Group Three Gordon Richards Stakes Guide

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Sandown - April 22 2021
Sandown 13:25
6(3)
Frankie Dettori

Waldkonig

J:
 
Frankie Dettori
T:
 
John & Thady Gosden
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 109
Days: 17

Waldkonig for trainers John & Thady Gosden looks to be a highly talented half brother to Arc winner Waldgeist, who was planning to have a big three year old career, but it looks as though this term will realistically be his best.

The son of Kingman has only been seen four times in his career, bolting up on debut at Wolverhampton by nine lengths on his sole run as a juvenile.

He was saved for his three year old campaign and although running to a good standard, ultimately was disappointing for the hype that was built around him.

The colt went to Newmarket and finished third behind Saudi Cup and Duabi Sheema Classic winning stablemate Mishriff on his seasonal debut and then backed that up at Haydock when a narrow second behind the smart Highest Ground for Sir Michael Stoute, with both of them pulling clear of the third.

Back for another campaign this term, he got back to winning ways at Pontefract in a handicap event, winning comfortably in the end.

Having had a prep run for this event could make all the difference and he should take all the beating, although needing to reverse the form with Highest Ground.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/04/21PON10GF9-71
24/06/20HAY10.5Gd9-82
06/06/20NMK10GF9-03
07/12/19WOL8.5St9-51
Sandown - April 22 2021
Sandown 13:25
3(5)
Ryan Moore

Highest Ground

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
Sir Michael Stoute
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 111
Days: 195

The four year old Highest Ground looks to be the big danger to Waldkonig on the day having already beaten him before last year.

The son of Frankel made his debut in September 2019 when winning at Leicester in good style and he was not seen again until a three year old, when making it two from two with a good performance to beat the favourite in this over 10.5 furlongs.

He looked to make it a hat-trick but was stopped in his bid when being narrowly beaten at York in the Group Two Dante Stakes, by rival Thunderous.

He stepped back to 1m1f for his last start in October for the Group Three Darley Stakes and unfortunately he ran no race at all.

If getting back to his best he is a live player, with the quicker the ground the better for this horse, also going back up in trip.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/10/20NMK9Sft8-130
09/07/20YOR10.5GS9-02
24/06/20HAY10.5Gd9-81
23/09/19LEI7GF9-51
Sandown - April 22 2021
Sandown 13:25
5(4)
Franny Norton

Thunderous

J:
 
Franny Norton
T:
 
Mark Johnston
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 112
Days: 288

Thunderous is another one at the top of the market that is in with a huge chance having good form against Highest Ground.

The 70,000gns purchase as a yearling made his debut in June 2019 and won a novice stakes at Doncaster, before backing that up at Redcar and then Newbury in the Listed Danford Stakes.

Having landed a hat-trick of wins he went in search of four timer at Newmarket on his seasonal debut as a three year old and hat to settle for second behind the talented Volkan Star when stepping up in trip.

Having that run under his belt he came on leaps and bounds to chin Highest Ground on the line in the Group Two Dante Stakes at York and that form looks solid.

This is another tough event, especially not having a prep run and he will need to be at his best.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/05/21NMK12GF9-13
23/04/21SAN10Gd9-07
09/07/20YOR10.5GS9-01
27/06/20NMK10GF9-02
17/08/19NBY7Sft9-11
Sandown - April 22 2021
Sandown 13:25
4(6)
Jim Crowley

Hukum

J:
 
Jim Crowley
T:
 
Owen Burrows
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 114
Days: 223

The four year old colt was a decent two year old, only racing twice and getting off the mark at the second time of asking at Kempton over a mile.

Burrows always planned to step this horse up in trip and on his seasonal debut last term he landed the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot in gritty style.

The way he battled and stayed on that day showed he could handle a bigger trip and when stepped up to 1m5f in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury, he was a runaway winner in soft conditions.

Both these runs set him up perfectly for a crack at the Group One St Leger at Doncaster, but on the day he was outstayed by better horses and had to settle for fifth.

Back down in trip for this event today is a plus and being versatile when it comes to ground could see him be the value in the race if not needing the run.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/09/20DON14.5Gd9-15
15/08/20NBY13.5GS8-91
17/06/20ASC12Gd8-111
19/11/19KEM8St/Slw9-21
21/09/19NBY7GF9-23
Sandown - April 22 2021
Sandown 13:25
2(1)
Hollie Doyle

Extra Elusive

J:
 
Hollie Doyle
T:
 
Roger Charlton
Age: 6
Weight: 9-0
OR: 113
Days: 62

The Roger Charlton trained six year old was superb last term, finishing second in a Listed race at Newbury behind a nice type for John Gosden and then backing that up with two consecutive wins.

The gelding went to Haydock and in a gritty performance landed the Group Three Rose Of Lancaster Stakes and after that stepped up again to see off Fox Chairman to take the Group Three Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor.

He went for more Group Three glory in the Legacy Stakes at Newbury and was weak third of four runners and after that headed into the Group One Champion Stakes at Ascot and was totally outclassed.

He was last seen in the Saudi Cup when being outclassed again over 1m1f, but getting back into a weaker event should see him go better,.

However, this again looks beyond him.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/02/21JAN9Fs9-00
17/10/20ASC10Sft9-56
19/09/20NBY11Gd9-63
29/08/20WDR10Sft9-81
08/08/20HAY10Gd9-51
Sandown - April 22 2021
Sandown 13:25
1(2)
Andrea Atzeni

Desert Encounter

J:
 
Andrea Atzeni
T:
 
David Simcock
Age: 9
Weight: 9-0
OR: 111
Days: 154

Desert Encounter has been a veteran in the sport for some time now and although putting in some fair performances of late, at the age of nine this contest looks beyond him.

David Simcock has pitched him in this race more on hope than his talent, but he may be looking for one last performance from the gelding before retirement.

In his prime Desert Encounter was a very smart horse winning Group One glory in Canada and although running well in Group Three and Listed events since then, this race looks beyond him having underperformed frequently in tough events.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/04/21SAN10Gd9-02
20/11/20SAK10Gd9-20
17/10/20ASC10Sft9-55
09/10/20YOR12Sft9-02
19/09/20NBY11Gd9-32
Sandown - April 22 2021
Sandown 13:25
7(7)
William Buick

Winter Reprise

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
David Menuisier
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: 98
Days: 149

The final runner of the event is the David Menuisier trained Winter Reprise who looks another that is a nice horse in his own right, but looks extremely vulnerable against the horses at the top of the market.

The four year old has been seen six times since June 2020, making his debut over a mile at Newmarket and needing the run desperately when back in eighth.

He stepped up to 1m2f next time out and was a better third behind the expensive Darain and he used that to progress again into second in a maiden over in France.

At the fourth time of asking he got off the mark at Chantilly in a Maiden over 1m2f, with the son of Intello loving the heavy ground.

Since that run he was last of six in a Listed race and then a fair second at Deauville in a Listed event on the all weather.

The return to turf on a quick surface looks a worry and stepping into this company also leaves him very oppoasable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
25/11/20DEA9.5St8-112
06/11/20CHA10Hy9-06
13/10/20CHA10Hy9-21
10/08/20CLA9Sft9-32
08/07/20NBY10GS9-53
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