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Dods disappointed with Dakota Gold's Sandown draw
TRAINER Michael Dods has expressed disappointment with Dakota Gold's draw in his second run of the season - the Coral Charge at Sandown on Sunday.
The six-year-old gelding, who scored five times in a scintillating season last year, is drawn 12 out of 12 for the five furlong race at the Surrey track.
In his regular Weekend Preview on the stable's Facebook page, Michael says: "It’s a Group Three, but to be honest, we’re a bit disappointed with the draw in stall 12 out of 12. At Sandown, it’s definitely better to be a bit further across the track on the sprint course, but it is what it is and we’ll just have to get on with it. He definitely deserves to take his chance in group company. As you would expect, it’s a tough race, but hopefully he’ll put in a nice performance."
The opposition on Sunday includes Charlie Appleby's three-year-old Godolphin gelding, Lazuli, an impressive listed winner at Sandown last month, and John Quinn's Liberty Beach, an honourable third to the all-conquering Battaash in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out.
Dakota Gold finished fifth of six on his first run of the season behind El Astronaute in Doncaster's listed Betway Achilles Stakes, with regular pilot Conor Beasley reporting that the horse had missed the break after anticipating the start.
Here is the rest of the Weekend Preview...
"We’re set for a busy weekend, with a fair few horses entered on both Saturday and Sunday – let’s hope they run well.
First out on Saturday is ROYAL CONTEXT in the Price Promise at bet365 Handicap (12.30) at Haydock. He ran well at Haydock last month when he finished second, so that proved he handles the track. He’s a nice horse and you would think he would like the soft ground with his pedigree. With a bit more rain forecast, hopefully he’ll run well.
Staying at Haydock, BYRON’S CHOICE runs in the My Alerts at bet365 Handicap (2.40). He’s probably been high enough in the handicap, but is another that should hopefully like the ground. He’s got form over seven furlongs or a mile, but we didn’t think he would get in the seven-furlong race the next day so he’s running in this race. He ran well at Doncaster on his first run last month, but on paper, this looks a very competitive race.
BELLATRIXSA runs in the bet365.com Fillies Novices’ Stakes (3.15). She’s a big horse with a stamina pedigree, so this is her first day at school really as a three-year-old. You’d think that whatever she does here, she’ll come on for the run.
The last of our Saturday runners, also at Haydock, is ARCH MOON in the Each Way Extra at bet365 Handicap (4.25). He won nicely at Haydock last month, and hopefully he’ll handle the step up from a mile to ten furlongs. I wouldn’t really know what he would think of very soft ground, so we’ll just have to see what the conditions are like. He should run well, but this is another race that looks extremely competitive.
As well as Dakota Gold, we’ve got four others running on Sunday. GET KNOTTED runs in the Bet Builder at bet365 Handicap at Haydock (3.50). It’s his first run of the year, and you would think that with it being testing ground, he will probably need the run to get him going. He seems to be a better horse at York these days, but it’s just nice to get him back out onto the racecourse. It could just be a bit tough for him on the ground first time out.
CAMACHO CHIEF goes in the Free Tips Daily on attheraces.com Handicap at Doncaster (4.00). He wouldn’t want it to dry out over the weekend. He just missed the break in his last run, and as long as it’s soft ground, I’m sure he’ll run well. Like a few of the races this weekend, it looks very competitive, but hopefully he’ll put in a decent run.
Back to Haydock, and SHADOW LEADER runs in the Cash Out at bet365 Handicap (4.20). He ran over six furlongs a few weeks ago at Doncaster, and it looked as though he wanted a step up in trip. He’s got that step up here running over seven furlongs, and over time, I could even see him running over a mile eventually.
The last of the weekend runners is BILLY NO MATES in the Download the At The Races App Handicap (5.35) at Doncaster. He’s a horse we would like to run over further, but we didn’t know if he would get in at Haydock, so we entered him here. He needs to have juice in the ground, and he just got caught out when the ground was on the faster side when he ran at Haydock last time. If we can get him to settle on some softish ground, then I definitely think he’s capable.