Windsor preview: Course specialist Ronaldo can score again
David Metcalf | August 15, 2016
Rio Ronaldo ready to rule at Windsor
Rio Ronaldo has a cracking record at Windsor and can further enhance it with victory in the 6f handicap on this evening’s card at the Sunbury-on-Thames venue (19.30).
The Mike Murphy trained gelding landed his third victory at the track back in May when coming from miles off the pace under an ice cool ride by Jamie Spencer to score cleverly by 1/2 a length, and backed that up with an excellent second of 14 to Growl over course and distance on soft ground that was not ideal.
Rio Ronaldo has since run very well in two competitive affairs at Ascot, finishing a fine 2 3/4 length fifth of 18 to Misterisio and an eye-catching fifth of 15 to Alpha Delphinni.
The four-year-old got going too late in the latter, having not endured clearest of passages in what looked a very strong class 2 contest for the grade.
This looks easier and Rio Ronadlo is able to race in it off an unchanged mark.
It gives the son of Footstepsinthesand a big shout at the weights and, with the quick going ideal and Oisin Murphy in the saddle, this looks a great opening for Ronaldo to get back in the winners’ enclosure at a track which clearly brings out the best in him.
Sahara hot stuff in finale
Trainer Chris Wall has his team in fine shape at present and Sahara looks to hold leading claims of providing him with another winner in the 1m 2f handicap that brings proceedings to a close (20.00).
The Newmarket handler has saddled three winners and three seconds from his last 10 runners and in Sahara has a filly who opened her account 13 months ago in a handicap at Sandown off a mark of 70, before going on to post two solids efforts to make the frame off 76 and 77.
Although the four-year-old is yet to get her head in front in four starts this season she signalled that her time was near when posting an improved effort to finish runner-up at Yarmouth on her latest outing.
Sahara found herself short of room when making good headway two from home but stuck to the task well to go down by a diminishing 1/2 a length to Thecornishbaron.
Although now 3lb higher in the weights a revised rating of 77 looks exploitable on the pick of her form and, with the stable now in better shape, Sahara can go one better to land the spoils.
17.30: Sun Angel
18.00: Mount Shamsan
19.30: Rio Ronaldo (NAP)
20.00: Sahara (NB)