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Coral Challenge Preview: Burano weighted to go well

Burano is dangerously well-handicapped at present and looks capable of running a huge race in an ultra-competitive renewal of the Coral Challenge at Sandown today (2.40).

The Brian Meehan trained five-year-old has just one career success to his name, with that victory coming in a Listed race at Meydan in 2012.

Burano was rated 106 after that win, and went on to run a good race to finish a 5 3/4 length sixth of 12 to Mull Of Killough in a Group 3 contest at Newmarket.

Since then the son of Dalakhani has run a number of solid races to finish in the frame, including when third of 14 to Saxo Jack at Meydan back in January.

Burano has also shaped far better than his finishing position suggests in big field handicaps on his last three starts when not enjoying the clearest of runs.

In the first of those, Burano finished a never nearer 4 3/4 length eighth of 23 to Gabrial’s Kaka in the Spring Mile at Newbury after getting blocked at a vital stage, and that was followed by another eye-catching run at Newmarket where he dwelt at the start and got bumped two out before staying on well to finish seventh of 19 to Niceofyoutotellme.

Burano was then far from disgraced last time out when staying on late to finish 13th of 28 to Field Of Dream in the Royal Hunt Cup, and has since been dropped a further 2lb by the assessor.
That means that Burano is now running off just 97, and gives him a big shout on the pick of his form in a race which should be run to suit.

There are plenty of dangers in a wide open contest, and Russian Realm and Baltic Knight are two of the metre interesting.

The former looked a handicapper to keep on the right side when bolting up in a 7f contest at Goodwood, and ran well when finishing ninth of 28 in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.
The Sir Michael Stoute trained colt was forced to race away from the main group in the latter, and the step up to a mile may well bring about further improvement.

Baltic Knight is a tough sort who came right back to his best when just touched off in a Listed contest at Windsor last week, and the four-year-old has a touch of class and looks capable of making a bold bid despite having to shoulder top weight and having a wide draw to overcome.