Smart Stat: £110.87 - Ralph Beckett's profit to a £1 level stake with horses running in first-time headgear
Ralph Beckett has an extraordinary record when electing to fit headgear for the first time, showing a profit in excess of £110 to level stakes when making such a move. His representative Mephisto sports first-time blinkers at Sandown, which could be a good move given how the horse applied himself under pressure last time. Mephisto had shaped with some promise at Wolverhampton and looked an interesting handicap debutant at Haydock, but he carried his head awkwardly and weakened in the final couple of furlongs. Perhaps he will be a different proposition in headgear.
Smart Stat: 24% - Silvestre de Sousa's strike rate at Sandown
In recent seasons Silvestre de Sousa has been operating at a strike rate around the 18% mark. However, he clearly rides Sandown well as he has a 24% strike rate at the course. He has a good chance of enhancing that record on Thai Power, who ran well when second over course and distance last month. It was a strong handicap that Thai Power contested but he moved through the race like a well-treated horse and he takes a drop in class here.
Smart Stat: 4 - Dermot Weld's number of winners in the past ten runnings
Dermot Weld has a fantastic record in this race and was successful last year with Hasanabad. His representative Tandem may be an 11-year-old, but he arrives on the back of a victory at Leopardstown last time, where he built on a promising effort at Cork to snap a three-year-losing run. That was a messy race at Leopardstown, and Tandem avoided the trouble, but he still won with a degree of authority and is entitled to respect under promising 5 lb claimer Gavin Ryan.