Sandown preview: coral.co.uk handicap (13.25)
Use Your Filbert was a desperately unlucky loser when runner-up last time out and can go one better to gain compensation in the 7f coral.co.uk handicap that opens proceedings on a cracking card at Sandown (13.25).
The Robert Cowell trained colt gamely landed a maiden at Haydock on his sole start as a juvenile, and shaped with plenty of promise on seasonal reappearance at the same venue when a staying on third to Scalzo over 6f.
Use Your Filbert ran as if crying out for for a step up to 7f, and would have got off the mark over it at Newmarket two weeks ago but for blowing the start.
The three-year-old lost stacks of ground when rearing and being slowly away as the gates opened, but showed plenty of pace to make up the lost ground and made good headway a furlong from home to take up the running inside the last.
Those early exertions then took their toll, and Use Your Filbert got headed close home and beaten a neck by Them And Us.
To his credit the son of Acclamation battled on well once headed, and in the circumstances it was a an excellent effort given how the race panned out.
Although Use Your Filbert has been put up 4lb for that run, he is in effect a winner without a penalty and there is no doubt in my mind that he should be capable of winning a race of this nature off his current mark of 80.
Easy Tiger has a terrific strike rate and looks the main danger in what is a competitive class 3 affair.
The William Muir trained gelding has won three of his four starts, and showed a good attitude in the last of those when scoring by a short-head at Goodwood.
Easy Tiger looked ill at ease on the track, getting unbalanced on the undulations, but found plenty under pressure to get the job done.
The return to a more conventional and galloping track will suit, and the son of Refuse To Bend is a progressive sort who may well have more to offer despite being hit with a further 5lb rise in the weights.
Coral betting tip: The smart money should be on Use Your Filbert here.