day. She was only half-a-length away, though, and might have been a touch unlucky.

This is not of that standard and while she might need a mile-and-a-half to be seen at her optimum if tackling the very best this season, her obvious class should see her through this engagement before her sights are raised again.

Sound And Silence is hard to oppose in the Better Odds With Matchbook National Stakes.

Charlie Appleby’s first two-year-old winner of the season looked all speed at Newmarket, in what was quite a taking performance, despite the winning margin only being a narrow one.

He moved enthusiastically on the front end and did not have to be asked too many questions to see off the challenge of Never Back Down, who boosted the form when winning at Leicester.

Ground conditions should be ideal and Appleby has his string in rattling good form, so this race looks just up his alley before hopefully going on to Ascot.

Big Orange can take full advantage of his pull in the weights with Quest For More by winning the Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes.

The pair both sit on a mark of 117 and their previous encounters have resulted in some hard-fought battles, most notably when just a neck separated the pair in the Goodwood Cup a couple of years ago.

However, Big Orange has a 7lb pull here by virtue of Quest For More’s Group One win in France last autumn, and Michael Bell’s charge can put that to good use.

He ran a fair race in Dubai when Quest For More was completely unsuited by the ground and while conditions will be more to that horse’s liking here. Big Orange also operated to good effect on quick going.

Zainhom might be the exciting one for Sir Michael Stoute in the Matchbook Traders Conference Heron Stakes.

He returned to action in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, which was a rock-solid renewal with the winner Barney Roy finding only Churchill too good in the 2000 Guineas and runner-up Dream Castle rating better than his fifth in the Newmarket Classic.

Stoute’s runner travelled well for much of the journey and is well entitled to do better still for that.

A solid fixture at Goodwood is headlined by the Markel Height of Fashion Stakes, which can go the way of Gakku.

Trained by Roger Varian, she is bred to get further than a mile so did really well to give Present Tense a fight at that trip on her debut at Yarmouth earlier this month.

With that experience under her belt she should give a bold account with the best part of an extra couple of furlongs almost certainly to her benefit


Nap: So Mi Dar

(7.35: Sandown)

Double: Sound And Silence

(6.30: Sandown)

Treble: Big Orange

(7.05: Sandown)

Yankee: Zainhom

(8.10: Sandown)


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