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Royal Ascot gamble Kaboo tries to defy far-side draw.

Byline: RACE IN FOCUS 2.20 Sandown Coral Dragon Stakes 5f, Listed RTV Card and Spotlight, page 54 Race analysis by Graeme Rodway

RACING professionals always stress the importance of a rail to run against for two-yearolds. However, in five-furlong sprints at Sandown in the last couple of years, being drawn in stall one against the far-side rail hasn't been the place to be and that's even true in races for juveniles.

Since the start of 2019, 18 runners have emerged from the stall closest to the far-side rail in five-furlong races confined to juveniles at Sandown and all were beaten.

That's a damning statistic for the likely favourite Kaboo, who was one of the biggest gambles of the week at Royal Ascot. The More Than Ready colt was backed to 15-2 from 100-1 in the morning on his debut in the Windsor Castle Stakes and made a most promising effort.

Kaboo finished third of 18 on his side in the face of a stiff task for one so inexperienced, so he evidently has his share of ability. Maybe he can defy recent stats and win from stall one.

In terms of percentage of rivals beaten (%RB), it has been those drawn middle to high who have fared best. Generally speaking, the higher the draw, the higher the %RB figure.

Runners from stall eight, or the equivalent when taking into account non-runners, have beaten an average of 58 per cent of their rivals and that bodes well for the outsidedrawn Navello.

Navello finished third behind Ebro River and the reopposing Little Earl in the National Stakes over course and distance in May and is now fitted with cheekpieces by George Boughey. The trainer is only 1-9 when adding that headgear, though, and he is 0-2 with it on juveniles.

What they say Edward Bethell, trainer of Fearby I'm hopeful rather than confident. He's very straightforward, has improved for his last run and we've targeted this race rather than going to Royal Ascot. It looks wide open and hopefully the ground will dry out a little - good to soft would be fine. Dave Loughnane, trainer of Mojomaker If he reproduces his last run at Sandown I'd be hopeful he'll go very close. Cut in the ground won't be an issue and we have the Molecomb in mind as he ran well at Goodwood on his second start.

George Boughey, trainer of Navello He took his Ascot run well and will be better suited by this smaller field. He couldn't quite go the early gallop at Ascot but he's worked in cheekpieces since and they sharpened him up. He's not ideally drawn [stall eight] but goes there in good order and hopefully the ground dries out a little. He's pretty versatile in that regard, but better ground is best for him.


QUOTE TO NOTE Karl Burke, trainer of Kaboo He's a lovely horse who we think a lot of and he ran very well at Royal Ascot. If he'd been drawn on either wing I think he'd have finished second and maybe challenged the winner. He goes there in great order.

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Author:RACE IN FOCUS 2.20 Sandown Coral Dragon Stakes 5f, Listed RTV Card and Spotlight, page 54 Race analy
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2021
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