Sandown preview: Fireglow can strike for red-hot Johnston
Trainer Mark Johnston has his team in flying form and Fireglow can provide the Middleham handler with another success in the Listed 7f feature contest on today’s six-race card at Sandown (15.30).
The filly looked a smart prospect when making all to score on debut at Catterick, and confirmed that view when stepped up into Group 3 company and finishing a cracking fourth of 18 to Illuminate in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
After dwelling at the start, Fireglow quickly found herself playing catch-up before running on strongly inside the final furlong to be nearest at the finish and beaten 4 1/2 lengths.
It was a taking performance given that the daughter of Teofilo still looked green and in need of the experience, and the form of the race has worked out well.
The winner has since gone on to land the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket, and the seventh home Tutu Nguru landed a decent novice stakes contest at Doncaster in good style on her next start.
That form looks extremely strong in the context of this contest, and a reproduction should be good enough to see Fireglow get back on the winning trail now dropped in class.
In the 7f handicap that closes proceedings (17.05), Good Luck Charm can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the spoils.
The Gary Moore trained gelding was last successful when landing a class 4 contest at Goodwood nine months ago off a mark of 74 and went on to finish a solid fourth at Kempton off 79 in the same grade.
Having failed to trouble the judge in three starts this season, Good Luck Charm is now able to race in this lower grade class 5 contest off just 70.
That gives the six-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective, and Good Luck Charm hinted that his time was near when staying on from the rear under tender handling to finish a 2 1/3 length fifth at Epsom last time out.
If Good Luck Charm can build on that, then there is little doubt that the son of Doyen is weighted to take all the beating on the pick of his form.
14.55: Munstead Pride
15.30: Fireglow (NAP)
17.05: Good Luck Charm (NB)