The Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Thursday 7.40pm) has been run at Sandown over 10-furlongs since 1973, and was named after one of Britain’s greatest flat horses, who won 17 of his 18 races, including the 2,000 Guineas.
The race is open to horses aged 4 or older, and 4-year-olds have won 7 of the last 10 renewals. Meanwhile, of the trainers with runners this year, only John Gosden has won the race before, whilst Ryan Moore (2), Paul Hanagan, Frankie Dettori and Adam Kirby have all previously ridden a winner of the race.
7 runners are set to go to post for the 2016 Brigadier Gerard Stakes
He was the talk of last year’s Royal Ascot meeting before dotting-up in the Group-3 Tercentenary Stakes, and went on to win a group-2 later in the year. The form of those races hasn’t proved particularly strong, and blotted his copybook in a York group-1 and at the Breeders Cup. Expected to improve again this year though, the yard is in form, but he does have to concede 5lb to the others.
Listed winner, but has struggled so far this season. However, he has run against the three principals, so offers some tenuous form comparisons.
Always considered a backward type by his trainer, he flopped in the 2,000 Guineas before improving for the step-up to 10-furlongs. He was particularly impressive in a Haydock Group-3, admittedly in a race he should have won, proving that he can front run and quicken off his own pace – which could prove ideal tactics in this 7-runner field.
I’m telling you this one shouldn’t win, as he last won off a mark of 90, leaving him plenty to find. He has run well at Sandown on both visits though, including when third in last year’s renewal behind Western Hymn – but this year’s contest looks even stronger.
Not So Sleepy
Last won off 93, and was a 20-length last behind Time Test at Royal Ascot last year. Ran better in France afterwards without winning, and the formbook suggests he’d prefer softer ground.
Owes his rating to winning the Listed Doonside Cup at the end of last season, but even that form leaves him with plenty to find with Tome Test and Intilaaq, if Fire Fighting is a reliable yardstick.
Won last year’s renewal, which made it 3 out of 3 at Sandown at the time. However, he’s been beaten twice here since, when finishing third in the Eclipse, and when only second on this year’s reappearance. Also disappointing when only second when favourite at Chester last time, but has race-fitness on his side.
Brigadier Gerard Stakes Summary
Western Hymn sets a fair standard on form, especially as he enjoys Sandown, however both Time test and Intilaaq are already higher-rated and expected to improve again this year. Of the two, Intilaaq is preferred this time as he gets 5lb from his main market rival, and he proved he’s tactically versatile with that Haydock win last season.