Horse Racing
Liam Headd’s Cheltenham Winner: Who is His Pick for Sandown on Friday?

Liam Headd’s Cheltenham Winner: Who is His Pick for Sandown on Friday?

The three-year-old looked to have won on his seasonal return earlier this month, but he tired towards the finish and was pipped to the line on heavy ground. He still managed to put in a joint-best performance based on Racing Post Ratings, but the return to a sounder surface should give him a big chance. The yard is operating at a 22 per cent strike-rate this year, having won five times with 23 runners, and the son of Profitable looks to be improving with every start.

The last three winners of the race have been drawn low, so stall two appears to be a good position for him. He followed up by finishing fifth of six in the Acomb at York, but he ran better than his finishing position suggests as he traveled well for the majority of the race before dropping off on very quick ground. That effort still yielded a career-best RPR, while there were plenty of positives to take when he finished second to a hot prospect in Night Raider at Southwell last month.

A first attempt at a mile should see him to better effect, given he is a son to Churchill, who won both the British and Irish 2,000 Guineas over this trip. He is well drawn in stall seven and there should be plenty of pace around him for him to travel well. Owned by Juddmonte, the four-year-old has won on every first appearance since his debut success in 2022, so therefore being fresh and not having raced since August is certainly not an issue.

That maiden win came at this track on very quick ground, and he followed up in a small, but competitive Group 3 at Newmarket on his subsequent run. He won the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at his first crack over a mile, which produced a career-high RPR, but you can put a line through his run in the Strensall Stakes in August as he was found to be lame on his left hind afterwards. He looks capable of even better, so he has a massive opportunity for connections who won this race in 2022.

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