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Bet of the day: Friday’s racing

Frank Monkhouse | 7 July 2017

Sandown sets the scene

We are within touching distance of the weekend now, and what a weekend it promises to be, with the 2017 renewal of the Coral-Eclipse scheduled for Saturday at Sandown. Follow our feature on past Eclipse winners on the horse racing section of this site.

Sticking with Sandown, and the Surrey track hosts a fascinating card on Friday to set the scene – not the glitz and glamour of Saturday, but there’s plenty of winners to be found. Coral’s horse racing team lend a helping hand, running through our NAP of the day below. On the move? Have the best of our race-by-race selections in your multiples. Click to bet now.

Ayrad goes as defending champion

The day gets started at 1.50pm with a snappy five-furlong handicap. The winner of that will be Zac Brown, if our luck is in, but those waiting on the NAP are spectators until 3.25pm, and the Ambant Gala Stakes. A one mile one furlong listed stakes, there’s seven runners to sort through here, but we have our stake money riding on the chances of Ayrad.

The selection goes into the day as a previous winner over course and distance, having claimed this race 12 months ago. He went off as favourite on that occasion, and certainly lived up to the pre-race hype, edging past Spark Plug in a thrilling finish. Roger Charlton’s rep dragged them along from the start, and built up enough of an early lead to see him hold on when it mattered. More of the same is expected.

More of the same this year

An impressive victory, ensuring there’s plenty of shrewd money on the six-year-old gelding again here, but it does rate as his last win, and that may put others off. There’s not a lot to write home about in his starts since, other than a runner-up at Goodwood in the group three Glorious Stakes last summer, beaten less than a length by Kings Fete.

Ayrad has run only once so far this year, finishing fifth at Royal Ascot in the Wolferton Handicap two weeks ago. He did give a good account of himself in great company there though, and connections will be confident he can drop back in here. Pushing for the finish at Ascot, he arrives fit and we expect to see him defend.

Sandown selections

1.50 – Zac Brown

2.20 – Havana Grey

2.50 – Bathsheba Bay

3.25 – Ayrad

4.00 – Euginio

4.30 – UAE King

5.05 – Almanack

Keep your eyes peeled for our Coral-Eclipse preview